Understanding the Toddler Mind: Dude, It Ain't Gonna Happen!

Toddlersaurus Rex.
Toddlersaurus Rex.

No one knows what makes toddlers tick.

Books have been written on the subject, thousands of them, but I’m not sure any of them has nailed it yet.

For toddlers are an enigma of sensational mystery. What other creature known to the natural kingdom is

Part of the problem, I think, is that all of the so-called experts, the childhood psychologists and the pediatricians and the university researchers and whoever else throws their two cents into the crowded ring, they tend to write down stuff when they are alone, in their quiet antique-riddled studies and offices, under the admiring gaze of what… like six or seven smugly framed diplomas.

But the way I see it, in order to instill a bit of actual grindstone grit into your million dollar theories about why kids between 2 and 4 are able to straddle that very thin legal line between ‘cute crazy’ and  ‘criminal’, I am quite certain that you would have to do some, if not all, of your actual writing with a real live toddler in the room.

Why, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

Toddlers aren’t like other living things.They just aren’t.

They are all shot up with a sky darkened with human attributes that are landing like flying saucers in cornfield in the thick of night. Greed, power, jealousy, anger, lust (for chocolate and other people’s toys, but still…), impatience, spite, revenge, and the absolute and complete refusal to acknowledge any and all natural pecking orders are what’s cooking down inside those 45lb sacks of brush-burned skin and bone.

It sounds far-fetched, but it isn’t, trust me. Any parent who has been there is nodding to themselves right now saying, “My God! This man is right!”

Toddlers…they are children, yes. That much we can agree on.

But let’s not mince words here, people. They are also Children of the freakin’ Corn, if you know what I mean! With new detonations exploding behind their tired smirks at all hours of the day and night, even their cute little heads are just a ruse, just a cover for a working factory that manufactures and pumps out bright crisp attitude with the same easy style hot fresh twenty dollar bills roll off the presses down at the mint.

See, in my mind, the toddler himself is the only real litmus test to any scientific study at all, no matter how many ‘years in the making’ the damn project has known.

What I think is this.

Very intelligent people with little left to prove in their specialized field of child research should be forced to write the final drafts of their important works or books or whatever with a two-and-a-half-year-old roaming free range in their office or study. I say this from a highly scientific standpoint (well, as ‘highly scientific’ as anyone will afford me, which isn’t really all that much, I suppose), for it is my sincere and utter belief that to be in actual close quarters with a toddler during the tail end of an important work on toddlers in general might just find extremely respected and esteemed members of the child research community changing their thesis and their theories and their closing chapters quite drastically in that eleventh hour.

The thing is, anyone who has ever sat in a room alone with a toddler for any length of time can tell you: in less than 20 minutes that kid is gonna go ape-shit on your ass and there is nothing you can do about it unless you can fast forward time, which, given the circumstances of my theory…maybe you can, but more likely, you cannot.

And if you are about to announce to the world, via your ‘work’, that there is indeed a better way to understand and comprehend and deal with young minds being formed behind the sinister dark high windows of the toddler castle, I’ll bet you like fifty bucks that, if you have a real live kiddo in their as your finishing up, your final sentence will change.

There then, where you had some succinct and humbled wisdom to end with, will instead appear a final paragraph or two that reads something like this:


The human toddler is, and will perpetually remain, a sweet thorn in our side until the end of days. Yes, the names will change as one class graduates to the next level of youth and the incoming babies begin to stumble walk themselves straight into our fully perplexed hearts and minds.

Yet, in the end, it is resolved only that whether a toddler is the one who lives under the dining room table in your home, eating his own boogies and painting the elderly overweight cat with your toxic nail polish, or the one who is currently standing here by my computer keyboard, unwilling to subject herself to any of my coaxing or threats, my beseeching to behave, and instead seems intent on sabotaging to the point of ridicule my endless months and years of study in the name of rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrr6t68d1buobd hbh ….DEARGODHELPME!


And with that, we will finally have a book that tells us all we need to know about toddlers.



You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

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More from Serge:

The Legendary Steve Martin, First Time Daddy At Age 67

Slow Train Coming: 15 Pictures of Spring for Parents With Cabin Fever

Be My Valentine Forever: Dads and Their Daughters (PHOTOS)

Children’s Books: Is Finding Them a Challenge Or a Pleasure?

Who Are You and When Did We Decide That We Were Done Having Kids?


Article Posted 3 years Ago
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