Awards season has a very serious tone to it this year, and all for the right reasons. But while Nursery Whines fully supports the #TimesUp movement, there is no harm in a little light relief
And so we come to the Toddler Oscars. These little divas put their heart and soul into providing attention-grabbing performances in every aspect of their lives. Eating, sleeping, being – life is one big show for a toddler, and all eyes must be on them.
If trophies were handed out for these daily displays of drama and entertainment, these are the categories which should be most recognised.
Award for the Best Excuse to Delay Bedtime
The creativity, the initiative and the game-planning that goes into trying to stay up is a Toddler art form in itself. Asking for the longest book they own, wanting that special toy they have surely pre-emptively hidden somewhere, needing a drink, seeing monsters in the shadows and appealing for just one last cuddle… The toddler bedtime routine is the equivalent of the gushing Oscars speech that rambles on far too long. If only we could just cue the orchestra and cut them off.
Award for the Most Dragged-Out Meal
It’s a wonder that these creatures with so little patience for anything else are able to sit defiantly at the table for eternity, while they refuse to eat one tiny crumb of vegetable in exchange for a bribe of some unhealthy follow-up treat. On second thoughts it is not the Toddlers who deserve recognition here, but the parents who must endure these sit-ins with them, summoning all their strength not to give up and let them win.
Award for the Biggest Mess
Able to turn a reasonably organised space into absolute chaos and destruction within a few minutes of distraction, the Toddler’s achievements in this field cannot be ignored. The turned-out handbag, the far-flung bowl of soup which splattered the ceiling, the unattended make-up that now decorates the bedroom walls or the toys scattered into every conceivable corner and crevice – which display of destruction will take home the trophy at this year’s ceremony?
Award for the Best Pee
There can surely be no audience more adoring and rapturous than that of the toilet-training parent when their child manages to pee in the right place for the first time. From then on praise must be heaped on the potty pupil in order to encourage them to keep up their new-found skill. Parents must pretend to be delighted by every bowel movement that appears in the potty. Just like the short-listed star who has lost out to their rival when the camera cuts to their close-up – cue grins through gritted teeth and overly-enthusiastic applause.
Award for the Most Impactive Public Scream
The shriek that can pierce a bustling supermarket, a crowded playground, a packed train, the sound barrier… the screech of a Toddler in protest. It has the power to reduce the strongest of parent to a gibbering wreck, submitting to all demands as they desperately drag them away from the scene of the crime, shaking with embarrassment. The memory of those moments linger on for at least a year. No show-reel reminders required.
Award for the Best Tantrum
An area of Toddler talent that is always in the spotlight, it cannot be overlooked. However, whittling down an annual shortlist for this category – for one Toddler alone – would be almost impossible. Not to mention the ensuing tantrums from the nominees who miss out on the gong. Perhaps this is an award for which every Toddler is a winner.
Award for Best Performance In A Supporting Role
Let us not forget the little people. This award acknowledges the parents. Our lead stars may not remember to say thank you very often, but we still deserve a pat on the back and a night out partying once a year.
Special Lifetime Achievement Award for Sleeping All Night And Lying In
The most important gong of the night. The one which causes the whole audience to rise in standing ovation, whooping and cheering in celebration. Remaining in their own bed and then allowing the household to all enjoy a little extra languish beneath the duvet on a weekend morning. That is an achievement worth commemorating.