The Top 30 Rules Of The Toddler

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
Patrick Heagney / iStock

Dear Toddler,

I may have T-shirts older than you, but in your three short years on this earth, you have apparently managed to learn everything. All we have to do is ask—sometimes we don’t even get that far—and you’ll dictate an opinionated response on any topic from word pronunciation to weather forecasts. The phrase “you’re wrong” doesn’t apply to you—ever. Infinite wisdom has been bestowed upon you, and you in turn have been generous enough to share it with those around you—the people who are in orbit of your central universe, also known as your parents. You have taught me so much, like…

1. “Dog” is actually spelled “C-F-H” and if I dare to question that again there will be hell to pay.

2. Toast should never be cut into triangles. Unless you’re into triangles at that exact moment. You may or may not be.

3. Dandelions are most definitely flowers, even if you’ve blown all the fuzzies off.

4. There is no such thing as “too cold to go without pants.”

5. You are not a baby.

6. Tucking the ends of your laces into your shoes absolutely does count as tying them. Yes, it does. And you can do it all by yourself!

7. Running out of string cheese or yogurt tubes is a disaster of unthinkable proportions.

8. My food, no matter what it is, tastes better than whatever gourmet offering is on your own plate.

9. It’s fun to see what kinds of things can fit down that little hole in the toilet. Oh, except for poop. That’s a fun surprise in other places.

10. This is your side of the bed. And the other side too. And both of these pillows. And all but six inches of this blanket.

11. My hands and purse serve double-duty as convenient trash-and-spit-out-food receptacles.

12. Crackers are a food group.

13. “Sleeping in” is no longer a thing. Unless of course we have to be somewhere early, in which case you sleep like the dead and I have to face the unpleasant consequences of waking you.

14. The aisles of Target are the perfect place to throw a tantrum.

15. If you need something, you need it right now. It doesn’t matter if I’m in bed or on the toilet or on the phone.

16. Walks are great for about two minutes. Then they turn into “carries.”

17. Your meals and beverages should be served in the dishes you specifically requested—or else.

18. Your mind will change at a moment’s notice, and everyone around you should be perfectly fine with that.

19. There is no height too challenging to attempt to climb, especially if you suspect the presence of snacks.

20. You will survive on nothing but Goldfish crackers for days at a time—until I cave in and buy them in bulk, at which time you’ll pronounce them “yucky.”

21. When a nap is interrupted, it’s best not to make direct eye contact for a while.

22. Right before leaving the house is a great time to poop, but only when coats have been zipped and shoes have been tied and keys are in hand.

23. You don’t care if I’m running late.

24. All injuries need Band-Aids—even the ones not visible to the naked eye.

25. You will sleep through almost anything except the opening of late-night snacks and your parents getting busy.

26. There’s no such thing as “you’ve seen this episode a million times so let’s watch a different one.”

27. You know the driving directions to everywhere from your little throne in the backseat.

28. Being rational is not your strong suit.

29. Chicken nuggets are supposed to be in animal or dinosaur shapes.

30. When it comes to clothing, everything goes with everything, and capes/rain boots/tutus are viable wardrobe options when going out in public.

You may be a lot of things, toddler, but reasonable and flexible you are not. And the faster the rest of us catch on to that, the better off everyone will be, lest we incur the wrath that pissing you off ignites. It helps that you’re adorable; those chubby cheeks and pudgy fingers may be deceptive in their angelic appearance, but darn if they’re not cute. It almost makes up for the rest.

… I said “almost.”



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