If Toddlers Were Adults

There’s this blogger, Missy, who doesn’t know me from Adam, but in my mind we’re BFF’s. Yes, it’s a little Single White Female-ish, but when someone makes me laugh like she does–you HAVE to read her post about the Marriage Bed–and nod my head with that “Uh-HUH. AMEN!” thing when I read this post, then in my world? We are besties.
Well, several weeks (months? who knows, b/c I can’t find the actual post) ago, Missy said something in a post about how the frustrating thing about 2 year olds is that they are at their height of cuteness and also height of stab-me-in-the-eye-if-I-hear-one-more-second-of-whining-ness. Well, that’s the Brazenlilly paraphrase. She was refering to the whining, the mind-changing, the power-struggles, the testing, etc. But she made a very professional observation that many times abusive parents lose their cool because they don’t understand a child’s development–they expect them to behave like a grown-up. The adult doesn’t compute that the child CAN’T behave like an adult–it’s beyond their capabilities. And even those of us who, by the grace of God, are not abusive but still lose our cool and/or our sanity on a daily basis, we know in our heads that, of course they don’t act like adults, b/c they are NOT adults. But still? We lose our cool and/or our sanity on a daily basis. Did I already say that? It’s worth repeating. I lose my cool and/or my sanity on a DAILY. BASIS.
But as my 5 year old and especially my almost-three-year-old are expanding their repertoire of behaviors and routines that have me running out of Lamaze calming techniques, I can’t help but note that it is this non-adult-acceptable factor that sends me over the edge. I mean, if I acted to one of my friends the way she does to me, I WOULD HAVE NO FRIENDS.
To amuse myself (and now you) I laid in bed translating Sydney’s recent stunts to the adult world. Imagine if you will, I’m over at my friend Becky’s house. The week before, she had said “come over to hang out and have some coffee.” Well, after 2 hours of chatting, it’s 4:45pm, Becky thinks we’re wrapping up, and suddenly I have a hankering for some coffee. Kind as she is, Becky sweetly tells me that sorry, the only coffee she has is in the freezer in the garage, which has 3 boxes on top of it, and it’s not ground up.
“Oh, Becky! Please, please! I really, really, REALLY want some coffee! You TOLD ME we were going to have coffee! YOU TOLD ME!”
So, slightly annoyed, but ever the generous hostess, Becky stops feeding a bottle to her infant daughter to go unbury the coffee beans. She asks if I would continue feeding the baby, but I assure her that I absolutely can’t because I’m holding my People magazine.
So the baby cries while Becky spends 10 minutes getting the bag of beans, coming back sweaty and irritated. I ask what took her so long, and does she remember? I REEEEEAAAALLLY want coffee! She puts the bag on the table and picks up the baby to finish off the bottle, while I get distracted by the television. When the baby is calm, she opens up the new bag, gets the coffee grinder from the back of the lowest cabinet and starts to grind the coffee beans for me. Just as the baby spits up all over her shirt:
“BECKY!!” I yell in anger. “I CAN’T HEAR THE TV!” And because I’m not a complete neanderthal, I make sure to use the magic word: “PLEASE STOP DOING THAT!” Becky, voice getting a teensy bit testy, reminds me that she is just getting me THE COFFEE that I have been relentlessly asking for, and that she can’t make it without grinding the beans. Against my will, I accept this explanation.
As she finally puts the coffee in the pot and starts it up, I come over and watch it brew. I make little urgent moaning and guttural noises while absent-mindedly banging my hands on the counter top, as if that will make the pot work quicker. Being sure not to complain TO Becky, but just not able to control myself, I start talking to the coffee maker itself, which is an inanimate object, so technically not being rude to my hostess. “Hurry UP!” I say through gritted teeth. “I really want COFFEE!” Becky is fuming silently, and counting the minutes until my precious coffee is ready so rid me from her sight.
At LONG last, the brewing stops and Becky grabs a mug and pours me a cup. I take the mug and walk to the fridge, looking for the creamer. I say with annoyance on the verge of panic: “Where’s the coffee creamer?!” Becky calmly tells me that she doesn’t have any. That I never mentioned that I needed coffee creamer. Sorry.
“WHAT?! This is HORRIBLE!” I say, falling dramatically down into a heap on the nearest chair, splashing hot coffee everywhere. Then I channel my inner Hulk. “I cannot, I mean CANNOT have coffee without coffee creamer! Why don’t you have coffee creamer?!?! YUCK.” And with that? I pour the coffee down the drain. And Becky has HAD ENOUGH. She firmly sends me straight to my room for a long time out. Or goes to the drawer and pulls out the wooden spoon. Or goes ape-poop crazy at my ridiculous, UNACCEPTABLE behavior and will never, EVER let me step foot in her kitchen again! And calls on every ounce of Holy Spirit strength in her body to keep from grabbing the full pot and hurling it against the nearest wall just to get out some frustration in the glorious CRASH. Except Becky is me, and I’m Sydney, and she loves me unconditionally and forgives me once again. And offers me a cup of tea instead. Which I smile and take with a huge smile and innocent thank you–like nothing ever happened.
And this concludes tonight’s version of: If Toddlers Were Adults. Thank you for joining me. Stay tuned for: If Husbands Were Wives, starring me and my sister-in-law Jess, as we have a competition to see whose farts smell worse.


  1. Oh that’s good… so good. I often think about how humiliating it can be to parent a child. After days/weeks of spending day-in-day-out with a person of limited people-skills, one can seriously lose it.

    This made me laugh out loud… thanks Jen.

  2. Oh my goodness! I love it! I feel like there may be some pent up anger since I didn’t offer you coffee the last time you came over. 🙂

  3. You are freaking hilarious! I thought of this post sooooooOOOOOO many times today during different interactions with Jax, and it made me smile rather than scream and throw things ;-).

  4. I almost fell out of my chair laughing at this post! Taking childish behavior and allowing adults to act it out would be a great reality show, oh wait…that’s Jerry Springer. 🙂

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