15 Reasons Why Toddlers Aren’t Assholes

There’s a new book floating around the Internet entitled Toddlers are Assholes, It’s Not Your Fault. Before I go any further here, I have to admit that I haven’t actually read it. Maybe the author includes some touching stuff about their kids. I don’t know, and I’m not buying the book. I think it was this quote from a recent post by the author that sealed the not-reading-it deal for me: “Sometimes you wish you had a time machine and a condom.”

But I’m not writing this just because of the book, though that particular quote was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s something that’s been brewing for some time, and it’s more of a general reaction to the recent trend of picking on our kids under the guise of satire. Sure, it might actually be satire in the true sense of the word, but it’s the worst kind. Let me spin it a different way for you. Imagine if I self-published a book called Old People are Assholes. People would be all up in arms because it’s mean to pick on their grandma and I’d get a bunch of negative Amazon reviews and blog comments.

Then why is it considered hilarious to hate on our babies? This brand of humor is so popular right now among bloggers and it feels disingenuous, like authors are pushing the envelope further and further to increase readership. The sad part is that other parents eat this stuff up. But the saddest part is that the people who are spewing this stuff have kids, and their kids will probably read it someday when they’re poking around online. Who cares if your children will know you called them assholes? More money, less problems, right?

Bring on the name-calling because that’s a whole other fun trend in online commentary. I disagree with calling babies horrible stuff, so I’m a sancti-mommy, I’m a wet blanket, I can’t take a joke, I’m butt-hurt and I’ve got my panties in a bunch. Guess what? I don’t care. This may be rant-y, but I’m tired of reading about parents who think babies and toddlers are awful. It’s like this rampant, festering disease on the Internet. News flash, parents: you can have a sense of humor and write funny stuff without being a complete dick. (Aside: if you want to read something funny, take a look at It’s Like They Know Us because it’s brilliant. Not hateful, just straight up hilarious.)

As a mom of two under three, I get it. Being a parent is hard, and some days it feels like a thankless job. Particularly when you’re running on zero sleep and trying to teach your young kids how to be useful members of society. (Though I’d imagine parents of teenagers might feel similarly.) Little ones can be difficult, frustrating, and I’ve written about my own challenges with my kids frequently. Some days you just really need an outlet.

But you know what? My kids aren’t assholes and neither are yours. They’re actually pretty wonderful. Here are fifteen reasons why Toddlers Aren’t Assholes.

1. They say hilarious things like “balla-weiner” (ballerina) and “where is my poop?” (hoop or hula hoop)

2. They’re ridiculously cute even when they’re having a tantrum. Though, admittedly cuter when they’re smiling.

3. The random cuddles that happen throughout the day.

4. Spastic toddler dancing. Seriously, nothing funnier.

5. Their incredible little brains that are learning new things at lightning speed.

6. They’re “helpful”, and it’s adorable. Occasionally frustrating, sometimes makes you want to lose your mind, but still adorable.

7. Simple stuff that we take for granted as adults is an epic adventure to a toddler, even trips to the grocery store.

8. Their genuine excitement about most things, like waking up and seeing you, the center of their universe, each morning.

9. Their curiosity about everything, like the toad hopping through the back yard or the neighbor’s dog, and the way they light up about it every single time.

10. Their off-kilter center of gravity that makes them sort of waddle when they walk/run. But especially when they run.

11. The way they break out into song randomly: at the dinner table, in the store, while you’re helping them brush their teeth.

12. …And the way they always get the words wrong

13. …And how you can’t help but sing along to their one-of-a-kind rendition of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ or ‘Farmer in the Dell.’

14. How they never fail to laugh at you when you do silly things that nobody else would find funny.

15. The way that they melt your heart every time they say, “I love you!” It’s melting my heart right now just thinking about it.

I try my best to be kind and non-judgmental, especially when it comes to other people’s parenting – because I hate when people comment on my own decisions as a mom. But I simply can’t hold my tongue any longer. I don’t care if every troll on the Internet dumps on me here. Satire or not, saying horrible stuff about babies to sell more books and ad space online makes you the asshole.

Parenting Rule #889: The Longer It Takes to Make, The Less Likely They Are to Eat It

kid food rulesWhile part of me wishes that I could be one of those bento box moms that spends three hours preparing their children’s school lunches in the morning, another part of me just doesn’t understand. Why take all that time molding waldorf chicken salad into Frozen characters and cutting up raw veggies into tiny little shapes? Chances are your kid isn’t even going to eat that stuff. You’ll probably just end up with a bad case of the sads when you open up their lunchbox at the end of the day and realize that they mercilessly plucked all the organic grapes out of the intricate likeness of Queen Elsa that you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into creating at 4AM. But I guess if you’re willing to LET IT GOOOO (sorry, I had to), then have at it. Personally, I’d rather sleep in an extra two hours, and slap together a marginally healthy sandwich for school lunch. Top it off with a side of baby carrots that might come home uneaten and voila! Pinterest be damned.

Parenting rule #889: The longer it takes to make, the less likely it is that your kids will actually eat it.

At least this is usually how things go with food at our house right now. Our oldest is like: Oh, you’ve prepared a baby spinach appetizer salad with candied pecans, cranberry, and fresh pears, a main course of pan-seared eco-friendly tuna with an heirloom tomato and organic red onion vinaigrette, and a fruit plate with a side of homemade crème fraîche for dessert?* Yep, not going to eat it.

But OH MY GOD was that the telltale sound of the microwave beeping? Did you spend one minute and forty-five seconds making dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets that probably contain harmful food dyes and carcinogens? Better get a bigger plate because I’m having twenty-three of them with a giant side of ketchup… Because ketchup is a food group when you’re two.

Okay, so maybe our kid doesn’t eat dinosaur chicken nuggets all the time, even though she’d like to. We do make an effort to provide healthy options that usually include vegetables, but there’s no way we’re spending four hours in the kitchen making gourmet meals. Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially people who work opposite shifts like my husband and I.

*Please note this meal, while it sounds delicious, is entirely hypothetical because I am arguably the worst cook on the entire planet of Earth. I burned a hard boiled egg once.