Toddler is an age of wonder, humor and meltdowns over gloves and noodles. In fact, toddler is an age where if you don’t or can’t find the humor in all the little things that can go wrong in a day you will end up crying in the corner before breakfast is over. Thankfully, enough of us have survived the toddler years that we can lend wisdom and humor to the generation below us. And when you think that almost everyone in this world, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Johnny Depp, has had to deal with toddlers, it makes them a sort of universal and unifying force.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes about toddlers from actors, writers, poets, comedians and parents just like us.
1. Jerry Seinfeld
Imagine staring down a blender full of berries and knowing you have to start it without the lid. That’s pretty much how I feel every time I have to take my toddler out in public — you know it’s going to be terrible, but you don’t really have a choice.
2. Debora Geary
If you’ve ever witnessed the amount of snot that can travel from a toddler’s nose, up their face and down your dry-clean only clothes, then you’ll know that having a toddler around is simply a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.
3. Robert Benchley
I once flew first class with a baby. She did fine. Then I flew with a toddler: it wouldn’t have mattered if we had the entire plane to ourselves, it was that bad.
4. Henny Youngman
One of the biggest complaints my mother-in-law has about all the grandkids being home for the holidays is how loud it is. Which means there really will be a time when I’ll forget how chaotic and loud my own day-to-day life with little people is.
5. Fran Lebowitz
Mine also always seem to smell like cookies, which isn’t terrible, but it makes me wonder if they’re working with a secret stash I don’t know about.
6. Phyllis Diller
Which is why I don’t clean my house. I’ll have my entire life to have a clean and organized house. Now is not that time. Realizing this has saved me years of sanity.
7. Johnny Depp
The similarities are striking, especially if you have a fairly belligerent toddler who yells and screams incoherent things at strange moments. (They also fall asleep in strange places; Johnny forgot to mention that one.)
8. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love these little babies of mine, but I’m so glad they eventually turn off and recharge for the night — there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when nap time is all but a memory around this house.
9. Franklin P. Jones
Answering “Why?” 32 times in a row, followed by countless explanations about why we don’t eat our own boogers or lick the bottom of our shoes, will really make you re-evaluate where you’re at in life.
10. Rosanne Barr
Bonus points if I ran a few loads of laundry and managed to get a hot dinner on the table. On the very worst days, just keeping them alive seems like a task worthy of a medal.
Or in the words of one of my Facebook friends, “Silence means an inevitable trip to the ER.”
12. George Carlin
I try to stick to the wholes and halves, rounding up and down. But if some parent wants to get super picky about developmental milestones? Cheese age is coming out.
13. Lawrence Balter
Preferably sitting on them, touching them, patting their soft parts, and screaming at them if they so much as even dare to walk out of the room for even a moment.
14. Robert Gallagher
It starts around 2, and so far it hasn’t ended with my 9-year-old. She gets SO CHATTY come bedtime, it’s as if 8 o’clock is the witching hour for discovering the mysteries of the universe or at least attempting to get one more story out of mom before bed.
15. Ray Romano
There’s also a lot of dirty underpants, screaming, abandoned cups and a strange odor.
16. Lane Olinhouse
It’s a radar they have, I swear. Do a bunch of meaningless tasks? They’ll leave you alone. Sit down to read one chapter in a new book for five minutes? IT’S ALL OVER.
17. Anne Lamott
Toddlers have their own set of rules, and until you can convince them that “your way or the highway,” there will be a lot of screaming, yelling and “HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME GO TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR?” rebellion. They’re so cute, but they can get SO MEAN.
18. Jim Gaffigan
At least there are drunk tanks for the bar patrons. When you have an ill-behaved toddler on your hands, it’s all you, all the time.