Dear Toddler, Screw Your Tantrums


Dear Toddler,

I woke up this morning with every intention of having a great day. Outside the window, playful little birds bounced through the trees. Mother Nature gleefully peeked her yellow face from behind the clouds. The new coffee I purchased tasted like paradise in a cup. I was so in love, I tried finding the number for the grower in Antigua so I could properly thank him. A day like this … how could anything go wrong?

And then you woke up.

Immediately dissatisfied that a dancing cat graced the television screen instead of a goofy sponge, your lips quivered and your eyes swelled. A tsunami of noise poured from your pie hole. I’m pretty sure the neighbor’s alarm system kicked in when that first temper tantrum of the day erupted.

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But it didn’t end there. Your screaming quickly escalated to frantic pacing and pointing of rigid fingers, “MAMA! NO! MAMA! NO! NO, CAT!” You reminded me so much of a crazed zombie, I considered giving AMC a shout. Suddenly your legs stiffened. A one-man army was now marching through the living room. In an alternative universe, this might be considered great entertainment! Here … you ruined my Folgers’ moment, kid.

As any mother knows, when the day starts with a temper tantrum it usually goes south from there. And it did. You had no intention of being a well-behaved toddler. You know … like those seen peppered throughout Facebook … those perfectly poised kids sitting on bales of hay and chilling in old iron washtubs? Oh no. You had other plans. You’d make me earn the title “World’s Most Psychotic Mother.”

For a moment, peace returned. You transformed into a perfect Disney Princess when the words “Whooooo lives in a pineapple … ” finally blasted from the soap box. “Soap box?” you ask. You’re too young to understand this reference. It was used in a time when kids didn’t dare strike angry militia poses or complain about ANYTHING. We woke up happy to have the AM radio blasting Elvis tunes and walked complaint-free through miles of heavy snow … off to one-room schoolhouses where every teacher was packing a ruler. How hard things have become.

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When lunch time rolled around, against my better judgment, I allowed you to saunter through the pantry. Surely there was something in there that would strike your fancy. RIGHT?!? Wrong. Among the one hundred and one cans of chicken noodle soup, endless boxes of macaroni and cheese, and enough peanut butter to feed the occupants of a Carnival cruise liner, there was no Beefaroni. No flipping Beefaroni! This meant the end of the world.

Before I could call Chef Boyardee and tell him to shove it, you were on the floor doing your best possessed snow angel impersonation. The ear-piercing screams nearly cracked the windows. Even the dog ran for cover. Whatever was flailing like a wounded flounder in the middle of the kitchen floor couldn’t possibly be human. But it was. It was you dear toddler. A little being who couldn’t quite count to five, yet somehow knew the difference between broth and sauce.

There was no consoling you. You battled through bites of grilled cheese. Slapped my hand when I tried to feed you tomato soup. In the end, I resembled a walking contemporary painting. Some might call you artistic—a free soul with a strong spirit. I had other words in mind.

The clock ticked and the cuckoo bird reminded me that nap time was only minutes away. Most days you were so tired by mid-afternoon, you’d practically fall asleep standing up. Today … today you’d prove that sleep was for sissies. Your little body had every inclination of going and going and going … like a loud electronic toy that seemed to operate in lieu of batteries; the ones that belt out obnoxious kiddie tunes at midnight and make animals sound like they’re dying. (A cow does not say “mauuuuuuu.”)

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Two hours and no nap later, things went from “Well this effing sucks” to “Where’s the wine?”

You were no longer a screeching, mad zombie. Or a flailing fish. You, dearest toddler, had turned into an a-hole. After pitching the fifth hard, plastic toy in my direction and abruptly firing “NO!” for the millionth time, THAT. WAS. IT. It was nap time or else … I was about ready to pack my bandana on a stick and head for the nearest exit.

You fell asleep like an exorcism was being performed. I won’t lie. Some little part of me wanted to cave in, to pick you up and soothe you. My mommy heart desperately wanted to rock you in my arms until you drifted off to sleep. That was until your foot made its way to my jaw, Jet Li style.

Oh, hell, no. Enjoy your nap, dear toddler.

You woke just in time for daddy to return home from work. The sight of a red lollipop in his hand instead of a green one … well let’s just say, another tsunami hit that day.

Dear toddler, screw your tantrums. Daddy’s home and this momma’s taking a shower.

Related post: 25 Ways To Annoy A Toddler

About the writer

Crystal Ponti is the inspiration behind the award-winning blog MommiFried, where tired moms love to go for tips, ideas and encouragement. She also owns Blue Lobster Book Co., a self-publishing boutique, and (coming soon!), a daily eBook deals website. She has been featured on Scary Mommy, YourTango, The Huffington Post, and is a freelance writer for The Mix (Elle, Cosmo, etc.). Under Blue Lobster Book Co., she has published three story collections including The Mother of All Meltdowns, Clash of the Couples, and Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee. Currently she is busy putting the final touches on her debut solo manuscript Keeper of Rayne, which she writes under the pen name Lyncoln Rose.


