What The F*ck Is Wrong With My Toddlers?

by Stacy Pan
parenting toddlers
Halfpoint / iStock

As I sit on my knees and wipe up the tile floor with a kitchen towel, cleaning up the water that my 2 and 3-year-olds have spilled by gracefully dropping their cups over and over because, apparently, that’s fun, the only thought going through my mind is “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

This is not the first time today that I have thought it, and I am sure it won’t be the last. Every day I grit my teeth to keep the words from flying out of my mouth as it repeats in my head like a mommy mantra that I have adopted. The last thing I need is for my verbose 3-year-old to walk into her preschool classroom at the church, look at her teacher, and say, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” I’m pretty sure that would hike my name up to the top of the prayer list in the “Parents in Need of Guidance and Grace” category.

Seriously, though. What the fuck is wrong with toddlers?

As my 2-year-old arches his back and screams at the top of his lungs like I’m beating the crap out of him while I strap him into his car seat, I think, What the fuck is wrong with you?

I walk into a room to find a diaper-less toddler with a shit-covered hand painting his version of a feces Picasso while using my white wall as a canvas. My eyes go wide, and I am pretty sure they are going to pop out of my head like some old Bugs Bunny cartoon, but in my mind: What the fuck is wrong with you?

My 3-year-old calls to me from the bathroom in a singsong voice because she went potty “all by herself,” and I walk in to find her squatting in a puddle of pee on the floor beside the toilet. I squeeze my hair (no wonder it has started falling out) and bite my tongue to keep from screaming “What the fuck is wrong with you?!” at the top of my lungs.

I don’t understand these little creatures whose sole goal every day is to fly through my house like two Tasmanian devils leaving nothing but destruction in their wake. My jeans and leggings have started to fade at the knees because I spend the majority of my day on my knees cleaning up mess after mess—every damn day.

I used to think that it was just my kids. That, somehow, their genes were defective, or perhaps having children who destroy everything in their path was the result of consuming too much caffeine during pregnancy. However, I have been around enough toddlers to know that they all suffer from “What the fuck?” moments. They all do things that make us think “What the fuck is wrong with you?” and some of us are even brave enough to say it out loud.

I consider myself to be a smart woman who can usually figure out life’s dilemmas on her own. In no way am I new to this phenomenon called parenting. I mean, I have survived having two under 2 while suffering from postpartum depression and still managed to maintain a sliver of my sanity. I’d like to consider myself a veteran mother.

However, although I have figured out how to keep two little people alive and take care of myself, I still haven’t discovered what the fuck is wrong with toddlers. Perhaps I never will, that it is just one of those life mysteries that isn’t supposed to be solved. Maybe one day a scientist will find the answer that I seek. Until then, I will still wonder, several times a day, just what the fuck is wrong with toddlers?