8 Reasons Toddlers Are Assholes

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

As the mother of a three year old girl and the step mother of a three year old boy who manage to be polar opposites on so many things, I have over the last couple of years experienced everything toddlerhood can throw at you.  Well not everything… but you know… it feels like it.

The little monsters basically give us everything to deal with that they can.  And you know what?  Sometimes they’re little assholes.  I love them both to the ends of the earth.  I worry about them, love them, cuddle and kiss them, celebrate their beauty and their delightful natures, and I would jump in front of a bullet for them… but here’s 8 reasons they’re little assholes.


I love sleep.  If I had bags under my eyes after a busy day and an early morning and someone guided me to a comfy, soft, warm bed with the promise of a cuddle and a story and a night of quiet and calm, would I fight it?  Would I heck.  I’d bite your hand off for such an opportunity.  And would I get out of bed again?  NO!  Not until nature forced me to because my bladder was killing me or because I was suitably well rested that I felt able to face the day with a positive smile.

My daughter?  Her attitude does not match mine.  At all.  Going to sleep is her nemesis.  Don’t get me wrong, she will do it and sometimes she will do it really fast, but if she had her way she’d never have to do it.  And she is very vocal about that.  Last night she was up twice, including a 2am wake up that involved a lot of screaming and stamping and hollering and howling.  It went on so much that both he and I didn’t manage to get back to sleep.  We probably could have if the day wasn’t destined to start so early…

The boy child arrived in our room at half past 4 ready to start the day, and the girl child arrived ten minutes later.

Why do these small humans hate sleep?  Why?!

2.) FOOD

Food is so awesome.  I love food.  I am blessed with a pretty good metabolism too so as long as I remain characteristically active (when I’m not hugely pregnant obvs) I can eat a lot more than most people.  The girl child follows suit and eats all day, and massively varied foods including fruit, veg, curry, paella, etc.  We’re foodies by nature.

The boy child is not a foodie.

Last night he insisted he wanted pizza.  We asked if he was sure, he said yes he loves pizza.  So pizza was prepared.  The girl child had pizza, a burger, chips and carrots.  The boy child had pizza and chips.  He ate approximately 5 chips and refused to touch the pizza because he could see the pizza sauce on it under the cheese.

Make him cheese on toast? I hear you suggest.  Like heck.  He’ll tell you he doesn’t like cheese.  He’ll tell you he doesn’t like chips, even though that’s one of the few things we can actually get him to eat.  Basically he’ll tell you he doesn’t like any food but begrudgingly agrees to eat a few things occasionally.

Having a fussy eating child is not uncommon and it’s covered in so many parenting guides with advice on how to deal with it that I know I’m not preaching to the choir, but good grief it’s stressful sometimes.  When you’ve worked really hard to create a meal for the whole family but specifically catered to the fussy child’s needs then they point blank refuse to eat it, it’s massively frustrating.


Being ignored when you’re speaking is irritating.  When it’s CONSTANTLY because your daughter just doesn’t want to know what you’re saying it’s infuriating.

She will look away, she will start doing something else, she will literally walk in the opposite direction.  If she knows you’re going to tell her something she doesn’t want to hear or doesn’t want to do, she will pretend you’ve not spoken at all.

Ignoring is her biggest crime and it’s one we battle constantly to stop her doing.  He does it too, of course, but for the girl child it’s her go to crime designed to wind us up.


Whilst the girl child is busy ignoring us, the boy child is launching an attack with his fists and feet.  “Hands are not for hitting!” is the constant reminder.  I’ve been punched in the face for applying sunscreen, his daddy has had hair ripped out of his chest for changing his nappy.  If he is stopped from doing the thing he wants to do, the chances are you’re going to take a smacking.


OH MY GOD THE TANTRUMS.  No you can’t have this, no you can’t have that, don’t steal his toy, don’t hit her with your dinosaur.  Honestly, if they’re in the mood to unleash hell these little monsters can go all out.

Last night the girl child decided she was mortally offended by being told off for ignoring, to the point that she flung herself on the ground screaming and crying, insisted she hated her dinner and didn’t want any of it (she went on to eat practically everything bar a few crumbs), and that life in general is pure torture.  You’d think she had been beaten.  The child is destined for a life on the stage I swear, she is incredibly dramatic.

Last night the boy child was told to cover his mouth when he coughs.  This resulted in him screaming like a banshee, shutting himself in the downstairs toilet, racing upstairs and howling, screaming that he doesn’t love his daddy anymore and sending his fists flying.


If one has something the other wants it.  It doesn’t matter whether they have something better or they have absolutely no interest in the thing at all, but they will wage WAR over complete nonsense.

The other day the girl had a peg.  A white plastic clothes peg.  The boy had a kangaroo.  The boy NEEDED the kangaroo the the point of screaming until he was nearly sick.  The girl objected profusely because he had the peg.  We suggested that a trade was made and if the boy put the peg on the table and stepped back, then the girl could leave the kangaroo and approach the peg whilst the boy approached the kangaroo.

Genius, and rather mafia like one might say.

Until the boy realised he had lost his peg and the girl realised she couldn’t play with both the peg AND the kangaroo.

This is in a house FILLED with toys.  It’s insane how many toys we have.  And they fought.  Over a peg.


The girl child is chief attention seeker.  She rules at it.  The boy usually wants to be left alone to finger his belly button (don’t ask), drink milk, and watch a movie.  The girl child thrives on attention.  Lives and breathes for it.  And if she can’t have positive attention, for legitimate reasons such as cooking dinner or ill health, she will force attention.

I’m currently on rest orders due to muscle damage and being heavily pregnant.  I physically am unable to give her the same level of attention and activity that I gave her previously, though she is still very well cared for as a team effort by her daddy and various grandparents, as well as still having me for cuddles and talking and singing and reading.

It’s not enough.  She wants  MY attention.  She wants everyone’s attention.

Sometimes she’s fine and she will be golden, happily playing with toys or colouring whilst I get on with jobs or whatever, but sometimes the little madam will pull out all the stops.


Baring in mind how much they try to torture one another when they’re together you’d think they hate each other.  But you wait until they’re around other children, then no force on earth can stop them.  They are a gang.  She’s sneaky, he’s tough.  They very much have the attitude of “I can kill him, you can’t” and “I can bully her, but you can’t.”

Whilst in some ways it’s so much preferable that they stick together and act as a team, it’s also a little unnerving watching them and waiting to see what child crosses them and feels their joint wrath.


Basically our kids are totally normal (most of the time) but unfortunately that means sometimes they are total assholes.

I love them.  But I’m exhausted.  They’re gorgeous.  But they’re monsters.

We went from the terrible twos to a couple of threenagers and I fear we are not going to move into a blissful calm pair of four year olds…

And oh my god don’t get me started on how nervous I am about the teenage years.  I’m sure we won’t get a good night’s sleep even when they’re not coming into our room at 2am.

AND there’s another on the way!!!! Oh heck.



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