My toddler’s an asshole.

Yes – it’s not a typo. At this moment there is no more accurate word to describe him.

Now before everyone gets their phones out to call social services, I LOVE my son. And to be fair to him, he still has his lovely moments when he can make my heart melt with as simple smile. However I am being brutally honest with myself – at this current stage, I don’t like him very much.

This is not a blog to give you the answers. I’m a mother in the eye of the storm. I’ve got the bags under the eyes and the sheer exasperation in my heart  to show for it. I’m at the summit of the toddler years. My son just turned three. I thought I was through the worst, but something has taken over my dear sweet boy.

No one could have prepared me for the last three months. I thought I was through the terrible twos. Yes he had a few melt-downs and there were those moments when I could tell he was beyond frustrated with his inability to communicate. I felt sorry for him. I felt his pain. He was my boy who was spreading his wings and testing his limits. They even said acting out was a sign of intelligence. I smiled as I realised that meant my young son will obviously be a genius.

But then he turned into an asshole.

Almost overnight. I didn’t see it coming. His tantrums started to escalate. It went from stubbornly shaking his head to full-blown stomping his feet while screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of the grocery store. In this particular instance, I got angry and told him to stop this horrendous behaviour (as my face turned an unnatural shade of red) only for him to stop screaming and walk over to the shelves and start taking items and throwing them at the floor (narrowly missing a few customers).

I was SO embarrassed. Everywhere I looked were other shoppers looking at me – probably thinking “lady, get control of your kid.”

But I couldn’t…it just kept getting worse, like quick-sand. I stopped him from throwing the last bag of sugar (yes you can imagine the mess – I didn’t even mean to be down the baking isle, I was buying a pre-made cake!!) and he started to sprint through the store.

Who knew a toddler could run so fast?!

I had to leave my twin girls in their stroller (with groceries piled underneath) and sprint after him. I just barely caught his collar near the check-out and if I didn’t have so many people watching me, I would’ve put him in a choke-hold and dragged him straight to the car.

But that is not the modern mother.

No, we must talk through their feelings and ask why they feel the need to terrorize an entire shopping community.

The worst part is my toddler doesn’t quite understand consequence.

I’m stern with him. I follow through on punishments …I do everything that all the books tell me to.

But it doesn’t seem to matter. My boy doesn’t seem to care about consequences at this horrible stage of the nightmare toddler years.  He KNOWS that mummy is tired and busy with his twin sisters. He KNOWS that in the past, the end of our “why did you act that way darling?” conversations end with a hug…so now he’s clever enough to just jump to that part.

“Mummy, (sulky voice)…cuddle?”

Aw HELL no.

My 3 year old has figured out the art of emotional manipulation. (Applause)

He was so close to turning three and now they tell me about the…wait for it… “three-nager”

The know-it-all, shit-disturber of the toddler era. Everything is “mine!”

“Mine car! Mine cake! Mine toy!”

And oh the mood swings…He can literally go from happy one minute, to screaming on the floor, kicking/hitting, inconsolable in less than a second.

At one point in a pub he literally laid down on the floor and was kicking the wall so hard that pictures started to fall off.

Who the hell was this demon?

I used to be the person in the pub saying, “thank GOD I don’t have kids. That woman needs to take that kid out to the car and leave him there.” And then I realised I AM the mum of this kid.

I was mortified.

How did I go so wrong in my mothering technique that my beautiful caring boy had turned into this….asshole???

I’ve dealt with mean-spirted, arrogant, rude and condescending people in my working life who made me feel like a queen compared to this new version of my toddler.

I wanted to cry. I did cry.

Last week I was driving my son back from visiting some friends and he decided to wriggle his way out of his booster seat/seatbelt and on a major highway, he started to jump on the back seats. I was screaming at him (after a few minutes of trying to act calmly) to sit down. I went through all the motions of threats (you’ll go to bed when you get home!) until finally offering him treats as rewards.

He honestly just laughed…at everything I said. Like some possessed creature.

I had to pull over on the side of the motorway and pin him down as he screamed at me for stopping the car.

I know this can sound funny but at the time I was beyond frustrated and exhausted. His straight defiance to listen to me had gone too far.

My husband and I walk to bed each night looking like something out of a zombie film, and we talk about how this is just a passing stage in his life. We’ll giggle (read, sob into our wine glasses) at how our baby twin girls are so much easier to deal with than our one son.

One of the parenting magazine says this about terrible twos:

Even though the “terrible twos” is a trying period, this is an important time for your child to develop independence.

Is that so? I’ll give him independence.

If you’d like to visit my son, he’ll be sleeping in his “independent” sleeping quarters outside in the shed.


Mother of asshole.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lara says:

    Just wait for the f*****g fours! They say 3-4 is a window to how they will be as teenagers, in between now and then it is not bad, I can vouch for this as a mum of 2 boys who are now 18 and 21. There are times still when I don’t like them although I always love them. They can be total pricks when they want – hey, they are human after all. Give me a call!


  2. Katie Winstanley says:

    This is so funny and so true!!! My eldest just turned 4… and this phase of wanting independence hasn’t finished yet!!!! I keep hoping school will be the answer!! Just keep the wine coming please! X


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