10 Epic Tantrums *Every* Toddler Throws

Ad failed to load

My 2-year-old daughter will charm you with her infectious giggle and the cutest "surprised" face you've ever seen. She's a kick in the pants... you know, when she's not being an utter hellbeast. I think this dichotomy is something that most toddler parents will understand, too. In fact, I'm betting that if you have a 2- or 3-year-old adorable little tyrant in your home, you will absolutely recognize the following epic tantrums every toddler throws.

I lucked out with an easy baby. Things changed about the time she turned 15-months-old, though, and right when my husband started his year-long deployment because of course. It started in Target, as these things do, when I refused to buy her the teddy bear she'd pulled off the shelf. Suddenly, my sweet baby girl was wailing and flailing on the linoleum floor. Nothing to see here, folks. These days, her tantrums are so frequent, they hardly faze me. I know I'm going to get one when we leave a play date or I take something away or if I'm talking to someone really important on the phone. It's just a part of daily life.

Sure, there are "official" types of tantrums according to the experts, including "attention tantrums" and "command avoidance tantrums," but I think parents will find the following fits to be a little more recognizable:

Ad failed to load

The "You're Doing Something Besides Paying Attention To Me" Tantrum


Nothing turns a placid toddler playing quietly into a full-speed tantrum train quite like mom making a phone call. You can pretty much guarantee the insurance company will overhear your child sobbing, "Mommy, you play blocks wis meeeeee!"

Heaven forbid you attempt to prepare a meal. I've made more than one dinner dragging my daughter along as she rides on my foot, screaming bloody murder.

The "Ran Out Of My Favorite Snacks" Tantrum


Lesson #567 in caring for young children: do not — I repeat — do not run out of goldfish. Hell hath no fury like a toddler with no graham crackers. If you have the wrong snack (I want the purple fruit strip, not the red one, you monster) or say "no" (I don't care that I just had dinner), well, I can't help you there either.

The "We Just Got In The Car & I Need Something Immediately" Tantrum


If you left the house approximately five minutes ago and some little precious person in the backseat needs to pee, I'm guessing you have a toddler. My personal favorite is when my daughter cries because I can't help her put on the shoes and socks I didn't want her to take off in the first place.

For my kid, dropping anything (water bottle, lovey, the f*cking sticker off her banana) in the car constitutes an emergency. And I was recently punished for refusing to play catch with a stuffed hippo. While driving.

Ad failed to load

The "You Said No" Tantrum


I don't care how reasonable your "no" is. You could be telling your toddler that they can't go outside in below freezing temperatures or eat styrofoam or that they can't get a tattoo (even if they want it to say "mom"), that "no" is like nails on a chalkboard to tiny ears. Cue fury.

The "I Said 'No' But Meant 'Yes' & Vice Versa" Tantrum


Toddlers are nothing if not indecisive. Let's do a little test. Ask your kid if they want something to drink. I'll bet my last bottle of cabernet they say "no" and then immediately throw a fit because you didn't give them a glass of water.

Last night, after reading approximately 342 books, I told my daughter to pick the last one. She requested Hansel and Gretel. "Are you sure you don't want Jack and the Beanstalk?" I asked. "Yes," she replied. Halfway through, she slammed the book shut and announced, "I want Jack." I held my ground and put her to bed, but it was not pretty.

The "Not The Red Socks, The Blue Socks" Tantrum


To say that toddlers are particular is a gross understatement. They like what they like, and they don't want anything else. As in, I will not eat my favorite lunch of peanut butter and jelly unless it is on the Minnie Mouse plate. Or, I can't believe you put my favorite blankie in the wash and don't try to trick me with this replacement that doesn't smell like my urine.

Ad failed to load

The "Because We're In Public" Tantrum


I'm pretty sure a toddler will choose to have an absolute conniption for no reason other than that other people are watching. It's like they know you're not going to do anything about it, or even better, that you'll give in. And that's what makes them masters of mommy manipulation.

The "I Do It Myself" Tantrum


Toddlers have an independent streak, which leads to the "all by myself" stage. Thanks to Murphy's Law, they will insist on getting into their car seat or dressing themselves, but only when you have somewhere to be. This is great for their self-confidence and development, but not so good when you have a doctor's appointment to get to.

Unfortunately, "helping" in this situation only invites an outburst of epic proportions.

The "I'm Frustrated By My Lack Of Fine & Gross Motor Skills" Tantrum


The above is made worse by the fact that toddlers don't necessarily have the developmental ability to do everything they want to do. So, they're going to get mad at you when they bump their head on the car door or get their head stuck in their shirt, even though they insisted on doing it themselves.

My daughter recently threw herself on the floor because she couldn't put together a 3-piece puzzle. Frustration central.

Ad failed to load

The "But I'm Not Tired" Tantrum


We used to have an awesome (and easy) bedtime routine. Then my kid turned 2 and her dad came home from Afghanistan, and it all went to hell in a handbasket. These days, going "night-night" is a tear-filled sh*tshow.

Why, in the name of all that is holy, do exhausted toddlers resist the one thing that would make them feel better? Because they're toddlers, that's why. They're void of reason and accountability. If you can remember that, you just might survive the toddler years.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger