The 30 Secret Signals Of The Rebel Toddler Squad

Hello all. I am writing this from my top secret, super hidden safety bunker. After discovering what I am about to tell you about, I figured that the best option was to get the hell out. I’d let you come and join me, but you know I’m just not that good at sharing.

Hang on, I’ll draw you a map.

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Nah! This shit is mine!

OK, let me tell you about what happened the other day. I was walking down the street with the kids when we passed some equally kid type people coming the other way.

So far, so normal.

But when this very angelic looking blonde toddler passed my girls, she casually waved her hand at them. Nothing to write about, I hear you cry?

Man, you guys are naive. Luckily, you’ve got me to work these things out for you.

You see, this girl wasn’t just saying hello. She was signalling to them.

It’s ok, I can see what you’re saying. I’m overthinking this, right?

Wrong! Because you see, after I discovered this I started doing some research. I have a found out that these demonic hellbeasts we call our ‘beloved children,’ have a whole language of their own, that they usually solely to fuck with us.

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Woman I can hold a crotch oak… I mean cockroach, without even flinching. What makes you think I can’t mess you right up?

I mean, realistically, what else would they use it for?

Believe me or not, it’s your neck on the line <shrugs> I took tremendous risks to get this to you, so you’d better bloody appreciate it. Now read!

Here are the first thirty signals. I’m sure there are more, but a girl’s gotta eat, you know? Plus toddlers are super fucking scary to work with.

1. Ear tug – Insist you’re a rabbit and only answer to the name Ralph. Refuse to eat carrots in any form.

2. Foot tap – Make like a rock.

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3. Nose scratch – Hold your breath when your mum comes to check you at night. Wait until she panics and pokes you. Then wake up, crying indignantly.

4. High five – Dress like this. All day.

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5. Head shake – Learn how to do a forward roll. Do it straight off the couch. (Bonus points if you bite your tongue.)

6. Bum wiggle – Shit yourself. Do it now!

7. Wave – help your mum to get you ready for bed. Ensure all help is decidedly unhelpful.

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8. Blow raspberry – Only accept a drink from the pink cup. No, the blue cup! The yellow! GREEN!!

9. Finger click – Glare at your mother all day long. Refuse to explain why.

10. Hop – Respond to every question with the word ‘poop.’ Unless it’s relevant.

11. Finger in nose – Lick that wall. Right there. Don’t avoid the green bit.

12. Teddy drop – Drop your teddy. Preferably into that slightly questionable puddle over there.

13. Clap – Splash so much in the shower that your mum slips on the wet floor and falls into the bath. Then howl because she hurt your little toe.

14. Smile – Ask for your most favourite food for dinner. Then throw it on the floor.

15. Nose wiggle – Make every nonsense babble noise you make sound like those words your mum mutters under her breath when she’s having a bad day.

16. Jump – Cry until she lets you sleep in her bed. Sleep with your arse on her pillow.

17. Offer food – Hide this food in the couch cushions until it gets all sticky and gross. Then eat it. Scream blue murder when she tries to take it off you.

18. Ballerina pose – Spill your drink everywhere. Unless it’s water. Because what’s the fucking point in that?

Fuck this H2O bullshit!

Fuck this H2O bullshit!

19. Lick arm – Stand on literally anything shaped like a cylinder. Blame your mother when you fall off.

20. Arm flap – Check to see if you’ve mastered the art of flight yet. Preferably from a height.

21. Skip – Hone your abseiling skills. Using the curtains.

22. Trip over – Trip over, right now! Don’t use your hands to save yourself.

23. Jazz hands – Open one side of your nappy. Now wee!

24. Runny nose – Wait until two days before your birthday. Get sick.

25. Wiggle toes – Discard one shoe. Repeat until your mother turns a fetching shade of purple.

26. Finger point – Behave responsibly with your new scissors for two whole weeks. Then hack off a couple of clumps of hair.

27. Knee tap – Ask to play with play dough. Make a penis and insist on it being displayed on the mantelpiece. Forever.

28. Head scratch – Put a bead up your nose. Try to get it out but succeed only in pushing it further up. Don’t tell anyone.

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29. Wink – Refuse to go to sleep for at least two hours. Wait until your mum’s eyes drift shut in a haze of exhaustion. SCREAM!

30. Teeth baring – Vomit in a giant pile behind your toy kitchen. Deny all knowledge.

Who knew? There we were, assuming that our toddlers were either pissing about, procrastinating or just being plain annoying. And it turns out that we were actually completely right! But what makes it worse is that they’re doing it together.

Betcha glad that I told you now, aren’t you?

Now to get to my bunker, you need to make a left at… ah fuck it.

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It’s top secret for a reason!

Over and out.


The Quiz Of Awesome Parenting

When I was a kid, there was nothing that excited me more than coming across a multiple choice quiz in a magazine.

Why yes, I was an extremely pathetic kid. Thanks so much for noticing that.

I would reach for my pen and begin scribbling, desperate to know what my perfect pet would be, or which member of Backstreet Boys I should go on a date with.



You can roll your eyes as much as you want, ok? It was fucking fun.

