Toddlers: They can be adorable and hilarious and endearing, but they can also be gigantic jerks in tiny bodies. Yup, I said it. The desire for autonomy begins in the toddler stage, but we all know there's a bit of an issue they run into: Their wants don't always line up with their abilities (or their needs). That's why, as far as I'm concerned it's OK to hate the toddler stage.
My son is currently a toddler, and yes, he has this little personality (well, it’s actually a pretty big personality) that has developed that I just love, but OH MY GOD CHILD, would you just listen to me please? Climbing up on things he has fallen off of before, reaching for the stove when a burner is on, asking for “Up. Up. Up. Up. UP.” Especially when I’m trying to prepare dinner. It’s exhausting and sometimes infuriating.
Very important concepts like sharing and being patient need to be taught to these little monsters, and that doesn't just happen in one go. It takes hours of reiteration before they can absorb these lessons, and that can grate on a parent's zen state of being. So if you're struggling through the toddlers years, take heart: You are not alone. A lot of people (who seriously and unwaveringly love their kids) do not love parenting toddlers. Here's why, if you feel that way, you shouldn't worry about what it might say about you:
I'm sorry. That is all.
You Still Have To Do Nearly Everything For Them, But Now They Can Run Away From You
Or say "no!" Just to spite you.
They Have Zero Patience
Toddlers want things. Now. No, immediately isn't soon enough.
They Have So Much To Say, But Can't Communicate It Yet
Toddlers are still building their vocabularies, so it can be hard to figure out why they're upset or what they want. Which, y'know, is fantastic for little people who have so much patience. Which leads me to my next point...
Your Communication Skills Need To Be Way Too On Point
Toddlers need people who speak their language. Not every adult speaks their language, though, and if that includes you, there's no harm in admitting it! It's a complex language, filled with nuances that can be hard to to understand.
Everything Is Wrong
I'm sorry, did you choose the top with a tag? HOW DARE YOU?! Did you cut off the crusts of a sandwich, like your toddler normally prefers? WRONG MOVE. There's a reason a website called Reasons My Son Is Crying exists.
It Can Feel Like A Long Stage Compared To The Baby Stage
That's because it is longer. Twice as long, actually.
So. Much. Drama.
They can be giggling with delight one moment and pounding the floor with their fists while screaming at the top of their lungs the next.
Your Patience Is Tested Regularly
Not everyone has patience in abundance; I certainly don't! With toddlers, your patience is constantly being stretched to its limit. If that's a quality you don't have, it doesn't make you a bad person.
You Can Hate The Stage, But Still Love The Kid
There will always be moments when they are endearing. They may just mostly occur while your toddler is sleeping.
You Need The Empathy Of...An Empath?!
I don't know. You just need to really feel sorry for these kids and understand on levels you didn't even know existed that they are going through crisis after crisis in their little toddler lives. IT IS HARD, PEOPLE. And it's OK if it feels too damn hard to love sometimes.