Toddler Tactics of Evasion


My militaristic-type friends (by which I mean veterans of our armed forces) have shared that the tactics needed for escape and evasion are known as “SURVIVAL.” And it appears my future paratroopers were born with Man vs. Wild style instincts inherently embedded in their tiny fighting spirits.

At their present age, such methods are generally invoked against bathtime (apparently germs are to two-year-olds as long luxurious hair was to Solomon’s power) or bedtime (because no toddler has ever admitted to being tired in the history of evolution – the first rule of toddler sleepy time; NEVER MENTION BEING SLEEPY).

S – Size up your situation. Don’t sugar coat it. 

Unless you can get your tiny hands on sugar – in which case consume your weight. Face the fact that mom and dad are bigger than you. They may be faster. But you are smaller – more flexible and able to squish into unreachable spots. And only you know the true background of wacky logic your toddler brain will process.

U – Use all your senses.

  • Sight: See what shenanigans your parents are trying to pull.
  • Sound: Scream like an amped-up banshee. Wail your desires until they are heeded or eardrums explode.
  • Smell: Poop. Trust us – it’ll be significantly distracting. And it’ll prolong the period prior to any unpleasantness you’re trying to avoid.
  • Touch: Grab. Throw. Flail.
  • Taste: If all of the above fails, make your desires known by taking a bite out of those standing in your way.

R – Remember where you are. 

Are you at home? Parents will react differently in the privacy of your home versus a public forum that they are desperately trying to escape. Your location will determine if you can wear down their will or you get scooped up and shuttled out into an ominous environment with no witnesses.

Do not fall into the trap of allowing adults to coerce and cajole you in a particular direction. Be aware of the specific path you are on lest you find yourself in the bedroom or bathroom.

V – Vanquish Fear and Panic 

Fear, panic, and anxiety will drain you of energy. Reaffirm your adorableness. Use the crocodile tears to your advantage. Know there will be nightlights and towels. Prepare. Plan. Pee on them.

I – Improvise and Improve 

Make an object do more than one job. Dinner? Fling it to the floor. The bathtub? Flood the floor! Take your lawn mower popper and forge a path through the living room wreckage.

V – Value Living 

Push boundaries. Discover life. See how far you can take it. Climb all the things. They’re called the Terrible Twos for a reason. Run with it. As fast as your diapered little legs can take you.

A – Act like the natives 

Appeal to grandparents. They once dealt with your tantruming parents. Use their expectations that you can do no wrong. Parrot your parents. Repeat what they say and roll your eyes right back at them. If you make them laugh at you – you win.

L – Live by your wits

And as a last resort – make them lose theirs.


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