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September 15, 2014

He's back! The Melbourne comedian/radio host has a toddler advice humour book out, and this time, it's packed with more tips on how to abuse your children.

Melbourne comedian, writer and radio host Steve Bedwell – besides choking on Legos as a kid – has written a new book, The Toddler Owner’s Manual. Interview, schminterview. I want to kidnap his toddler to promote my cookbooks. BY NICOLE RUSSIN

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Steve Bedwell makes his children laugh. They will grow out of finding his jokes funny around age 8.

Your book had a section on “waste disposal training.” Does a toddler’s wastetruly smell like a toxic waste dump? As a father, what do you do if you findyourself with a baby with a full diaper at the mall if you don’t have anyspares? How hazardous is it?

Of course, a toddler’s waste smells like toxic waste….just look at what they put into themselves. No wonder it comes in a multitude of colours and range of hideous stenches.

Diapers should as a rule only be handled whilst wearing fireproof gloves and picked up by kitchen tongs. If you find yourself in the mall without a spare diaper and a desperately requiring attention “code brown,” what you should do is head straight to Target. Go to the kids’ section and get three of their superb hard-wearing and super-absorbent children’s T-shirts. Size three should do it. Go to the changing room and remove the offending diaper and clean up with T-shirt number one,. Wrap T-shirt number one in T-shirt number two. After all, you are not an animal. Then, place the toddler’s legs through the armholes of T-shirt number three, dress the toddler and rust run and don’t look back!

What is the ideal water temperature for bathing a baby or toddler? Is itever OK to scald my toddler so I can go viral on YouTube? I need to promotemy cookbooks. Since I don’t have one, may I borrow your toddler?

Never ever put your child or toddler in water so hot or so cold that you wouldn’t dip your own testicles in it. Small children’s skin is scrotum-like in its sensitivity. Soon, you will get the hang of using your hands to test the temperature, but in the meantime, perhaps rig up some sort of sling over the bath to make lowering yourself in easier.

Although scalding a toddler, recording it and posting that on YouTube may gather a great number of hits, it will also gather a great deal of interest from the authorities. Good luck with the cookbook, but never cook a toddler like a lobster, and no, I don’t lend out the little one…..my wife won’t let me.

You wife may change her mind when I bribe her. Anyway…how should you encourage your child to walk? What if your child walks fasterthan you? Say, I have a cheetah-toddler test tube hybrid?

I honestly wouldn’t encourage any child to walk. My tip is to keep them immobile for as long as possible because the day that they are up and around, your life becomes a misery. It becomes a maelstrom of chasing and picking up, of pursuing and tracking down. It is hell. You can’t sit still because they can’t sit still, and if you’ve got a fast one, forget about it. Once they start to walk, they also become magicians. You put them down in one spot, and poof! They are gone like the wind. Discourage walking at all costs.

Is the term “choking hazard” overused in today’s society? I find it rather sexy. Sort of a thing Will Ferrell does with strangers he meets onCraigslist. And also with his Funny Or Die article writers.

“Choking hazard” is a warning that these days appears on everything from bath plugs to television sets. I have even seen puppies in a pet shop window labelled this way. When I was little, there was no such thing as a choking hazard. The way you found out was by actually choking…..thank you, Mr. Lego!

This is all a part of the softening of our youth. I want my toddler to be tough, so I pay no attention to warning labels or suggested ages on games. In fact, I look for toys with swallowable pieces. It’s the only way they learn!

As for the other choking hazard, it is a game that can be played with another or by yourself, but be careful…….just ask Michael Hutchence.

How is the initial stage of baby ownership like car ownership? If you travel abroad, do you also, like a car, have to be 25 or older to rent a toddler?

The initial stages of baby ownership is a lot like getting a new car. You are excited, they have a great smell, you’ve usually waited a long time to get it and you seem to be forever cleaning it. But only one of these things should be kept in the garage and sat in!

The renting of a toddler is now frowned upon in most western nations, although in some parts of the Middle East, you can still rent what is known as a “vacation” toddler…..the exact Arabic translation is a little misleading. And yes, you do have to be 25, and have a clean parenting record.

Let’s assume I lease a toddler at my local BMW dealership. How may I arrange a refund once the toddler ages?

To start with, toddlers don’t come from BMW. they come from MNHI (Mother Nature Heavy Industries), and MNHI have a strict no-refund policy since the great recall of ’83 where thousands of toddlers were recalled due to malfunctions in the refuelling and waste disposal systems. These days, it really is a case of you get what you pay for, and that includes a baby that turns into a toddler that turns into a child; they are designed that way, and your salesman should have explained that at the time of purchase.

I’m glad I was never a toddler. You make it sound awful. Should I feel sorry for those who have bought toddlers?

You’re right! Being a toddler is no fun. You can’t talk and let people know what you want. You are only just starting to walk and get around, so you rely on big people for everything, including cleaning you up after you go to the toilet. How demeaning is that? Plus all the good stuff that you want to get hold of to break or eat gets put out of reach. People who have bought toddlers usually have done for a reason, whether it be child labour or rounding out the nuclear family. Everyone feels sorry for someone who has purchased a toddler, until they get one themselves and realise that beneath that this coat of teething misery is a whole world of joy.

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STEVE BEDWELL‘s sequel to his popular Baby Owner’s Manual, The Toddler Owner’s Manual, is available from Rockpool Publishing. He is somewhat active on Twitter and considered an Internet bikini sex symbol akin to model Emily Ratajkowski of “Blurred Lines.”

NICOLE RUSSIN owns an e-magazine, new official website, Twitter and anything Steve Bedwell already made cool a year ago.