The concept of time
Cause and effect
Putting on one’s shoes
These are some of the abstract ideas that completely elude toddlers. It can be maddening trying to reason with their pint-size persistence, and despite very clear explanations, they tend to miss the mark like their preschool counterparts miss the toilet: completely.
3y/o: Can I peeze have a yawl-yee-pop (lollipop) for breakfast?
3y/o: But I said peeze!
Me: I know, and that’s the right way to ask, but you can’t have a lollipop for breakfast.
3y/o: But I REYEE want a yawl-yee-pop!!!!!!
Me: I understand, but lollipops aren’t breakfast food.
3y/0: BUT I SAID PEEZE AND I WANT A YAWL-YEE-POP SO WHY CAN’T I HAVE ONE?!!!
The frustration that mounts with their general incomprehension also has hilarious potential. Take, for instance, my daughter, who tries to impose consequences upon herself. Her mathematical deficiencies usually have me struggling to keep a straight face in an otherwise laughable situation.
Girl: I don’t want any more bites of dinner.
Me: Please eat four more bites of chicken and three more bites of vegetables.
Girl: NO! I’M ONLY HAVING TEN BITES OF CHICKEN AND SIXTEEN BITES OF VEGETABLES!
It’s a rare day when my toddler isn’t corrected about 123, 323, 998 times, so I thought–just for kicks–I would ask her what she thinks the consequence should be for her most frequent infractions. This is what she had to say:
Say sorry. Then use a baseball bat, but not a hard one. The one my brudder uses when he hits balls like Andrew McCutchen in the playroom and then Mom says, “You’re too big to hit balls in here! You will break something!” I break-ed something once, and Mom said…*
*answer abbreviated in the interest of time
Not listening to Mommy and Daddy
Mommy and Daddy should listen to ME!
Toys aren’t put away
Do stuff funny. And clean up.
Refuses to say please or thank you
Be sorry. (Editor’s note: when asked WHO should be sorry, after a moment of thoughtful consideration, the toddler responded, “Dogs.”)
Mommy and Daddy should yell and be SUPER mad! But I don’t like when they yell, so I would just cry and then someone else would have to clean up because I can’t clean up when I’m crying. I need a tissue when I’m crying. Hey, do you remember that Bubble Guppies when Mr. Grouper has gold ballet slippers? THAT WAS CRAZY!
Putting one’s fingers in own orifices
The kids get sick and then Mommy says STOP IT! and then they all do silly stuff AND IT’S SO FUNNY!
Ignoring people when they’re speaking to her
(Editor’s note: Ironically, the toddler has refused to answer this question.)