Amanda 11 months ago

My toddler screams whenever she sees something she wants. We have to hide crackers and cookies if we want to be able to get her to eat anything else.

Kristen Crees 12 months ago

While I feel this moms pain acutely, having a day that makes me reach for the wine at 4:30 myself, its can be stopped. How? Spank. My kids have had I think 5 tantrums total between the two of them it is a mistake they dare not repeat.
Love the beefaroni bit though… How do they understand the difference!? By the label! They can’t even read!!

kym 12 months ago

Possessed snow angel…omfg that’s where I lost it

Haha this is so funny cuz its true! Sums up our bad days here :p

Emma 1 year ago

I think I gave myself a hernia from laughing so hard at this. I looked over at my 2 year old shrieking and throwing handfuls of corn everywhere from his chair and laughed even harder. Thank you.

Leah Christine 1 year ago

lol it’s not something I love to admit but it makes me feel so much better lol

Nancy Charles 1 year ago

I needed to read this today lol! It’s been almost a week of my toddler refusing his afternoon nap… Needless to say by 4pm he turns into this kicking and screaming monster, I felt like running away!

Helen Wagner-Leventis 1 year ago

Sounds like my house

Jennifer Shanteau 1 year ago

So get this

Kat Wang 1 year ago

I know these days well….

Samantha Rego Cole 1 year ago

I wish there was a dislike, because that’s how I feel about days like this!

TwinScheetz 1 year ago

I have 2-year-old boy/girl twins. I feel like a referee some days…

Sharil Jonathan Smith 1 year ago

Rofl! I am soooo glad it’s not just our house :)
What’s worse are the hell days that end as soon as daddy walks through the door then suddenly she’s a little angel and daddy thinks you are a big ol’ liar liar pants on fire because this precious angel could never ever be as evil as you claim…

Heather Ormsbee 1 year ago

Fer shurrr.

Kelli Baney Snyder 1 year ago

Thank goodness I’m not alone!!!

Alicia Sokol 1 year ago

This was my whole weekend! I’m so glad I’m not alone

Angela Tredwell 1 year ago

Hehehe – love that we are all doing this struggle together.

Rebel Queen 1 year ago

Im a first time mom with s 2 year old she started picking up tantrum habits from my 4 year-old niece. She never did that. And now that she does it I dont want to spank her . I dont know what to do. Besides time out.

Jessica ‘Duquette’ Ralston 1 year ago

Hysterical… Unfortunately my 5 year old still has days like this. Wrong episode of strawberry shortcake was on, can’t find the right socks, blue toothbrush instead of pink, her piece of cake fell over, I didn’t brush her teeth long enough, she cried through book time so she couldn’t hear it, she’s hot, she’s hungry, she’s tired, her throat hurts, she’s thirsty… And did finally fall asleep like an exorcism was being performed haha

Kelly Beninghove 1 year ago

Ha!!!! Yes.

Ashley Russell Kegley 1 year ago

I had this kind of day today!! Ugh!! She’s 17 months old!! How are you terrible twos? Not nice to meet you!! She’s finally asleep and I shall watch some bad late night TV and drink a Smirnoff Ice!!

Meredith Mangum 1 year ago

OMG I needed this today. Our two year old throws a tantrum every single time you give him what he asks for, you know the very thing he was just dancing around the house grinning because you said yes to, yep as soon as he gets it, “I no want this” tantrum throwing madness. It makes me crazy!

Katie Tookie-Tookie 1 year ago

Every. Damn. Day.

Little Giraffe 1 year ago

Amazing timing. We just started tanties yesterday. I’m already writing this story :-)

Naomi Trevena 1 year ago

Yes! Coming from a mama who has dealt with an entire valentine’s day full of toddler tantrums!!!! Ugh… Bedtime, NOW.

Jessica Kincaid 1 year ago

LOL YES! I can sooooo relate. Ugh some days let me tell ya….I’m gonna have to share and tag some friends that will also enjoy this :)

Mary Ellen Guadagno 1 year ago

Far more patience than me. My son may start this way from crib to breakfast. If consoling doesn’t help him, I walk away. He’s in his high hair, hungry and eventually feed himself breakfast. Afterwards if tantrum subsided, we play. One toy thrown in my direction gets put on the counter.

Ashley King 1 year ago

My little has as of late been screaming about and over EVERYTHING! LOL

Joy Emer 1 year ago

The tantrums I can kinda handle. It’s when my 22 month old gets herself so worked up that she pukes is what drives me crazy! I never thought I’d have have a puker…no one ever told me about all the puking!!

