There are specific hallmarks of toddlerhood. Some of them are charming, funny, and endearing. Many of them are just downright obnoxious and mind melting. There are days I can actually feel my brain tense up after the 737th “Why?” and the 438th screaming of “NO!” To be fair, toddler is not my age. I appreciate how fleeting and unique it is, but if I could pick an age to parent forever? It would not be toddler, especially my daughter Vivi’s version of toddler, for it is spirited and very loud.
If you’re about to face down toddlerhood with your own baby, or are in the thick of fits and tantrums yourself and just seeking out a little solidarity — fear not guardian of an obnoxious toddler, you are not alone.
1. Their Lack of Tact
Honestly, you can’t take toddlers anywhere without them somehow managing to embarrass you. Whether it’s pulling down a mannequin’s pants or sticking their head under your skirt — toddlers have a long way to go in regards to what’s acceptable in public.
2. Asking “Why?”
Yes, curiosity is a good thing — but it has also been known to kill numerous figurative felines. One can only manage so many imploring questions of “WHY?” before their brain begins to tense up and leak out their ears.
“Don’t run out in the road.”
“Because it’s dangerous.”
“Because there are cars in the road.”
“Because cars go on the road and people go on the sidewalk.”
“OMG BECAUSE I SAID SO GO ASK YOUR DAD ABOUT IT!”
3. Complete Disregard for Personal Safety
Run headfirst down a steep hill? Sure! Dance on the stairs in high heels? Of course! Jump off the couch onto your sister? Why not! Grab the cat by the tail? Super fun!
Toddlers are convinced they are invincible and what’s worse is they’re impervious to “I told you so.” There are some days keeping Vivi alive is the only accomplishment I can claim at the end of a long day.
4. Mood Swings
One minute everything is sunshine and rainbows, the next minute a fly lands on said rainbow and suddenly everything is terror and doomsday. One time I ran out of red cups, you would have thought I pulled her toenails out with my teeth.
5. Lack of Basic Hygiene
Nothing proves this theory more true than when I saw Vivi lay down in a rain puddle at the bottom of our driveway and then insist she didn’t need a bath because she just took one outside. Gross.
6. No Volume Control
They whisper at home and scream in church. At the park they use hand motions, in the car they yell from the depths of their very soul. Telling them to be quiet causes them to become louder — asking them to speak up just makes them go silent. Consistency!
7. They’re Possessive Little Creeps
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is also mine?” If Vivi could articulate such a saying in everyday situations, she would. My favorite is when they adamantly deny something only to demand it once they see you have it.
8. A Disbelief in the Common Courtesy of Pants
It’s fine that toddlers hate pants (I’m not a huge fan myself.) But they need to understand that there is a time and a place for pants, and that they need to stay on until permission is given to remove them.
9. Repeating Your Name
“Mom? Mom? Mom. Momma? Mommy? Mom? Mom? Mom? MOM! MAMA! Mom? Mooooom? MOOOOOM! Mom? Mom. Mom. Mommommommommommom? Mommy? Mama? MAAAA!”
10. Lack of Personal Space
If Vivi can’t be on me, then she has to be by me. If she can’t be by me, she has to be asking me to sit by her, and if I can’t sit by her, then the conversation rotates around when she can sit on me.
“Can I sit in your lap now?”
11. Boneless Fits
Or any fit, really. I read some article recently that said fits are a good thing because it means I’m not giving in to the demands of the tiny tyrant who thinks she runs this house.
I’ve got news for you, fits are never cute and they are by far my least favorite part of toddlerhood — especially the ones that happen in public and are complete with screaming, foot stomping, and falling to the ground in tears.