There are some indisputable truths about toddlers. Toddlers are incredibly adorable. Toddlers are a ton of fun. Toddlers are annoying. Wait, back up. Cute and Fun we love, but annoying? Well, we could do without that part. Luckily we’re here to answer the timeless question, WHY are toddlers so annoying?
Once upon a family, you bring home this perfect baby and you spend the next year marveling at them as they grow.
You clap as they learn to roll, crawl and walk. You scream with glee when they utter their first, precious, “Mama”. Every accomplishment is a little miracle to be celebrated.
Then toddlerhood hits. Instead of clapping and screaming with glee you find new reactions. You pull your hair when they rip the page of a book. You cry into your coffee after they lovingly drop a piece of broccoli into it. You furrow your brow when they point and scream at a banana, seemingly expressing an interest in consuming said banana only to abjectly refuse it moments later.
This leads to the fateful day you find yourself asking, “Why are toddlers so annoying???”
Thankfully, we’re two Moms that have raised seven kids between us. In that time we’ve experienced basically every annoying toddler behavior.
Here are our top 10 reasons that your toddler is annoying.
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Toddlers cannot make up their minds to save their adorable little lives. It is enough to make a person insane (and this comes from two card carrying Libras that are often decision challenged). Banana or apple? Blocks or puzzles? Inside or outside? Pick one and you lose the other! Toddler FOMO is real and intense.
Once a decision is made, toddlers are often instantaneously filled with overwhelming regret. The cycle begins anew and we are at ground zero in the decision making process.
Remember everything I just said about toddlers being indecisive? Well, the most annoying thing about toddlers is that somehow they are just as opinionated as they are indecisive. This conundrum makes absolutely zero sense, and yet, it’s true.
The same toddler that couldn’t decide between an apple and a banana will only, and I mean ONLY drink from the blue cup. They will under absolutely NO circumstances wear the shirt you have picked out and will ONLY wear their Paw Patrol Marshall Costume. To church.
They have finally made a decision and this time, they’re sticking to it darn it.
Well, until their favorite color changes. So just go ahead and get a thousand plates to be ready.
Related Post: 10 Things That All Toddlers Do
Independent and Yet…..Not at All
A toddler’s favorite phrase might just be “I can do it!” It’s actually kind of adorable the way they hold their chin up, look at the task before them and confidently announce “I CAN DO IT.”
Until they, you know, can’t actually do that thing.
Like put on their own shoes. Or pants. Or sweatshirt. So if you’re trying to get out of the house to go anywhere but a nudist colony, you’re probably out of luck.
If a toddler’s favorite phrase is “I can do it,” their favorite word is “mine.” My kid will claim his favorite car, his blankie, a bag of goldfish, and his favorite spatula. Wait, what? YES. No object in your home (or outside of it to be honest) is safe from the territorial nature of a toddler.
Because toddlers don’t stop with things that are actually theirs. Toddlers will claim anything as theirs and everything as precious. A toddler will stake a claim to an apple, a screwdriver, or a tampon if given a chance.
You actually NEED that apple, spatula or tampon? Good luck. They’re territorial….and strong.
I am a full grown woman of nearly 40. I am in reasonably good physical condition for someone that isn’t totally opposed to eating a full sleeve of Thin Mints during the holy Girl Scout cookie season. And darned if I won’t struggle to get my kid into his carseat if he doesn’t want to be in it.
And by struggle, I mean full on heavy breathing with the faint sparkle of sweat on my upper lip STRUGGLE. A toddler’s ability to contort their body, shove you out of the way, and resist all attempts at restraint is applaudable. You know, if you aren’t the one they’re battling.
Heaven help me if he’s got a good grip on something I need. As I delicately try to pry his little fingers off the item of the moment, he seems to double down on his Hulklike strength. HOW are toddlers so strong? One of life’s great mysteries….
Anything toddlers do, they do BIG. We admit, this is adorable when they’re BIG excited. My son was given a quesadilla and a juice box at a playdate yesterday and was thrilled. He adorably exclaimed, “Oh WOW” as though he had been presented the world’s best lunch. We fawned over the moment.
Then we got outside and he saw a fly. BIG scared. His brother picked up a toy he secretly wanted. BIG angry. I put something he wasn’t in the mood for on his plate for dinner. BIG disgusted. The BIG feelings are a lot when you’re the one that needs to manage and soothe them all day.
So we will hunker down and give the hugs and break up the fights and deal with the insane peaks and valleys that are toddler emotions. But we will also concede that it’s high on the list of reasons why toddlers are so annoying.
When my first was about a year and a half old, we were in the grocery store and he let out the world’s loudest and highest pitched scream. (The people at Guiness were unavailable to certify the scream, but I’m pretty confident it would have won a world record).
A “kind” older lady looked over with mostly disdain, and asked what he wanted. The implication being, DEAR GOD WOMAN GIVE THE MAN WHAT HE WANTS SO HE’LL STOP MAKING THAT NOISE.
“Oh, no, that’s his happy scream,” I replied, dejectedly. See, screaming sucks. But at least when kids scream and they want something you can maybe try to fix it. Toddlers? They’ll scream about anything. Happy? Scream. Sad? Scream.
There is just no quieting the scream of a toddler.
Masters of Destruction
I asked my nine year old, why are toddlers so annoying?, and he settled into his chair and started with a “Well…” Having lived through four younger siblings, he was ready to spill the tea on toddlers. His top reason? They ruin EVERYTHING.
I laughed as I thought of all the towers of blocks or Lego builds that toddlers in my house have destroyed. In my mind I thought – yeah, that’s a kid problem though.
But NO, those fools destroy my stuff too! My walls that get drawn on. My couch that gets spilled on. MY Lego builds that get torn apart (okay, that’s my fault for being a giant kid, whatever.) But the truth is, toddlers destroy everything and have no shame in doing it.
Related Post: Levels of Parenting Emergencies
They Have No Boundaries
A toddler will find it perfectly acceptable to try to sit on your head while you have a friend over for coffee. They will get all up in your face and yell directly into it if they need attention. They will attempt to sit on your lap while you go poop. Basically, your space, is their space.
And while there’s a teeny part of us that laughs and files that shit away in our memory banks waiting until they’re of dating age so we can weaponize it, right now – it sucks. As much as we love our toddlers, sometimes we just need a little space gosh darn it!
Because They’re Toddlers
At the end of the day it seems toddlers are annoying because that’s just part of life right now. And I am NOT going to tell you that you’re going to miss it one day. Because no one misses getting mushy banana thrown at them because they wanted it opened differently.
But I am going to tell you that it passes.
That one day you look up and they’re a big kid, sitting at the table, opening their own bananas. Your spatulas will be right where you left them (though your bowls and spoons may never return). They actually can do it. You won’t have heard a happy scream in so long your ears have stopped ringing.
And then you’ll be at a table in a restaurant or a coffee shop and you’ll see two Moms sitting together. They’ll be commiserating over the first hot coffee they’ve finished in months. And one will say, “Oh my God, why are toddlers so annoying?????”
And you’ll smile to yourself and think, Oh, do I know the answer to that one…..
Looking to find more balance between the fun and the annoying? Try our No Stress Toddler Schedules to get their lives – and yours – on track!
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