Ruth Ladbrook 1 year ago


Jackie Rosenthal 1 year ago

Wait until they are 17.

Carla Whipple 1 year ago

Oh lord amen! Cant wait for the toddler tantrum days to be done!

Melissa Angella Kamalla McKenzie 1 year ago


Zoë Callanan 1 year ago

I’ve a jealous nearly 3 year old to her 3 month old sister, and she also has a rotten cold, so EVERYTHING is causing a meltdown………there isn’t enough wine in the world!

Sheri Garvey 1 year ago

Glad I’m not alone. Almost 3 year old has become awful lately with tantrums (currently ignoring tantrum #7 today, this one is because I changed her sheets) 15 month old throws herself face first on the floor when something does not go her way.(latest was because I didn’t let her eat the valentines day cards)

Tabatha Martinez 1 year ago

Haha, I tried to make a pinterest inspired valentine. She was supposed to dip her hands in paint and put them on the canvas, her only job…let me tell you daddy is getting a blank canvas for valentines day :(

Kristen Kamal 1 year ago

Lol. Going through phase now. Glad I’m not alone

Kristy Engel 1 year ago

My 18 month old is throwing tantrums every time he tries to nurse because my milk is drying up and he is pissed at the world.

Angela Workman Wiley 1 year ago

Meanwhile… at our house… her sister ate a goldfish and it is meltdown time!!

Alexis Barnes Richter 1 year ago


Catrina Lopez 1 year ago

I’m totally convinced they are ALL freaking CRAZY until about 5 or 6 years old….

Adi Ben-arye 1 year ago

That was an exact description of my day today. He woke up in a bad mood and that was the best part of the day.

Polina D Makasini Davies 1 year ago

Love the writing, just love it!

Gwendolyn Wheeler 1 year ago

I am SO there….my son had a giant tantrum because I would not let him pour these out all over the floor….yes I let him play with them months ago because he just wanted to shake them…now he wants to open everything and put things in and out of containers….Bad idea….

Jennifer McDonald 1 year ago

It’s okay to have feelings, it’s not okay to get so upset they wiggle put of their car seat while I’m driving on the freeway!!

Shiloh Langgaard 1 year ago

I needed this today. I’m feeling like a failure because today I just can’t cut it. This made me laugh. And my husband bought cheesecake for tonight. ☺

Erika Raes 1 year ago

Every single day.. And she’s only 19 months

Deb Sutherland 1 year ago

“In the end, I resembled a walking contemporary painting. Some might call you artistic—a free soul with a strong spirit. I had other words in mind.” Finished me off! Laughed so much I almost wet myself!! PMSL.
Brilliant! 😀

Jenn Fuchs 1 year ago

Sounds like a lot of my days. Lol glad to see in not the only parent who sometimes thinks their child is being an @$$ho/€.
I think the honesty on these articles is amazing and the writers are full of bravery.

Dawn Lawrence 1 year ago

Ha ha- My three year old is at it constantly- it’s never about getting THINGS, just ‘his way’. The most memorable, only a couple days ago, is because he wanted to help me change his baby brother’s green-poopy diaper— the catch, his baby brother only peed! How dare he!! The most ridiculous fight ensued, as you can all well imagine- he ran around with the pissy diaper, refusing to put it in the garbage, or give it to me… I was terrified about the possible mess and trying to talk him off the proverbial ledge. Good times, good times.

Trace O’Higgins 1 year ago

Lol…my daughter got scooped up and unceremoniously planted in her crib every time she tried tantrums at home.

Now that she’s ten, that’s still my response, no matter how many refrains of “It’s not faaaaaiiiiiirrrr!” in however many decibels and pitches she can manage, my response is still, “Room. Now.”

Jen Sowden 1 year ago

Most recent tantrum was because I was the wrong parent bringing her to school.

Ashley Lytle 1 year ago

We just tell our kids if they want to throw a tantrum they can do it, quietly, in their rooms and when they’re done we can talk about it. Its OK to have feelings.

Robyn Webster 1 year ago

Oh I can’t wait to go through this again

Kim Brennan 1 year ago

Possessed snow angel…ROFL

Melissa Waid Verner 1 year ago

My 7 year old still throw temper tantrums!!!!!

Julie Karpenske-Richardson 1 year ago

No way! You pitch a fit about something stupid, then you get popped on your butt then sent to your room where you can cry to yourself. I don’t put up with that. Worked well with my almost 5 year old, she is a very well mannered little girl.

Tracy 1 year ago

Omg! My son is 15 now and so far it is a great age. I remember the toddler years and forgot what made me cry all the time. Reading this I remember and DO NOT! Miss it. Hang in there.


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