“That thing out there… That is no dinosaur.” – Owen
- Toddlers can’t be contained. The moment you let your guard down, toddlers will do something you didn’t think was possible to escape containment.
- Toddlers are always hunting for food. Toddlers rarely finish their food, but they stay on the hunt for food because their hunger is never satisfied.
- Toddlers make you want to run. When a toddler is angry, you’re going to want to run away. Only heroes have the nerve to face angry toddlers.
- Toddlers don’t like being told what to do. You can count to three again and again and again, but your toddler still isn’t going to want to do what you say and screaming only makes it worse.
- Toddlers fight siblings. Toddlers are trying to figure out their place in the food chain and they’ll fight anyone who appears to be competition.
- Toddlers leave footprints everywhere. If you want to find a toddler, follow the tiny footprints made of mud, paint or whatever food was for dinner.
- Toddlers will destroy their room. You can prepare the safest toddler habitat money can buy and toddlers will still find a way to claw it and destroy it and never look back.
- Toddlers love playing hide-and-go-seek. The only thing toddlers love more than hiding is jumping out of their hiding place before you find them.
- Toddlers break expensive things. If you break it, you buy it. If your toddler breaks it, it’s probably something you can’t afford. So keep your toddlers away from gyrospheres and other state-of-the-art technology.
- Toddlers will not be ignored. Toddlers need your attention and they won’t stop trying to get it until they have every ounce of your heart and you can’t resist them anymore.
“No one’s impressed with dinosaurs anymore.” – Claire
Toddlers hear you, but they aren’t very good listeners. In fact, sometimes they aren’t listening at all. Other times they hear you how they want to hear you. So to help you understand the selective hearing of a toddler, I’ve provided the toddler translation for 16 common phrases parents say to their kids:
Parent Says: “Only one.”
Toddler Hears: “You won. Take as many as you want.”
Parent Says: “Hurry! We’re going to be late!”
Toddler Hears: “Crawl under a table as fast as you can, take off your socks and wait until we are late!”
Parent Says: “Don’t throw your food.”
Toddler Hears: “Don’t waste your food by letting it sit there without knowing how far it can be tossed or whether it can stick to walls.”
Parent Says: “Do you want a Band-Aid?”
Toddler Hears: “Panic. It’s worse than you thought. Blood is everywhere.”
Parent Says: “Do you need to go potty?”
Toddler Hears: “You’re such a grownup, I bet you could go forever without going potty. Let’s find out.”
Parent Says: “Please be quiet.”
Toddler Hears: “Please scream so everyone in the restaurant stops talking and stares at us.”
Parent Says: “It’s time to clean up the house.”
Toddler Hears: “It’s time to clean out every container in the house by dumping every container out on the floor.”
Parent Says: “This is my food. Eat your own.”
Toddler Hears: “Consider everything on my plate your own. But don’t eat it all. Spit it out in my hand.”
Parent Says: “It’s too early to wake up. Go back to sleep.”
Toddler Hears: “Saturdays are too wonderful to wait until the sun rises to wake up. Keep jumping on my head so there’s no chance I go back to sleep.”
Parent Says: “Look here. Say cheese. Smile for the camera.”
Toddler Hears: “Look away! Look away! Turn around.”
Parent Says: “I can’t hold you right now.”
Toddler Hears: “I need a big hug to remind me how to hold you. Don’t let me talk you out of it.”
Parent Says: “…8,9,10. Ready or not, here I come.”
Toddler Hears: “Jump out of your hiding spot.”
Parent Says: “Mommy and Daddy are talking.”
Toddler Hears: “If you are part of this family, you need to join this conversation.”
Parent Says: “Sit in your chair.”
Toddler Hears: “Fall out of your chair.”
Parent Says: “It’s bedtime.”
Toddler Hears: “It’s finally time to start your to-do list, including redecorating your toy box, completing a time-sensitive and labor intensive drawing for Mommy and Daddy, reading every book in the house, taking multiple potty breaks for safety, eating just one more snack (several times), etc.”
Parent Says: “I love you.”
Toddler Hears: “You can do whatever you want.”