Andrea Mara

Official website

If toddlers ruled the world

I asked my three-year-old recently how he would do things if he ruled the world. Because he can’t fully articulate this just yet, I observed him in everyday life and wrote it down for him – I think this is pretty much what he’d decree if he was in charge:

  1. Playtime at 5am is permitted seven days a week, and singing loudly is actively encouraged.
  2. Putting bits of dinner into your drink is a scientific experiment and is therefore educational.
  3. Pouring your drink into your dinner is artistic and therefore educational.
  4. Having a crayon in your hand is license to draw on the floor. Obviously.
  5. Wearing pyjamas outdoors and walking on wet grass in bare feet is perfectly fine – getting dressed is no longer mandatory.
  6. The request for a sandwich at bedtime in spite of leaving dinner uneaten must be honoured (after all, the dinner is wet – you poured your drink in it)
  7. Eating other people’s dinners is totally fine, and putting your hands into those dinners is a great idea – no, don’t feel you need to ask permission, just dig in.
  8. Using your hands instead of a paintbrush is a means of nurturing creativity, as is wiping them on the wall afterwards.
  9. Possession is nine-tenths of the law: all toys grabbed from siblings are now yours.
  10. In any adjudication of a fight with siblings, the defendant (you) will always be found not guilty. Because you’re small and cute and a little bit scary.
  11. Shouting is sanctioned under freedom of expression.
  12. If asked who put the toddler-sized painted hand-prints on the wall, plead the fifth.
  13. Grabbing sharp knives is legal, because “me need cut mine beans”
  14. Strapping yourself into your car-seat without help, no matter how long it takes, or how late your mum is, falls within your civil liberties.
  15. If grown-ups cut your toast when you don’t want them to cut your toast, you can punish them in any way you see fit. Make it tough – otherwise they will never learn.
  16. You have a licence to remain in the bath for as long as you like, even if a parent has emptied all the water and pleaded with you for twenty minutes.
  17. Keeping an illicit stash of soothers by your bedside is within your rights, no matter how often they try to wean you off them. Hold strong on this.
  18. Absconding at bedtime is just part of the routine – don’t let them pen you in before you’re good and ready.
  19. You have the right to remain silent. But really, why would you do that?
Office Mum - Toddler Ruler
I’m the king of the castle!


For some things to do with your baby before he or she becomes a marauding toddler, check out these ideas I put together for Mothers and Babies magazine with the Independent: Home Truths

Home Truths Mothers and Babies Andrea mara





Click the button below to sign up to my Penguin newsletter.