Toddlers have this innate ability to be cute as a button one minute and then complete hellspawns the next. Just like teenagers (I'm sure) it’s because they are growing at a rapid rate and processing new things every day. I'm sure it's overwhelming to go from being swaddled and kissed 24/7 to being told not to climb here or jump off there. Because of their inability to fully articulate their wants and needs, they tend to become incredibly frustrated (therefore frustrating to their overly-exhausted parents). It’s usually around this point that we new moms think things about our toddlers we’d never say out loud.
Now, not all the these hidden thoughts are negative (although, let’s face it, most of them are and they often involve cuss words or fantastical plans about running away or at least downing some vodka at an unreasonable hour). Sometimes we think things that are somewhat positive (at least toward our child) but also totally wrong and mean toward others. Again, this is why these are simply things we think, and not ones we are willing to blurt in mixed company and release into the world. (At least, that’s the rule for most of us.)
In the end (and usually), simply acknowledging that these thoughts exist, and reminding ourselves that having these thoughts doesn't mean we're bad mothers, is enough to get through that frustrating tantrum our toddler seems hell-bent on throwing. So, what kinds of dark and potentially evil thoughts are lurking in the minds of frustrated toddler mamas? Read on to find out (just a few):
"You Are Embarrassing The Hell Out Of Me, Kid"
They pick their noses. They call other people names like "poop-head." They fart, loudly, in public. They are brilliant masters at embarrassing the hell out of their mothers and they just don’t care.
"You Are Seriously Way Smarter Than All The Other Kids. Combined."
Every parent has a guilty moment (or two) when their kid figures out something new, like how to recognize shapes or how to recite the alphabet, and they automatically want to call their child a genius. I don’t know why it is, but we all get extra proud at those moments; so much so that we sometimes end up being kind of snotty about it, especially when we see another older kid struggling at things our child picks up with ease. Don’t worry, though, because that kid’s parents probably think the same thing. We're all wrong, basically.
"I’d Rather Pluck Out All My Eyelashes Than Read (Insert Favorite Book) Again"
I cannot tell you how sick I am of reading The Little Engine That Could. Yes, it’s a favorite of mine and my son’s, but sometimes I just don’t want to freaking read. I do enough of that during the day for work, and I’d rather do basically anything else. Which, of course, makes me feel guilty because I know how important it is to read to my child daily.
"Why Can’t You Be More Like That Kid?"
Maybe it’s at the playground or at a birthday party, but you’ll always end up zeroing in on the “perfect” toddler. By perfect, I just mean the one kid that isn’t pushing or yelling or losing their shoes, who seems polite and covers their mouth every time they cough. The one who says please and thank you and knows how to share. You envy that child’s parents and you look at your own, covered in dirt while wearing mismatched socks, wondering why yours can’t be more like "that."
Well, chances are they have been at some point. Every kid has a “perfect” seeming moment, but the rest of the time, they’re all a bit more like the wildlings.
"You Seriously Need To STFU"
Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mom. Mama. Mom. Mommy. MAMAMAMOMOMOMOMAMAMAMAAA! Yeah, we get sick of hearing it. We want them to kindly be quiet, and we sometimes say so. Of course, we really just want to scream right back in their face, but we usually refrain from doing so.
"I Hope You Never Learn How To Properly Say (Insert Cute Toddler Phrase)"
Cute toddlerspeak is one of the fringe benefits of raising a youngster. For example, my son usually calls his Lightning McQueen toys “Kow-kow” (as in, McQueen's catchphrase “Ka-Chow!” that my kid doesn’t know how to pronounce correctly). I personally can’t get enough of this and while I won’t encourage him to mispronounce things throughout life (because at 16 it won’t be so cute), I secretly hope he’s “kow-kow” for life.
"You Are Definitely Cuter Than That Other Little Kid"
Maybe it’s an evolutionary thing but, as parents, we all think our kid is the cutest kid to ever kid. When certain parents come around showing off professional model photos of their kid, we internally cringe because we often don’t find their kids to be even remotely cute. Of course, we won’t say that. We're not monsters, people. However, when we look back at our own toddler, we’ll definitely think, “Damn, you sure lucked out with your genes, kid!”
"I Need A Vacation From Being Your Mother. Immediately."
I’m fairly certain that all moms have escape fantasies semi-regularly. We work hard to raise our kids and keep our households in order and our lives functioning and sometimes we just want to pack our crap and run. Hell, many of us actually do leave, but most of us just settle for a few hours at the bar or nail salon.
"You Are Totally Acting Like (That Really Obnoxious Kid) And You Need To Not"
Sometimes we see our realities reflected in other children. We see our kids behaving just like kids we’ve previously criticized. It isn’t right to compare our kids, but we're not perfect and the allure is there so, yes, it will eventually happen. Hey, at least we keep it to ourselves, right?
"Ew, You Smell…"
Toddlers eat with their hands. They run around and play in the dirt. They don’t always want to cooperate with tooth brushing time. In other words, they can get a bit, um, musky. We still love them, though.
"There Is No Logic In Your Behavior"
Have you ever tried to find the logic in a toddler tantrum? You probably have, because you’ve probably been desperate enough to try and reason with the child. I'd also venture to guess that you always end up coming to this conclusion and simply sighing at what your life has become.
"I Hate Feeding You"
Some kids are great with mealtimes. Others, like my son, can be a bit of a battle. While I try desperately not to take it personally when he swats away at a forkful of eggs, I can’t help but think about how much I hate this process.
"Couldn’t You Just Sleep For, Like, A Whole Week?"
Obviously we don’t want anything to be wrong with our kid, but we do want rest. Especially when they start skipping naps or refusing to go to bed altogether. Five more minutes, kids. We beg of you.
"Not Too Sharp There, Are You?"
Yeah, it’s kind of a jerk thought to have, but we all think it sometimes. Like, when our toddlers run into sliding glass doors accidentally or when they get frustrated that the circular toy won’t go in the square peg. We still love them, no matter what, but, like, get it together.
"You Know, You’re Really Not Cute When You Act Like That"
While we do think our kids are the absolute cutest, they kind of lose some of their appeal when they act like tiny little dictators. It's like when you meet a physically attractive adult and then they start talking and saying ugly things and you're just like, "No."
"I Can’t Wait Till You’re Old Enough To Drink, Too"
It’s kind of a tired trope that all moms like drinking wine (some of us like beer! Or whiskey! Some of us smoke pot! Some of us don’t drink at all!) but for those of us that do, one probably inappropriate thought we've probably entertained is the day we can sit down and share a beer with our kid. Hey, when they're 21, that won't be inappropriate at all (and they're buying, because they owe us for putting up with them when they were toddlers).
"Why Did I Have Kids, Again?"
This question happens quite a bit. For some of us, it happens during every toddler tantrum and after every kick and slap and scream from our child. Why did we do this to ourselves? No one knows, but when they finally fall asleep or when they give us sweet hugs and kisses, we kind of have an idea.