Is your toddler a con artist?

A toddler dressed as a snake oil salesman.

I always like to see the best in people. Particularly my kids. When they do something naughty, I try to look at things from their point of view. I’ve struggled with one member of the family recently though. The toddler. For, try as I might to give her the benefit of the doubt, I’m starting to believe she’s a con artist.

While she’s stopped short of trying to flog me a dodgy watch, there have been plenty of shenanigans lately. She certainly puts the scam in scamp. Here are a few of them.

Gimme five

This simple but effective hustle is one I’m sure many parents have fallen victim to. She walked up to me as I was checking the contents of my wallet, gave me a warm smile, held out a hand and said “five pounds?”

“Only if you help landscape the garden,” I replied, playing along with her apparently innocent game. “Okay, Daddy.” The money changed hands but did she help in the garden? No. She ran off and hid my fiver. Unbelievable.

No win, no fee

I recently caught her staging a tricycle accident in the kitchen. She actually turned the trike on its side before carefully sitting down, shuffling forward a little and lying on the floor. She stopped short of spinning an upturned wheel for dramatic effect, but this was a clear attempt to try and sue somebody.

It ultimately failed, of course. Thanks to the reflective surface of the fridge, I saw everything.

Feeling flush

Not all of her scams are motivated by money. Some involve sweets. At the moment, we’re trying to potty train her. She gets a chocolate button or two every time she uses either the potty or the loo.

She has since realised that, as there’s already water in the latter, it’s her word against ours as to whether she has, erm, delivered her side of the bargain. She’s not daft.

Cyber crime

The other day, I left the room for a matter of seconds and caught her typing something on my computer. She was unable to explain herself, so I’m making an assumption here.

She was obviously trying to send¬†me an email under a pseudonym with the intention of tricking me into publishing a link. It’s lucky I’m already wise to such sneaky SEO tricks!

Tea leaf

This final con is one of the worst. Particularly for English people. She loves hosting tea parties for her toys and any nearby family members.

Only yesterday, she offered me a cup of tea. “Lovely, yes please!” I responded. She handed me an empty cup. My own flesh and blood gave me pretend tea. Disgraceful.

I think this evidence is pretty compelling. Could your toddler be a con artist too?


  1. Pingback: What my toddler can teach me about complaining - Family life - Diary of the Dad

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