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Baby Matters

A Chat with The Honest Toddler

April 25th, 2014

By Nicola Doherty

One day in rural Quebec, as a way of comedic catharsis from her life with a spirited two year old, Bunmi Laditan started a twitter handle: @honesttoddler.

What started out as a way of using humour to keep her sane, landed writer and mother of three, Bunmi  Laditan, her dream job as a freelance writer, a book deal, and opportunity to work with Darren Star, producer of Sex and The City, to turn “The Honest Toddler” into a TV show.

What was is about her two year old that spurred Bunmi to create the @honesttoddler? Firstly, her first child was one of those babies I’ve only dreamt of. Quiet, sleepy and ate like babies were supposed to. The score was evened (in my mind) when her second child, a baby girl, was born and became a wild, crazy defiant toddler. On one of those oh to familiar days with a wild and crazy toddler, Bunmi said she had a choice,  to laugh or to cry.  She wondered what on earth was going on inside her two years head as the spirited toddler stood there with a “bring it” look on her face.

 Thus The Honest Toddler was born.

 In the two short years since the twitter account @HonestToddler was created, the “HT” has become the unofficial voice of toddlers around the world in an effort to help parents be better (more skittles, less newborn siblings). Despite being unusually articulate for a toddler, “HT” gives readers brilliant insight on life, being in a car seat and deep seeded unadulterated joy from a toddlers point of view.

 I had the opportunity to gain some insight from The Honest Toddler at March's Nest in the City event.  I was able to ask some questions, from a parents point of view on some of the hottest topics for tired, exasperated, and frustrated parents of toddlers want to know.

What is it about being in the car that you find so awful?

Two Things:

  1. We’re not going somewhere fun. Mummy running errands doesn’t mean that there’s any running. Errands need to be discouraged.

  2. Being strapped into the car. I want to be free, not constrained like an animal.

When someone is driving they can’t reach over and get that one cheerio or toy on the floor. Toddlers understand that right?  Mom/dad generally tell their toddlers  they’re  driving and can’t reach it because it's unsafe. Thoughts?

If you can believe it you can achieve it.

Why do you like food one day and the next hate it?

The look on your face. Rejection, disappointment and exasperation entertains on a deep level.

When toddlers are clearly tired, wouldn’t it make sense to just go to bed? Why fight it?

No, you don’t get it. I’m not tired, I just want to play. I’m offended you think you know me better than I know myself.

The word “no” doesn’t compute when parents say it, but toddlers clearly have a deep understanding of the word as they use it a lot.

“No” is a word that goes out, and not in. It’s not meant to be absorbed by toddler ears.

I wanted to commend you on your “going limp” strategy  (like you have no bones). It’s very effective.

Scientific proof, “boneless” increases toddlers weight by 48 per cent.

What does “birth order” mean to you?

Everything. Infant sibling disease is the worst.

Do you have thoughts on aging?

It’s a good thing. Cake is a good thing. Listen, life is what it is. More hugs.

Why do you wipe your nose/face/hands on clothes? Clothes are not tissues.

What? They are tissues.  You’re sending me mixed messages! Why wear such soft clothes?

Why can’t parents go to the bathroom for 5 minutes in peace?

Buddy system is a proven technique, why wouldn’t you roll with that?

Can you explain to me how it’s possible toddlers and preschoolers can hear a candy bar open in secret across the house, yet toddlers can’t respond when their parents are 3 inches away?

Easy, it’s a toddler survival technique. Also, your voice is so shrill. The reception is  in and out and hard to get a clear signal.

Is there a Toddler Association? Do they give you a quota on saying “mom mom mom mom mom mom mom”  in a single day?

Yes, to both. There is an association and a quota. The quota is a standard 4,500 “moms” a day, and anything over that we’re paid in floor food skittles.

Why do you think parents try and catch puke?

I see it as an homage or an offering of love.

Why do toddlers and actually preschoolers, wait until the last minute to go pee?

We try to build suspense in our life like an action movie! “Will they make it?” stay tuned to see!

What is with the toddler's need to keep every single piece of paper and treat it as though it’s scared.

Please, have you seen how many receipts are in your purse? I’m reflecting that question back to you.

Did you know there are kids out there that willingly eat all fruits and veggies?

No and you can’t prove it.


You can catch the ”The Honest  Toddler” being honest and telling it like it is on twitter (@honesttoddler)


Official Website

The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting,” was released in May 2013 by Simon and Schuster’s Scribner

Tags: Babies, Humour

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