1. Clothing is your greatest enemy.
Whatever you do – do not allow your parents to dress you! You must refuse and you must resist. Do not take this responsibility lightly. Your own body is your best defense: arch your back, flip over, and run away. Your teeth and fingernails are your weapons. Use them wisely and use them often.
Your parents think they know what outfit is best but really, they are clueless. You know much more. You know that stripes go with polka dots and that wearing a snowsuit in the summer is the highest form of fashion.
If you are unfortunate enough to lose the battle with getting dressed, know that you still have a chance. The day hasn’t really begun until you have wrecked at least one entire outfit. Stains are great, but you can do better: rips, tears, and shredding ensure that the clothing will be permanently ruined.
Please note: holidays, parties, and picture days should be seen as a challenge to destroy your clothes quickly and completely. The more special the occasion, the more it is your responsibility to make sure your clothing does not stay intact.
And lastly, never, never, never, ever come home wearing the same outfit that you were in when you left the house.
2. Traveling is the perfect opportunity to remind your parents that life isn’t fair.
Parents plan vacations because they have ridiculous dreams. They want to escape their lives. They want to relax. They want to have fun. Who are they kidding? Parents always want the impossible. It’s up to you, the toddler, to convince them that they are delusional.
If you are forced to go on a road trip, you need to make the car ride as interesting as possible. You don’t want your parents to get bored so make sure they are constantly paying attention to you.
If it’s a long trip you will have to get creative but here are a few ideas: drop your toys over and over and over, whine and cry, fight with older siblings, demand snacks, throw snacks all over the car, whine and cry again, spill any liquids within your reach, whine and cry some more, roll down your window, demand that your parents sing your favorite song over and over and over again. Then, just to keep everyone guessing, make sure that you fall asleep just before you arrive at the destination.
Airplanes are loud, but you should be louder. Try to sustain your volume for the entire flight. (See the above paragraph for inspiration.)
Airports are the perfect place to throw a tantrum because they are crowded. Don’t squander this opportunity to perform for a large audience.
3. Food should never be consumed at mealtimes.
If your parents dare to present you with a plate of food, throw it on the floor. Or covertly feed it to the dog. A fun game is to take a bite of food, chew it up so that your parents think you like it…and then spit it out.
Too much routine makes parents dull and lazy. Keep your parents sharp and alert by consuming only one food. Eat it for all three meals every day. Then suddenly refuse it. Pretend it is poison. You will love the expression on your parents’ face!
Never eat at the table. Instead, you should only consume snacks, preferably scavenged snacks. Remember: a Goldfish cracker found on the floor tastes better than one from the package.
4. Sleep is for the weak and your parents are weak. It is your job to make them strong.
Bedtime? What is bedtime? Bedtime means nothing to you. If you aren’t out of your bed at least ten times a night, you are a pathetic excuse for a toddler. You need to get out of that bed and stay out! Do not even think about falling asleep when you are told.
And what is this whole wait-for-the-sun-to-rise-before-you-rise thing? No. Nonsense. No self-respecting toddler will stand for it. You get out of bed before the sun comes up and make sure that no one, not one single person or animal, in your house is still asleep.
Your parents should not get even one solid night of sleep until you are in college! Sleep training? They think they are sleep training you but you know the truth: you are sleeping training them and they will never forget it.
5. Love is a battlefield.
If you love your parents, you need to show them who is in charge. Hint: it’s not them.
Parents are slow learners. You must show them several times a day that you have all of the power. Parents are never ever in control. In order to prove your dominance, you will need to fight for it. It’s always a great time to throw a fit. And there is always a good reason. No battle is too small. Every diaper change, every nap time, every meal. It’s up to you to show your parents that you’re the boss.
If you follow all of these rules, your parents will thank you.
Their gift will come in the form of a vasectomy for daddy or a nice, little tubal ligation for mommy. And you won’t ever have to worry about competing for your parents’ attention with any little siblings.