10 Questions I’d Ask My Toddler If Only They Could Give me Adult Answers


The coolest thing and the most frustrating thing about toddlers is that they do what they want. I know some parents are about to stick their noses up and think, “Not my toddler. I’m the mother, I make the rules,” when we all know this is only half true. You do make the rules, and you are the mother; but show me a 2-year-old that understands, comprehends and cares in the least about these small facts of life, and I’ll give you the parenting trophy of the year. Because, quite frankly, I’ve done the toddler thing four times. My 7 and 4-year-olds have been there and done that, and my 16-month-old twins are ‘being there and doing that’ right now. They’re cute, but they do what they want. In the midst of any given frustrating moment with my toddlers, I sometimes look at them and ask them questions I know they don’t understand and I know they can’t answer.

I sit back and I imagine what my toddlers might say if they could, in fact, provide me with a rational, adult-like answer to my questions. And sometimes, just sometimes, my imagined answers make me laugh and actually help me deal with situations. Not that these answers will ‘fix’ my toddlers, of course.

Why do you feel the need to play in the toilet when the bathroom door is left open for just a second?

Well, mommy, the simple answer this one this that we really need to talk about your interior decorating skills. I mean, when poop makes a much better form of décor that what’s already happening around here, it’s not good. Quite frankly, we aren’t sure why you haven’t caught onto this one yet.

Why don’t you ever remember to flush?

My four-year-old only recently realized that flushing is necessary every single time you go potty (she also just realized this about wiping, but we won’t go there). I imagine, had I asked her this a year ago, she would have said something along the lines of this. “Because watching you lose your mind after I forgot to flush and left the door open for the babies makes me laugh. Seriously, mom, you should see your face. Priceless.”

How do you get all those cheerios in your pants?

With my hands (insert raised eyebrows and incredulous look here). And also, I do it because sometimes I want a snack and I want it now. Not when you’re “done changing Carter,” okay?

Why, why, why do you insist on throwing the grapes on the floor and then try to eat them all off the floor after I take you out of your high chair?

Easy, because cheerios are easily swept up and cleaned up, so we like to eat those off the high chair. The grapes, on the other hand, leave a nice, sticky, wet mess all over the floor for you. We want to eat them, but we also love to sit on the floor and play with the wet stuff you use to mop up the grapes. We throw them on the floor, eat them while you straighten up and then get to play in the wet mop stuff? It’s really win-win for us.

What are you thinking when you smile at me like that?

You think that I’m smiling at you with this big grin because I love you so much and you do a wonderful job taking care of me, but in all honesty, mommy, I’m smiling like this because something awful is about to happen. I’m planning and conniving and manufacturing ideas in my mind designed to make you literally go crazy today. I do, actually, want to see if I can make you cry.

Why are you up for three hours before we leave in the morning to take your sisters to school, but you always wait to poop – together – after everyone is changed and dressed and we are already late? WHY?

Really, it’s because your voice does this crazy thing where it gets really high and really squeaky, and your eyes get kind of big and kind of crazy, and it’s hilarious. You look a little bit like a deer in the headlights, and it makes us laugh. Really, really laugh. It’s our way of making you feel just a little bit less in control; we like to remind you who really runs this household.

How come you like your sister’s cups better than your own?

Because her cup leaks everywhere since it’s not designed for toddlers like ourselves. We like to see how much milk we can get into the carpet, on the tile or on the wood before you notice – or slip. Also, all things not ours are much cooler.

Climbing the fireplace…what’s up with that?

Exercise, mommy. Exercise. Oh, not for us. For you. We want you to feel good about yourself as you get older, so we like to encourage you to run. We’ve found that climbing the fireplace is an excellent way of getting you to run so that you will remain trim and healthy for a long time. We have many more years of torture left in us, and we’d like you to keep up.

Be honest; are you actually trying to kill me?

No! But we do like to see how often we can make you cry, and how often we can make you call daddy and call us “His” kids and tell him that you might actually run away today. It’s hilarious. Also, it helps to remind you that you’re stronger than you think, and that you can endure. Really, mommy, we are doing it all for you. All of it.

What on earth is so entertaining about the box that makes the $300 toy inside of it obsolete to you?

Because toy manufacturers have taken to making toys so difficult and so complicated to remove from the packaging that we get to spend approximately 67 minutes with the empty box before we ever get to play with the toy. Either you need to figure out how to become a bit brighter, or you need to just forgo the toys and give us empty boxes.

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


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