The Honest Toddler: The Mom Behind the Sensation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby emily study “My mommy was on the phone answering questions about me today. I cried because I wasn’t the center of attention.”

While this may not be an actual tweet, it’s likely what the Honest Toddler was thinking when Nanny Magazine got the chance to interview Bunmi Laditan, the mom behind the sensation.

Laditan, who lives just outside Montreal, created the Honest Toddler after being inspired by her daughter Tali, who was 2½ at the time. Now, about a year and a half later, the Honest Toddler Twitter, Facebook, blog, and book portray the thoughts of a “perpetual two year old,” Laditan said.

As any parent or caretaker knows all too well, it can be exhausting raising kids, especially toddlers. But it was because of this exhaustion that Laditan came up with the idea to share with the world what she thought her toddler might be thinking.

“Tali was just having a week where she was really pushing the limits in every way, challenging everything. I was so exhausted. Finding yourself in arguments with a small child is always shocking,” Laditan said. “The Honest Toddler just came out of a moment of fatigue.”

Although the Honest Toddler is mirrored after 4-year-old Tali, Laditan also has two other young children, Maya who is 7 and Felix who is 6 months old.

“My 7 year old is quiet and introverted. She loves to read. But my 4 year old is kind of like a burst of lightning; she has a lot of opinions and shares them all loudly,” Laditan said. “I’m waiting to see what my 6 month old will act like. I feel like I deserve another quiet one,” she said, laughing.

Tali and Maya know about their mom’s tweeting and blogging and, Laditan said, both of the girls think the Honest Toddler is modeled after them.

“Maya thinks it’s really funny and interesting and cool that I wrote a book. I’m curious to see what they’ll think about it when they get older,” she said.

But as the kids get older, Laditan said she has no plans of having the Honest Toddler grow with them. The character hasn’t aged at all, but will always be stuck in the “terrible twos” phase. This age group, notorious for tantrums and causing trouble, is often challenging for anyone to handle, but Laditan said she’s learned to deal with kids’ bad behaviors (and shows it well with her humor).

“I just go to a happy place in my mind—there are a lot of blankets there,” she said. “The main thing I do is that I try not to respond negatively because it won’t help anything. I keep the mood upbeat. They love it when you get silly with them.”

And through the Honest Toddler social media, blog, and book, Laditan has found a way to help herself vent and give other caretakers a break from the tantrums.

“My goal is really every day to make people laugh. I like making myself laugh and parents laugh because it’s so difficult,” she said. “They’ve taken sleep from us, you’re exhausted, it’s frustrating, you’re just wondering when you’re going to feel like a normal person again. Just knowing that I’m helping parents and caretakers laugh through the hard times makes me happy.”