It’s Hard To Explain What A Toddler Is Without Calling Him An A**hole

toddlerWhat exactly is a toddler? For some reason, I am occasionally confused when I use it as a descriptor. Is a toddler one who toddles? Can he not walk yet? Is there an age range? Can he form coherent sentences? What the hell is a toddler?

I brought this up in the Mommyish offices today, and my coworkers started basically assaulting me with explanations of what a toddler is. It was then that I realized something; toddler is a state of being. It cannot be defined. Well, the dictionary says he’s a young child who is just beginning to walk – but anyone who has one knows he is so much more than that. He is…

One who gets mad for no reason and cannot drive yet.

One who bites his siblings.

One who is very possessive over bananas.

One who has no problem sleeping in his own feces.

One who screams at the top of his lungs when you give him what he wants.

One who likes to have several meals prepared for him before he deems one worthy enough to eat.

One who farts constantly.

One who screams at the top of his lungs when you don’t give him what he wants.

One who has no problem shoving his infant sister to the ground.

One who has no problem shoving his infant brother out the dog door.

One who has no concept of time, but knows to wake in the middle of the night and demand things.

One who doesn’t speak when spoken to.

One who screams at the top of his lungs when he drops a lego.

One who strips off all of his clothes to use the potty.

One who has no problem lounging comfortably in his own urine.

One who screams like you’re shoving wood chips under his nail beds when he hears the word “bedtime.”

One who can’t be bothered with speaking in full sentences until bedtime, when he becomes the most vocal, social, charming little person in the land.

One who shuns silverware.

One who gives strangers the stink eye when they smile at him.

One who lacks social boundaries and stares deeply into your soul until you look away uncomfortably.

One who speaks in one-word sentences, i.e. Milk! Toys! No!

One who shares occasionally, until he realizes what he’s done – then stops immediately.

One who shares and then kisses his brother and then realizes what he’s done and slaps his brother directly in the face.

One who loves the word “no” unless it’s coming out of anyone else’s mouth but his own.

One who pukes in his bed and sleeps comfortably in it all night.

One who screams in bed for hours when he can’t take his own shirt off.

To summarize, a toddler is a giant asshole. But a cute, occasionally lovable one.

(photo: Andrea Slatter /Shutterstock)

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You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Kay_Sue

    That’s because toddlers are assholes. We still love them, because they can’t help it and because sometimes they are so cuddly and sweet. But they are. They appear to grow out of it though, or so I keep telling myself.

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  • Kelly

    I disagree. Toddlers are cute, but a lot of work. 4 year olds are the assholes.

    • Natasha B

      Yes, to this,a million times. My 20mo is infinitely easier to handle than my 4yo. He has brought me to tears more than once.

    • Kelly

      We must have boys with kindred spirits. I THOUGHT the 4 year old was slightly asshole-ish back when he was a toddler. And now, I realize those were the good times.

    • Natasha B

      We were so naive.

    • Ife

      This. This right here is the truest thing that ever truthed.

    • brebay

      Oh I have to agree. 2 is my absolute favorite age. 4 is rough, buut if you can get through that, you’re okay till about 11.

    • Kelly

      Good to know there is a little light at the end of the tunnel! :)

    • WriterLady

      Absolutely. 2 was fairly easy–I naively thought I had escaped the “terrible twos,” and was doing a happy dance regularly. Then, we hit 3, and oh. my. lord. He just turned 4, and things seem to be right on par with year 3. Stubborn; smart enough to mock me in hilarious, yet infuriating ways; and a little thief—just a few of my favorite asshole traits. There are many more. The fact that he has mastered the art of spot-on, smart-assery at the grand old age of 4 is impressive. Where do kids pick up on this stuff? I have my moments (and I’m quite the smartass during private adult conversations), so perhaps it’s in the genes.

    • LiteBrite

      Not for me. My kid was an asshole at 2, 3, and 3 1/2. Four was the magical age for us.

      Now he’s six, and he’s a dream. I wish I could stop time at this age forever.

    • Katherine Handcock

      Depends on the kids, of course, but my experience has definitely borne out what a fellow mom said to me when I had my son: “Forget the terrible twos. It’s the terrific twos, terrible threes, and f-you fours.”

  • CrazyFor Kate

    Call it like you see it, Maria! Toddlers do not function on our planet…

  • Asia Woodley

    I have 2.5 yo b/g twins and YES I completely agree. Why, just as I was writing this, I was summoned by my son mid sentence to come look at his sock….the sock he has been wearing all day, because right now, it’s just not close enough to his knee for him.

  • Shanzie

    YES. I love this!

  • Ptownsteveschick

    This is why I read mommyish. People who aren’t horrified when you call your kid a jerk, asshole, pain in the ass, are automatically my friend.

    • LiteBrite

      Me too. I love my kid. I would lay down my life for him. But sometimes he IS a jerk, a pain in the ass, and once in a great while he’s a straight-up asshole. It’s nice to read others feel the same.

  • Me-Me

    My girl is almost 8. She’s an asshole among other things. I stop at calling her a bitch. She can behave like one, but you don’t call a child a bitch. Brat, terrorist, asshole, bane of my existence, Satan spawn, Hell beast. I could go on!

  • allisonjayne

    My kid is almost 3 so I don’t know if she still counts as a toddler, but she told me yesterday that her best friend at daycare told her she’s not allowed to be friends with anyone else. What the hell is this Mean Girls bullshit? They’re not even 3! I’m not ready for this!

  • SusannahJoy

    “One who lacks social boundaries and stares deeply into your soul until you look away uncomfortably.”
    Yeah, I’ve already started apologizing to people for that one. I know how uncomfortable it made me pre-baby.

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  • Melissa

    I can for sure identify with “One who lacks social boundaries and stares deeply into your soul until you look away uncomfortably.” My toddler recently climbed onto my lap and then stared deeply into my eyes while squeezing her tiny hands around my neck as tight as she could. Creepiest thing I’ve ever experienced from someone so adorable!

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