Dot writes: this could be a series: the things I’ve learnt about how to take short cuts and generally be a parenting slob. And I’m sure there’ll be many more in the years to come. Off the top of my head:
1. Carry chocolate for bribery purposes if a storm is likely e.g. to get a toddler out of the soft play centre and into the car. (Actually I find a cereal bar is usually enough. Lots of them have chocolate on, and it takes a toddler a little time to find out which kind you’ve given them.)
2. The long-sleeved top s/he was wearing during the day, if not too soaked with juice, does fine as a pyjama top.
3. For the toddler who won’t lie down for a nappy change, nappy-pants are great, especially if s/he can be distracted with a toy or book or locker-door to bang while you do the change (this seems obvious now but I was very grateful to my friend Sarah when she gave me this tip about fourteen months ago).
4. However, if you are changing your toddler in a standing position, slipping the nappy-pants over one foot at a time, do try not to jerk his weight-bearing leg into the air and throw him to the floor. I speak from experience.
5. Only iron when the clothes are so crumpled they’ve gone down a size.
6. I know there’s some reason I wasn’t supposed to do this (and if you try it and your child turns purple don’t sue me don’t sue me don’t sue me) but I’ve found yoghurt makes a brilliant weaning food.
7. Try commercial baby food in jars first. It’s blander and babies like it. Then you can make your Annabel Karmel deluxe home-mashed apple and lichee and store it in the left-over jars.
Any more ideas?