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Is Having a Toddler Really as Horrible as It Seems?

Photograph by Twenty20

My son is now past the newborn stage and will be celebrating his first birthday next week. He crawls, he cruises along the furniture, he smiles, he laughs, he babbles. He’s officially a flirt. He’s always batting his long lashes and charming everyone with his baby blues. He eats Cheerios like a champ, and throws his food to the dog. He responds to his name and he sleeps all night long. He is, in fact, a wonderful little person and I love him very much.

It's been exciting watching him grow and learn new skills. I was warned that I would be missing the time when I could put him down and he didn’t move, but I love that he can crawl over to his toys and entertain himself. I’ve been looking forward to him becoming more independent and entertaining. Grow, baby, grow!

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The truth is, I was looking forward to it... until I took him to an all-ages playdate.

It was basically a pint sized version of “Lord of the Flies.” The children entered the room sweet and happy but within five minutes they went through a terrible transformation. There was screaming. Toys were being thrown, murders were attempted. “I’m pooping.” whispered a tiny savage, presumably in his pants.

Kids are mean as hell y’all. And I had no idea.

My baby pulled himself up on a chair behind a four-year-old and a two-year-old, the four-year-old turned and fixed him with an evil glare, “This is MY CHAIR. BABY.” The two-year-old followed suit, “Yeah BABY, MY CHAIR.” Cold as ice.

I could tell we weren’t wanted, and I was concerned about being burned at the stake, so we went out to the yard. Someone had thoughtfully setup an outdoor play pen. My son was happily gnawing on the wall until an adorable three-year-old girl in a little bathing suit, informed me, “I want that baby out of here right now!” Well. She then proceeded to shut the baby gate on his hand.

Kids are mean as hell y’all. And I had no idea.

I looked at my son, who once couldn’t hold his wobbly head up, standing tall on the grass, looking at the world with such wonder and I had the horrible thought:

He too, will become a monster.

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It’s amazing that humans keep procreating, it must be deeply embedded into our DNA to encourage survival of the species. Babies run the show. Your own life means nothing, you do it all for the glory of love. All for a creature that will grow up to pull other people’s hair and wail at the library, snatching a book from my hands then throwing himself prostrate on the floor, full of woe.

He’s going to hurl things angrily. And slam doors, and hurt my feelings. He’s going to embarrass me with his child psychopathy until one day he grows up and is a man. A man that will hopefully put us in a nice home by the sea when we’re old.

We have no idea how our children are going to turn out, all we can do is buckle up, tighten all the buckles twice, hang on and enjoy the ride.

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