Toddler groups are not for the faint hearted.
But once you’ve found a good one, (mainly one with free biscuits and without any Judgey-Mc-Twatty-Mummy-Folk), all that’s really left to do is work on your ‘scarf-game’, pretend you know the words to all the nursery rhymes, and indulge in free food and ACTUAL HOT TEA.
OK. Getting you and your toddler there on-time and in a reasonable state without anyone’s actual bodily secretions on you, is always a tough task… but later on there’s wine for that. And here for anyone who frequently makes it to toddler group (with or without piss, poo or puke in their hair) are the types of small people you always seem to encounter there…
- THE SHIT – There’s always an angry feral child who runs free, snatching toys from babies and punching unsuspecting two year olds out of their path with a random broom they found abandoned in the corner. No-one’s really sure who he/she belongs to. Until the end that is, when an exhausted looking mother storms in just as they’re about to lynch an bewildered 8-month old to the back of a fisher-price digger, and hoofs them out of the class like a Wildling that’s escaped over the wall and needs to be taken home for a beating.
- THE BITER – Always the cute and unsuspecting ones… Easily found as their mum is the one who remains within 2-ft of them at all times. Looking pale every time they go near the gaggle of under-ones that’s formed near the Duplo, desperately trying to distract them away from other children with teeth-dulling snacks.
- THE CLINGER – Spends the entire session clung to their Mum’s neck like a limpit. Burrowing their head deep into her shoulder if anyone dare make eye contact. His mother looks like she hasn’t put them down since 2015. Or certainly since Brexit. They leave early. Her arm’s gone dead.
- THE REVERSE CLINGER – Clearly unhappy with the parents they were born to; this one spends the entire class sitting on other Mums’ and Dads’ laps, and at the end attempts to leave with an entirely new family…
- THE PRE-SCHOOLER – There’s always be a rogue 4-yr old who’s way too old for the class… They usually take it upon themselves to take some of the weaker-willed toddlers and form them into a rebel alliance. They use the slide as a strong hold and send out small splinter groups to steal biscuits from the snack table.
- THE NON-SHARER – This one will carefully collect all the toys they desire into a little pile in the corner and protect them on pain of death. Even their parent can’t get them to release their grip on the Crocodile Xylophone… probably best to just leave them to it…
- THE OVER-SHARER – When you’re a hugger, you’re a hugger… they mostly spend the hour kissing, hugging and licking everyone in sight. They’re surprisingly strong when you try to unweld them…
- THE REBEL – ‘Thanks for laying out all these wonderful toys and activities, but they look shit. I’ll be over here licking the fire extinguisher.’
- THE LEAKER – Always wees, poos, pukes or releases some kind of bodily fluid somewhere. Keep an eye on them. Especially if they enter the ball pit. And wiping the face of someone else’s child regardless of how much snot is pouring from them is generally frowned upon… just so you know…
- THE FLASHER – They just want to be naked and fiddle with themselves without judgement. I think we can respect that.
- THE SMILER – Just sits, smiles, plays happily, occasionally waves at Mummy as she relaxes at the side with her hot tea. (The bitch.) Yours has just finished licking the fire extinguisher and has headed to the ball pit to get naked and curl off a thunder turd… Oh well. Think it’s probably time we made a move… Yeah.