Monday, 11 August 2014

Ruling the New Roost

If a man's house is his castle, then what is it to a toddler? A play area? An open-all-hours restaurant? A place in which to emotionally manipulate grown-ups and terrorise siblings without the side-effect of causing public disarray?

So what happens then, when you take that house away and replace it with another one? Well, we've not even had three weeks in our new house and I can tell you that toddlers have absolutely no problem finding their feet in a new domain. In fact, they can quite possibly do it quicker than any other person in the household, regardless of age, gender or life experience on this planet.

Moving home is a breeze for toddlers

Little Tot informed me quite some time ago that he would be taking charge of things as soon as we moved. "In new house I have big room." He warned me over a slice of toast one morning. "I have it on my own. I have all of house. On my own."

I should have known there and then. But instead I smiled at him and, admittedly, was unwittingly drawn in by the curl of his eyelash, the curve of his rosy cheek (why do they have to make toddlers so damn cute?), "Really sweetheart? And what are you going to do in the new house. Play with all your lovely toys?"

"No." And then he actually tutted. "I boss. Boss of you and new house."

I didn't have a chance to reflect on the eeriness of this statement because Big Tot, who was also chomping toast, flung himself into a typically passionate rant against this notion. Then more toast was required and that was that. Little did I know that I was being warned of what was to come.

Now that I'm here and slowly unpacking boxes and drilling holes in walls (or patiently waiting for the hubby to drill holes in walls), I can appreciate Little Tot's ownership methods. And I'm certain, that if you spent just one hour in our home (totally ignoring his cuteness and inability to wield a biro correctly) you would be convinced that it was Little Tot's name on the rental agreement.

Let's take a look at his methods:

  • You cannot climb up the stairs before him. You must wait at the bottom until he has reached the top, at which point he will shout, "Ok, you can come up now!" 

  • You cannot climb down the stairs before him. You must wait at the top until he has reached the bottom, at which point he will shout, "Ok, you can come down now!" (NB: Our last house was a bungalow)
  • At mealtimes, everybody except Little Tot must stand around the table and wait until he decides where he will sit, and only then can everybody else choose their place. Placemats are a whole separate saga.
  • Upon leaving the house to go somewhere fun (like Ikea or, erm, well . . .  Ikea) we must all go through the front gate which is held open and then closed immediately again by Little Tot. This is not done in a gracious, gentlemanly way. It is more like herding sheep. Naughty sheep.
  • You must seem pleased when random children keep appearing in the house expecting to be fed, entertained etc. This is because Little Tot has thought it appropriate to yell over the front gate "Hey, neighbours! Do you want to come to my new house? Come on in!"
  • You must understand that lights can and will be switched on regardless of it being broad daylight outside because, of course, the zombies might come.

How does he even know what a zombie is?

Now that, my friends, is how to rule the roost.

It is a good thing, however, that I am the queen of rule-making and I have the trusty Cool Rule Book to fall back on. Honestly, when I first created it all those years ago, I had no idea how handy it would be during a house move. Result.

Although there may not be any specific rules detailing the repelling of zombies, there is plenty in there about caring for others, sensible mealtimes and listening to Mummy and Daddy. Consistency is key with toddlers but when you're moving house, it's hard to keep anything consistent because change is all around. The Cool Rule Book has really helped me to keep all those important elements of day-to-day life the same for Little Tot. And Big Tot too, because although he's six now, he still loves his Cool Rules.

You've gotta love it

So all that's left to do is give the hubby a Cool Rule Book with a nice big section on the drilling of holes in walls.

Go well,


To see the Cool Rule Book yourself, and the rest of Abi's fantastic range of positive parenting products, visit

And now we have a brilliant 'Tips' page on our website. New toddler parenting tips every month with an edge of humour and total realism!

You can also follow The Cool Rule Company on Twitter or Facebook and our newsletter is worth signing up to for brilliant offers and a bit of parenting magic each month.

No comments:

Post a Comment