How to leave the house with a toddler...

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When you absolutely have to get out of the house with your toddler. Simplified to nineteen easy steps. 

1. Tell you toddler what you need to do. 'Hey buddy, we have to drop this parcel off at the post office and then we can go to the park.' Toddler wanders off to look at fluff.

2. Figure that's not important and get everything set up so you can leave the house. Toddler walks in while you are packing the snack. 'I don't want oranges I want fruit!' Um.... okay orange is fruit. 'NOOOOOOOO! FRUIT I WANT FRUIT!' Start pulling different fruits from the fridge, Banana? 'NOOOOOO - FRUIT!' Apple? Toddler is now a sobbing mess on the floor 'FRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUIT! FRUUUUUUUUUUUUUIT!. Pack every single type of fruit into the snack bag. 

3. Get down on toddlers level. I can see you are upset right now about the fruit. Would you like a cuddle to help with your big feelings? 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! FRUIT!' crawls into your lap 'Mama I want a cuddle'. Sit on the floor for five to ten minutes calming toddler down. Move only when you are either sure toddler is calm or your bladder will explode if not attended to. 

4. Ask toddler to put shoes on while you go to the bathroom. Go to the bathroom. Hear crashing, stomping, general alarming noise. Decide it is probably okay because you are actually peeing by yourself. 

5. Come out of the bathroom to find your toddler (who to this point has shown no interest or ability in dressing) has stripped naked and is making snow angels in a pile of Duplo. What the actual firetruck? 

6. Attempt to re-dress toddler only find the outfit previously worn is unacceptable. Take the toddler to their room and get them to choose new clothes. Toddler chooses Mama's t-shirt and a g'string as a hat... That's probably okay if you just tie up the t-shirt a bit and insist on an actual hat over the g-string. Almost ready to go! 

7. Tell toddler it is time to get on their shoes. Direct them to the shoes get them to pick a pair. Watch them walk off the the furthest possible point away from you. 'Mama can you help me?' Are you firetrucking kidding me! Actually, whatever this is quicker. Go to them and help them put on shoes. 

8. Go back to the kitchen and grab snack - actually never mind. The toddler has taken every piece of fruit out of the snack bag and had one bite out of it. How long was I in the toilet anyway? Grab water bottle and emergency snack of chips and head out the door. 

9. 'Mama I don't like these clothes, they are too big.' Through gritted teeth tell your baby that's okay sweetie and dress them in their original outfit for the day. In the process lose their shoes.

10. Ask them to choose another pair of shoes. 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I WANT CROCS!' Bribe them with lollies to choose another pair of shoes. It works. They put on another pair and happily eat a jelly baby.

11. Leave the house.

12. Realise sometime between the jelly baby and door the news shoes have been removed and are also lost. Put down all the things. Go on a shoe hunt. Find one of each pair. Stuff the shoes into the bags and resolve to put them on at the destination so the toddler can't argue about them.

13. Pick up most of the things you left on the ground near the door. Pick up toddler. Get toddler in their car seat.

14. 'Mama I am hungry'. Throw opened chips packet at toddler and get into the car as soon as possible.

15. Revel in the peace and quiet as the toddler munches away on something that has less nutritional value than the Mr Potato Head he was eating that morning.

16. Get to post office look through the carnage you managed to remove from the house and realise the actual parcel is not there.

17. Sob silently to yourself as you drive to the park.

18. Get to the park and come up with an amazing business idea to install wine vending machines in public parks.

19. Repeat steps 1 through 14 again that afternoon but really try to remember the parcel.