Mariah Carey is rumoured to not speak to anyone for two days before a concert and has a personal chauffeur for her Jack Russell. But I bet Mariah has never lobbed broccoli in someone’s face whilst trying to bite them. Or thrown herself on the floor whilst shrieking at a pitch only Alsatians can hear (actually she probably has done that.) She might be one of the world’s most infamous divas but she has nothing on the average toddler. It strikes me that babies only continue to get more diva-ish with every milestone until they reach the peak that is TODDER-DIVA.
For us this delightful phase is currently exacerbated by what I like to call “the nursery comedown”. Bella will not sleep for more than an hour there, for fear of missing out on hilarious sandpit japes. So by Friday she has the toddler equivalent of an epic hangover and we spend the weekend with a cross between Naomi Campbell and Bez (you know, all rheumy eyed, shouty and suffers NO fool). We as her parents are basically her entourage, there to indulge her every whim or risk being fired for sheer incompetence. So here are our current top toddler-diva behaviours:
1. The outstretched arm of demand. Bella will thrust out her arm, hand clutching at the empty air, accompanied with high pitched panting. She wants SOMETHING, but can she tell you what it is? No. Can you guess what it is? No. So we proffer plastic items ad infinitum, only for each one to be tossed away with complete disdain.
2. Pram Rage. Bella is going through a phase where she WILL.NOT.BE.CONSTRAINED. It happened just before she crawled, and now, just as she almost walks, here it is again. Any journey longer than fifteen minutes in the pram rapidly descends into anarchy. I end up frantically pushing a puce, wailing beast as fast as I can to my destination, sweat pouring down my brow, salt stinging my eyes, whilst the streets of Tooting stare on, wondering what could possibly have upset the squalling child so much. Indeed.
3. Carrier Rage. As above but with the carrier. This time you are even closer to the action, as the angry custard strapped to your front tries to dismount in a frenzy.
4. BLOCK.WILL.NOT.GO.IN.THE.HOLE. Cause for said block to be lobbed across room accompanied by wails of frustration. Bella has little patience for toys that do not immediately succumb to her will.
5. Everything is a toy. In the world of the toddler diva, everything is a toy, and shall be treated as such. From the cat’s tail, to the plug sockets, to phone chargers, to the bleach cupboard, to the box where wires go to die, these are all fair game. Or else.
6. Let’s talk about walking. Or not, as the case may be. Bella wants to toddle, but will only do so holding my hand. So it is clearly my job as chief lacky to walk up and down the flat/street/café/market (delete as appropriate) until she tires of such high jinks.
7. All of the attention, all of the time. If I am in the room I must give my 100% undivided to Bella. And woe betide if I LEAVE the room to do something unthinkable like PEE BY MYSELF.
8. Nappy Rage. Clearly one cannot expect the toddler diva to sit in their own shit, but the sheer degradation of a nappy change unleashes a whole new level of IMPOTENT rage, which comes complete with bucking bronco.