Inevitably I grew up. Now, I’m a big old groany grown-up, with responsibilities and stretch marks, and all that shit. But I have to admit, I still love a good quiz.

So, just for you, I have created a quiz for adults. It’s about awesome parenting, obviously.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while (or frankly, if you looked at the top of the page before you started reading), then you know that awesome parenting is not what I do. And if you’ve hung around, then you probably have an inkling that you don’t always do it either. What you don’t know is, how much of a not awesome parent you are.

Until now, anyway.

Because now, in just a few minutes, you can discover whether you have what it takes to be inducted into the cult of Not Awesome Parents. I know, an exciting moment, right?

Where are you going wrong? What are you kicking ass at? And do you know your t shirt is inside out?

Read on to find out. (Apart from the last one. You’re just going to have to check that one out for yourself.)

Disclaimer – Do NOT mark your answers with a pen. We’re not in the 90s any more, folks. If you damage your screen, you’re on your own.

1. You realise that your precious baby, who is cradled in your arms, has just unleashed several putrid Golgothans into his nappy. Do you:

a) Retire immediately to the changing table in the (decorated) nursery and clean the baby’s bottom lovingly with cottonwool and water;

b) Plop him on a secondhand plastic changing mat on the floor of the living room and reach for the packet of baby wipes;

c) Waft him in the general direction of his other parent and feign an urgent need to use the facilities yourself?

2. Your toddler is mid-apple when she drops it on the floor. Do you:

a) Throw it in the bin right away and replace it with a new one;

b) Give it a quick rinse under the tap and hand it back;

c) Blow on it and return it to her without looking too closely?

3.  Your child has fallen over while running around at the park. Do you:

a) Wrap him up in a big cuddle and empathise with his distress before cleaning the wounds and applying a colourful plaster;

b) Give him a quick kiss better and send him on his way;

c) Attempting comforting cuddle, aim badly and instead stab him in the ear with your fingernail? (Bonus points if you then engage in a bout of high-pitched, nervous laughter.)

4. Your toddler is throwing an epic, unrelenting tantrum in the middle of the floor at home. Do you:

a) Get down on her level and talk it out;

b) Step over her and enjoy the scant few minutes that she doesn’t want to be right in your face;

c) Laugh your fucking ass off because angry toddlers are hee-larious?

5. Your child is getting dressed to go out. Do you:

a) Encourage him to do as much as he can by himself before helping him with the rest and giving praise for his efforts;

b) Lay out the clothes and set a timer to motivate him to get dressed quickly;

c) Threaten to take him outside in bare feet and actually open the front door?

Let’s take a quick break. How are you doing so far? Are you berating yourself yet? Or maybe you’re giving your ‘Awesomest Parent In The World’ crown a bit of a polish?

*So* freaking winning.

*So* freaking winning.

Personally, I’m just picking the answers that make me look good.

What, you mean you were telling the truth? That’s not how quizzes work, folks.

Anyway, onward we go!

6. Your child sits down in the middle of the pavement and refuses to move. Do you:

a) Offer to carry her the rest of the way;

b) Strap her into the pushchair that you remembered to bring along;

c) Start walking away in the hope that her survival instinct will kick in and she will run after you?

7. Your child draws on his face with a permanent marker. Do you:

a) Look up the top tip for removal you pinned on Pinterest and apply it with great success;

b) Scrub the marks with a baby wipe and hope for the best;

c) Shrug and think, It’ll fade eventually. Besides, he makes a damn cute cat?

8. Your baby begins to scream for milk right in the middle of the supermarket shop. Do you:

a) Feed her whilst simultaneously steering a heavy trolley (oooh, get you!);

b) Find a comfortable place to sit and feed her as soon as you can;

c) Rush around grabbing the rest of the shopping, red-faced and close to tears, before feeding her in a bus stop on the main road (this was not me*)?

9. Your child asks to watch some TV. Do you:

a) What? You don’t have a TV!

b) Do a mental check of his screen time allowance to see if he has any time left over;

c) <push button>?

10. Your child picks the longest book in the history of the world to read for a bedtime story. Do you:

a) Read the whole thing. With voices;

b) Skip a couple of pages and hope she doesn’t notice;

c) Spend ages negotiating for a shorter book, before realising it would have been quicker to read the fucking long one in the first place?

Are you done? Awesome. Ok, make a note of the most frequent answer you circled (in your head because you did not write on your screen).

Got it? Then scroll on down to the results!

If you circled mostly As – What the fuck are you doing here? This blog is for parents who spend most of their time getting it wrong. Stop making us look bad!

(Seriously though, good job.)

If you circled mostly Bs – I guess you’re doing ok. I mean sure, there’s room for improvement, but there’s also a whole other level you could sink to. If you fancy it.

Or not, as the case may be.

If you circled mostly Cs – Are you me? Congratulations, you’re about as awesome at parenting as I am. Which is not much, didn’t you read the name of the blog?

Hmm, maybe I should have written ‘commiserations.’

So tell me (if you’re not rapidly clicking the cross whilst feeling intense shame), how did you measure up?



*Ok, it was me.