Things we don’t think toddlers know. But they do.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But here’s what I think these wily little people don’t want us to know they know.

  • That you do have to wear shoes, they know and they exploit this for hours of running round while you trail after them brandishing said shoes. They are not idiots, they know they’ll get cold/ wet feet.
  • That hitting the buttons on the washing machine/dishwasher etc does actually f*ck up the washing. Of course they know this. Sitting back and watching you scream is all part of their cunning plan.
  • That other children will eventually give their toys back. They just like to make sure you’re on edge during any kind play date.
  • When they repeatedly scream ‘mummy’ from the top of the stairs you will; A. eventually go upstairs and; B. attend to their every whim, be it a drink, story…you get the point.
  • That relentless twizzling will lead to a fall. But hey, it’s funny and it just means they can make you kiss whichever part of their body has been banged.
  • That food is the best bargaining tool they have. Inside they are laughing at our pathetic attempts to get them to eat random adult stuff. Maybe they’ll humour us, maybe not. This mental stronghold is their ultimate victory.
  • Teeth cleaning is not about clean teeth, it’s about signalling the start of bedtime. Or, in the morning it signals time to wear clothes – neither is an acceptable toddler pastime.
  • That lying on the floor in Sainsburys screaming and crying because you can’t have a can of deodorant/ Sharon fruit/tin of salmon will usually lead to a bag of chocolate buttons while sitting in the trolley lording it over quivering parents who have, quite possibly, also put a Sharon fruit in the trolley. Something you will, of course, refuse to eat once home.
  • That conversations about pooh and trumpsĀ are funny – no matter how hard you try to be the adult. Bottom stuff is just comical and toddlers know this – deal with it.

Don’t be fooled by the angelic small person standing before you. Be warned parents, these little people know and they are not afraid to use it.

*This post is based on qualitative research using several hours observing toddlers in their natural habitat. (Except the supermarket one which I read about on a desperate ‘parenting forum’ in the early hours of the morningĀ and to which I added dramatic licence).

Brilliant blog posts on

8 thoughts on “Things we don’t think toddlers know. But they do.

  1. Love this. You can just tell from the way my toddler looks at you that she usually knows EXACTLY what she’s doing! Lately she’s perfected an over-dramatic, throwing her head back, open-mouthed cry. It’s amazing how quick she can turn on/off the waterworks.

  2. haha. Utterly brilliant (fits you linked)-made me lol about tears in Sains over sharon fruit and pooh and trump stories will be funny FOREVER! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

Leave a Reply