Time travel with me, please, to 1999. Your internet was probably dial up, America's greatest division was between N*Sync and Backstreet Boys fans, and Family Guy was brand new. The show's standout character, of course, was Stewie — a matricidal, hyper-intelligent, power-hungry baby. I would argue this was due to the fact that parents everywhere recognized Stewie's devious plotting in their own toddlers. In fact, I'd say they recognized the signs their toddler is planning for world domination, too, and were like, "Heh. Someone else sees it, too? Whoa."
Make no mistake: toddlers have plans to rule over us all, and they know WTF they are doing. Why hasn't it happened yet, you ask? Because they are biding their time; collectively waiting for us to be at our weakest; patiently awaiting the perfect moment to strike, and then a bunch of them age out of their ambitions and the next generation of toddlers takes over. It's a kind of holding pattern at the moment, but mark my words, the end is nigh.
In fact, so much of what we think of as normal toddler development, I would argue, are actually telltale signs that your wee one has decided that the world needs to unify under a single banner: theirs. They're subtly warning you that any and all dissidents shall be crushed beneath their size five booties. (OK maybe that's a stretch, but it makes a lot of sense, you guys.)
They’re Between 15 And 42 Months Old
It just kind of comes with the territory, really. You don’t even have to ask. Do you have a toddler? Watch out. They are, by their very nature and through no fault of their own, conquerors. They view themselves as the natural owners of all they survey and they will not rest until everyone around them recognizes their God-given right to possess.
They've Really Started Talking
Now, developmental psychologists, doctors, and anthropologists will tell you this is just a natural stage in human development to enable us to communicate more effectively with one another. No. False. Nice try, doc.
This is an adaptation born of toddler’s desire to rule the world: you can’t rule the world if the peasants cannot understand your orders. (Well, you could, and I am convinced non-verbal toddlers also have designs on global supremacy, but it's definitely going to be a bit harder. Still, I've no doubt their tenacity and grit will shine through and we will all bow to their will someday.) Toddlers talk so they can organize, plan, promulgate edicts, and make rousing but terrifying speeches to keep the masses in line.
Their Physical High Jinks Are Getting More Daring
Again, doctors will tell you this is just children naturally become more coordinated and getting a better handle on their fine and gross motor skills. But this is because they’re training. If you’e going to mastermind a coup, you need to be in peak physical form. They’re basically in training.
They Always Want Food
Ever notice that when you give your toddler an apple they take a bite, leave it, and then ask for another apple five minutes later? You probably think it’s annoying and maybe even a little funny, then chalk it up to them being finicky or whatever. Nope.
You see, when you’re not looking they are taking that food and storing it to feed their secret massive army. For on the Day of Reckoning, their troops will need to be well-fed.
They've Started Making Friends (And Enemies)
“Isn’t it so cute?” you say to a fellow toddler parent as your child and theirs giggle and build a sandcastle together. “Totally,” they reply. “It’s amazing how they’re starting to move from parallel play to collaborative games.”
Oh foolish, naive other parent. Those aren’t games. What you are witnessing is basically the toddler version of one of the back room plotting scenes in Game of Thrones. Those toddlers are coming up with machinations and chicanery the likes of which you couldn’t possibly imagine. Those toddlers are either forming a powerful alliance or vowing the raze the other’s dreams to the ground and dance in the ashes.
They are also probably discussing Frozen. They may be ruthless conquerors, but they’re also toddlers.
They Have Elaborate Conversations With Their Toys
You may think that’s just your little artiste’s burgeoning imagination, but not really. Those toys (and any household pets, by the way) are actually part of their spy network, gathering information for your tiny future dictator. The conversations you are hearing are debriefs. Why else do you think they’re so intense?
So. Much. Backtalk.
They have spent almost two goddamn years under the oppressive yolk of your totalitarian regime and they are sick to death of it. You are not the boss of them, and they need you to know that. Ultimately this is a kindness: when their revolution is successful you’ll be used to their rule.
They're Constant Running
Because they’re getting ready to lead a charge. As many as it takes. Don’t hold them back, for they are running toward their destiny...
They've Becoming Extremely Demanding
My toddler’s favorite phrase lately is “right now.” I have no idea where she got this from and I have to believe this is just one of the ways her world domination tendencies present themselves in daily life. A toddler’s imperious, and unrelenting demands are exacting and precise. They know what they want, they now know how to ask for (nay, insist on) what they want, and we are going to give it to them, come Hell or high water.
They Have Charisma For Days
Because can you truly be a megalomaniacal world leader without a healthy dash of charisma? Toddlers are adorable and charming AF, and they know this will serve them well in coming (and holding on) to power.
They've Been Reading A Lot Of Sun Tzu's 'The Art Of War'
I mean, dead giveaway right there. You might want to take that away, not only to dissuade your would-be potentate from ruling the world, but you know how quickly a toddler can destroy books. Maybe there's a board book version, perhaps?