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So apparently Miss Olive is now 22 months old.

It has to be true, there was a very slick looking email with pictures and information that told me so. I was on the verge of deleting it because it scares me to think that she's nearly two ... TWO!! ... but I put on my big girl pants and opened the email under the misguided idea that it might be fun to see if she's on target to reach all her development milestones.

"By now your child will begin to set goals for himself. He'll have particular ideas about what he wants to do, like pushing his toy car down the path or fitting all the pieces of a puzzle together."

Firstly, Olive is not a “he”. If you have the computing ability to send me this “tailored” content then you also have the ability to get her gender correct. But since you bring up her goals yes, as a matter of fact, she does have some pretty ambitious goals. They mostly involve squawking like a parrot in a blender at every damn thing her siblings are using until they hand it over and seeing how many people she can make cry in a given day. 

"Does your child want to hug you one minute and push you away the next? Don't take her vacillating needs for closeness and self-assertion personally."

Oh I don’t. I'm fully aware that when Miss Olive gives me the side eye and then marches over to Keith for cuddles it is because she just wants me to know that she is displeased. Normally this comes hand in glove with a melodramatic sigh and a quick glance back to make sure I am watching the fact that she’s over there not giving me love.

"It's not long now until that birthday ... try working out what toys, equipment, and clothing you'll need for a two year old so you can let your friends and relatives know. If you're planning a party, involve your toddler in choosing who to invite and ask what sort of cake she would like, then she'll know what to expect on the day." 

Have my toddler help plan the party? Are you out of your fucking mind? Unless your idea of group fun is stripping down to your pants and drawing over yourself with felt tip before shovelling food into your face with your clenched fists I suggest Miss Olive is the last person on earth who should plan your good times. And also, she’s a third child, the concept of “need” went of the window about a child and a half ago. The only need we have as a family is the rental of a skip.

"Interruptions are a way for your child to ask for your attention. It's annoying – but effective! A toddler most often interrupts when her parents seem to disappear (in spirit if not in body) for long periods, such as during telephone conversations or computer sessions. Try to limit this kind of activity unless she's having a nap or deeply absorbed in play. When you're busy, stay in touch with her by ruffling her hair or looking over and smiling at her from time to time. Don't give in right away. It only teaches your child that interrupting is socially acceptable and effective." 

Ruffling her hair? Should I chuck her on the chin as well for good measure? Am I living in 1950s America and nobody told me? That’s not even the first problem I have with this entire crock of shit paragraph. 1. Don’t you dare try and guilt me for being on a phone call or online, besides anything else it makes exactly zero difference to whether children interrupt. 2. This is not a battle of wills for me to “give in” at an appropriate time. Olive is interrupting me because she is learning and practising a whole range of skills like conversation, cause and effect and speech and has not the first clue about the importance of my Facebook status. Because I'm not a total asshat, I'm not going to punish her for not knowing the rules by ignoring her until I think she’s learned the error of her ways, I'm going to talk to her like the intelligent human she is and keep practising with her until she understands. 

"Don't expect perfect table manners at this point. Smelling it, handling it and smearing it are some of the ways your child gets acquainted with a new food"

Perfect table manners? Oh you are too precious! There are herds of prairie dogs who attach a felled beast with greater finesse than my offspring use to consume their food. And don’t tell me it gets better because despite that the five year old is the one who sets the table and lovingly places the cutlery alongside the perfectly aligned plate, he is the worst offender when it comes to eating by any means except the one that involves picking up a fork and knife. 

"Hand-washing is the number one way to protect your family from illnesses like colds and flu. You can cut down on germs around your home by giving your child his first lessons in this important skill. Put a step in front of the sink so he can reach the taps, and show him how to turn them on and off. Fine motor skills are still developing so he'll need your help and supervision for quite some time."

I have two words for you "hygiene hypothesis"  I am also starting to wonder if you have ever actually met a child. Are there 22 month old toddlers who will stand at a sink and wash their hands without requiring a full change of clothes for us both? It’s not help and supervision Miss Olive needs, it’s a scuba suit.

"Pee or wee or tinkle? Poo or number twos? Every family has its own lingo for potty training. As for what you call the body parts involved, some families introduce words such as "penis" and "vagina" from the beginning while others choose to wait."

Tinkle? What would possess anyone to say that? Do I pair that up with “foo-foo” and “bum-bum” or maybe I should just for the gold standard of Victorian sexual repression and use “unmentionables”. 

I … I just …. Go home parenting site, you’re drunk!

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