Family

Clarke Gayford experiences first hand the dangers of falling asleep while looking after a curious toddler

''I can only conclude that a tiger has nothing on the dangers of an unwatched toddler," he reveals.

By Karyn Henger
Caring for a curious toddler is no walk in the park, and if you fall asleep on the job it's at your peril – as Clarke Gayford found out this week.
The fiancé to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took to Twitter to share that, suffering from jet lag, he fell asleep on the lounge floor while looking after a far-from-tired 15-month-old Neve. A drastic parenting error, we acknowledge, but find us an exhausted parent who hasn't done this at some point in their caregiving career.
Clarke woke, choking on a large fridge magnet that he could only deduce Neve had placed in his mouth.
"Waking from a wee jet-lag snozz on the living room floor to find myself choking on a large fridge magnet that has been put in my clearly open pie-hole," Clarke revealed in his tweet.
"I can only conclude that a tiger has nothing on the dangers of an unwatched toddler."
Indeed.
We could share with you the story of an Auckland parent who had to re-carpet her entire house after falling asleep on toddler duty. The toddler in question turned on the bathroom taps, put the plug in the bathroom sink and walked away.
In a clear show of parenting in arms, other Twitter users took to Clarke's comments section to reveal their own tales.
Ange revealed that she woke to find her toddler trying to fit a piece of kindling into her baby's mouth.
Fat Koala said they emerged from the shower to discover their floors completely covered in rolled oats.
Watch: Jacinda Ardern reveals who Neve gets her strong will from. Article continues below.
Of course, there was the mandatory dad-shaming, too. We can only expect that, can't we.
"Well who was watching the baby while you slept?? Great parenting mate," said Dirk.
"It is an absolute dereliction of parental duty in caring for your child to go to sleep on the job unless they're safely asleep in their bed first. Shame on you. You're lucky it was only your life that was endangered. It's not as though you have to run the country as well," remarked a sniffy Kathryn.
But Ange takes the comments cake for her truly inspired suggestion: "Could you have not gotten your security detail to stealthily film the curious but not deadly toddler? Would have been scarier footage than the tiger in the dense bush."
That's an opportunity missed!
Of course, the great irony here is that three days prior Clarke actually did encounter a tiger. He revealed on Twitter on September 14 that the fishing trip he was on needed to be "cut short by a wild tiger growling on a river bank deep in a Malaysian jungle. @ Endau-Rompin National Park".
Which do you think is scarier?