I'm very excited to bring you the latest installment in our 'A Day in the Life of a Toddler' series. This week we are meeting Rachel from Toilets aren't for Turtles, who has gone to a lot of effort to share here days with us. I can't thank Rachel enough for the detail that she has included in this post, and I'm sure you'll all find this as helpful as I have.
If you missed the previous post in this series you can find it here.
A day in the life of a toddler
Well, in this case, a day in the life of TWO toddlers, with Mumma McD and the little McD’s – Toilets aren’t for Turtles.
This is us 🙂
Mumma McD, Little Miss 3.5*, and the Stuntman who has just turned 2.
* I’m not sure if Little Miss is ‘technically’ still a toddler, or if she’s now considered a pre-schooler. She tells me she’s a ‘big girl’, whatever that means.
I work 3 days a week, and on those days Little Miss and the Stuntman go to day care. They love it, and they really appreciate the structured activities, arts and crafts and extra-curricular things like yoga and music classes.
On the days we are home together, we tend to keep things a little more free-flowing, and play it by ear.
Our day usually starts early, and starts loud. If we’re not awake by 6am then something is wrong! Or else it just means we had a really rough night with more wake ups than usual.
The Stuntman is the first to wake, and lets us all know he’s up with a delightful morning song, that sounds uncannily like a cat being strangled. Usually interjected with shouts of “poo mummy, dunna pooooooo!!!”, followed by more ‘singing’. A charming way for us all to wake up ;).
Mr McD and I have a quick rock, paper scissors battle over whose turn it is to get him up, then whoever the lucky winner is gets to wrestle him into a clean nappy.
Little Miss is a typical Threenager, in that she needs to be poked and prodded several times before she can be roused from her beauty sleep, and it then takes a cup of milk and at least one episode of Ben and Holly before she’s willing to talk to anyone, or even look us in the eye.
After a quick (and messy) breakfast, we all get dressed and head to the gym, where the kids play in the crèche for an hour or so, and mumma has a work out (and a long, hot shower!). The gym crèche is staffed by lovely girls who play games, read stories and blow bubbles to the kids’ hearts’ content.
After the gym we stop off at our favourite café, for a round of babycinos (on Oat milk for the Stuntman), and an almond milk coffee for mum. Our café also makes delicious bliss balls which we can all eat (the Stuntman and I are dairy free), and the lovely owners don’t care how much mess we make. Which is good, because we make a lot!
From the café we head to the park for a play, stopping at the sushi shop on the way to pick up some lunch. After a few swings and roundabouts we sit down for our sushi picnic in the park, and fight over who gets to eat the last piece of salmon aburi.
Around 1pm I pry them both off the play equipment and coax them back into the car. Little Miss usually complies, but the Stuntman has to be wrestled into his car seat, where he performs the ‘plank’ move with the practiced moves of a pro. Once I finally get him strapped in (including the extra ‘Houdini strap’ to make sure he stays strapped in), we drive the 10 minutes home with the music blaring and all windows open to try and prevent him from falling asleep. There’s nothing worse than trying to transfer a sleeping toddler from the car into bed!
When we get home I set Little Miss up with some paper and colouring pencils, and take the Stuntman to bed.
After a nappy change and a quick breastfeed he’s usually pretty willing to get into bed, with a sweet “night night mumma”, before rolling over and going off to sleep.
While the Stuntman has his nap, Little Miss and I have some quality one-on-one time. We might do some colouring or painting, or play one of the special ‘grown up girl’ games on the iPad that her little brother isn’t allowed to play. She’s really loving the Crayola digital apps at the moment, where you can make amazing sparkly or 3D artworks using the special tools. Often we’ll have a manicure session, giving ourselves matching toes. Her choice of colour!
Sometimes she’ll tell me a story and I’ll write it down for her – one of our favourite ones lately is about a monkey who climbs trees and eats dogs (yes, eats them!), and helps her to clean her room. It’s quite brilliant.
Two hours go by very quickly and it’s time for the little bro to wake up. He usually wakes up pretty happy and ready to get straight back into playing. The two kids play together well most of the time (these days), and will often have tea parties, or play ‘school’, where Little Miss is the teacher and the Stuntman sits on a chair waiting for her to tell him what to do.
Another favourite game is where the Stuntman pretends to be a dog, and Little Miss makes him perform commands, like ‘sit’ and ‘rollover’. This is not one of my favourite games! But I saw another set of sibs playing this same game in Aldi the other day, so didn’t feel quite so bad. When she starts tying a collar around his neck I intervene ;).
They also really love painting, so we do this outside on the deck where everything can just get hosed down.
Other afternoon activities can include PlayDoh, having a dance-off, or baking some cookies or cupcakes.
For afternoon tea we might have some popcorn on the deck, a green smoothie, or a few bits of fruit.
I like to keep them running around as much as possible in the afternoons to tire them out for bed later on! They play on the trampoline, run laps around the backyard, and have races on their bikes and scooters, until it gets too dark to be outside.
Mr McD gets home around 5:30pm, and the kids enjoy some raucous play with him while I finish getting dinner ready.
Dinner is a family affair, and the whole family eats together. Although when I say ‘eats together’ I generally mean the whole family sits at the table together, and a wide variety of food gets pushed around plates. Little Miss is a fanatical proponent of the White Food Only diet, and subsists mainly on plain pasta, bread and chicken. Thank goodness for the green smoothies I sneak in during the day. The Stuntman is a lot more adventuress, but due to food intolerances is restricted in what he can eat.
After dinner it’s time for baths to wash off the grime of the day, then cups of milk (Oat milk for the Stuntman) and an episode of Ben and Holly, cuddling on the couch with mum and dad.
7pm is time for bed, although this sometimes creeps out to 7:30pm if dinner has been a bit hectic. After everyone brushes their teeth and goes to the toilet, Little Miss gets three stories from mum, and the Stuntman gets one or two books and a song from dad.
Some of our other favourite things to do:
- Tending to our veggie patch
- Playing football (soccer) in the backyard
- Going on ‘adventures’ (i.e. walks around the block) and collecting ‘treasure’ (i.e. sticks, stones, flowers)
- Playing dress-ups
- Taking our scooters and trikes to the skate park
- Going to the beach and collecting shells and dipping our toes in the water
- Visiting friends or having friends come over to play
- Going to the sushi train for lunch.
About Mumma McD
Rachel McDougall is a working mum of two cheeky kids blogging from the ‘burbs in Sydney, Australia. She’s a dairy free coffee addict who appreciates red wine, bad language and inappropriate jokes.
Rachel blogs as Mumma McD over at Toilets aren’t for Turtles about living dairy free, extended breastfeeding, trying to find that elusive work/life balance, and the general absurdity of raising toddlers.