47 steps to getting out of the house with a toddler

You used to just grab your keys, bag, coat and go, right? Ah, those days are LONG gone...


Leaving the house in the morning – such a simple action which, before the kids came along, you didn’t really have to think about. You just kind of – did it. Now – oh the things we have to do before we can even make it out the door. Sound familiar?


1. Decide to leave in the first place. Decision made as it’s – woo hoo! – sunny. Oh no, now it’s raining… and you actually only need some carrots. No matter. You’re going and that’s that.

2. Persuade your toddler it’s time to get dressed and get out.

3. Let them choose outfit.

4. Realise letting them choose outfit was a Big Mistake. It’s like the North Pole out and raining cats and dogs but they insist on wearing their favourite superhero costume, which is not built for outside or having anything warm slipped on top.


5. Raid drawers for suitable clothes for toddler.

6. Start to suggest another outfit. See the face. Decide it’s actually easier to struggle with squeezing on some extra layers.  

7. Look for re-usable shopping bag. No way you’re paying 5p for another.

8. Find one but spot something in the bottom.

9. Realise it’s some old satsuma peel from about three weeks ago.

10. Scoop it out and disinfect your hands. YUK!

11. Notice your toddler has taken off all the layers you put on.

12. Struggle to put them on again.

13. Tell them not to taken them off again. Watch as they have 7-minute meltdown.


14. Repeat about 43 times before you leave.

15. Make shopping list. This is your ONE chance to get the stuff you need for today.

16. Add choccy bar to list.

15. Cross out.

17. Add back in again. Best to have in case of emergency.

18. Realise you are not dressed yourself.

19. Go to get dressed when you spot that your darling offspring is drawing on their face (or worse still, their brother’s) with permanent marker.

20. Dash to stop them and vow to put markers in bin AT ONCE. But for now just pop them on the table…(you’ll regret that later).


21. Glance in mirror and wonder if you can really face going out with your hair like that.

22. Dash upstairs and grab the first clothes you find on the end of the bed.

23. Start brushing hair then give up.

24. Figure you look fine.

25. Go downstairs and realise your child’s swapped drawing on their face for dressing the cat up in a dish cloth.

26. Turn CBeebies off. This is the first sign you’re serious about actually LEAVING very soon.

27. Look for purse and keys.

28. Where are keys?

29. Ask toddler where are keys?

30. Deduce from sideways glance that keys are somewhere they shouldn’t be.


31. Follow toddler’s feeble pointy finger to the fridge.

32. Open door and scout for keys.

33. Note that margarine lid is slightly off.

34. Inspect margarine closer. 

35. Spot keys lodged in margarine block.

36. Give keys a triple wash before that greasy feeling fades.

37. Ask toddler politely not to take keys again.

38. Watch in despair as toddler picks nose and looks unconvinced by your pleas.

39. Figure if you don’t go now you never will.

40. Look for child’s shoes.

41. Find one but not the other.

42. Search for what seems like an eternity finding second shoe under sofa with a ball of play dough wedged in it.

43. Get shoes and coat and toddler.

44. Get shoes and coat on yourself.

45. Get child, grab bag and open door.

46. Close door with a fairly happy child who’s more than ready for a walk to the shops – woo hoo you made it!

47. Realise when you’re half way down the road that you’ve still got your slippers on. Yep, it’s going to be one of those days…


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