Hell Hath No Fury Like a Toddler Scorned

Being a Mom 17

She was such a placid, sweet baby, I thought, as I rocked my infant daughter to sleep, kissing the top of her curls and breathing in the new-baby smell. After being born with a very rare -- and very serious -- neural tube defect called an encephalocele, which required neurosurgery at 28 days old, it seemed only appropriate that my last born, a daughter, would be the sweetest baby of them all.

My sons were lovely people, but as babies, well, it's a miracle my uterus didn't try to crawl back inside itself. I'd held out for a third child, and after a string of miscarriages, here she was. My sweet, sweet baby girl.

I was stunned that I could be so lucky to have had a baby so sweet -- me, of all the people in the world, mother to a sweet baby girl! It was a dream come true.

Until 11 months in ...

... when I caught her trying to get into the dishwasher and stand up on the door. Carefully, I pulled her down, and explained gently, "Amelia, we don't climb on the dishwasher. It can make us hurt."

The response I expected, a toothy, drooling grin, was not the response I, in fact, got.

Dramatically, she threw herself onto the floor (after ensuring that I was, indeed, watching her), and began a full-blown meltdown. I checked my watch. Not the witching hour. Had she eaten? Yeppers. Was she tired? She'd had a good nap; I doubted it.

Eyes swimming with crocodile tears, she looked up at me, pointed at the dishwasher, narrowed her mouth into a look that I now like to call "Toddler Death Stare," and said, "MINE."

I just stared at her, mouth flopped open in my best trout impression. Whaaaaa? Where had my darling sweet girl gone? And who was this child before me? She looked like my daughter, smelled like my daughter, and yet ... had she been abducted by aliens? That was my best guess.

Now that she's 3, the willfulness has taken over. It's something I actually admire in her, so long as she and I are on the same page (which happens once every three months), because when we're not, well, it's an ugly situation for all involved.

Luckily, I find this fiery streak primarily humorous. It's that or hide under my bed, waiting for the Terrible Three's to pass, which, considering her temperament, may be a lifelong stage for her. It's especially endearing when she catches me watching her because she knows that this could be the time I choose to go head to head with her.

Last week, she'd returned from preschool, full of sassafrass and adorablity. After giving me a big sloppy hug and smooch, I asked her to please use the bathroom. Everyone needs the reminder sometimes, right?

Off she stomps toward the bathroom, while I stand behind her, smiling a little bit. She's just so ... funny when she's mad.

She stopped, turned to me, in time for me to cover my smile with my hand, and said, "Mommy, I am NOT stomping."

"No?" I asked.

"No," she replied firmly. "I'm GALLOPING."

And like that, she "galloped" into the bathroom, while I stood in the living room, giggling.


a mom's life, girls, toddler development


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shesl... shesliketx

Hahah! My son is hitting that willful stage as well. More so than ever.

His latest favorite response is "well, I dont care."

nonmember avatar Holly

This made me laugh because I know that all too well! My same 23mo old that can hold me in a slobbery liplock until it almost feels indecent can then turn around, arms crossed,feet stomping, screaming "No Mommy, you're mean!" for simply stating it's time to get ready for bed (a process/routine that takes about 30-45min!)

marie... mariesmama

my 3 yr old called me a meany over and over again why? i woke her up so she could go to school

Badge83 Badge83

My two year old daughter recently started crossing her little arms over her chest, looks balefully at me and says "NO, Mommy!" whenever I ask her do something. You know, like pick up her toys or please stop raiding my kitchen supplies to stock her play kitchen.

Alain... Alainalynn

Is it a girl thing?? Mine likes to point out how mean I am when i "pause" a movie for her to take a bath and then trick her into going to bed after said bath instead of returning to her movie. That one only worked for a short while!

the4m... the4mutts

My boys NEVER do these things. They're rotten in their own way, sure. But not like this. My girls? Yah, you could substitute their names in this blog, and it would be a day in my life lol

Canukvik Canukvik

Sounds just like my daughter Jaime!

Misty... Misty.Dawn

cute article. Its not only girls. My boy went through a phase like this. He wasnt sassy though...so moms of girls got that on us :)

dewahlee dewahlee

My middle girl was so willful and independent. When she was younger I would say if she were the first she would have been the last. She was 2.5 we were in Kmart and I wanted to buy her the cutest pair of sandals....she wasn't having it she wanted the sneakers....She grabbed my arm squeezed (I  know a 2.5 yr old had that much strength) and she shook from head to foot while growling thru her teeth "I DONT WANT THOSE SHOES".  There is hope out there for everyone going thru this. She is the middle of five and a grown woman of 21 with a heart of Gold. She has the sweetest temperament of anyone I know and would never intentionally hurt anyone. It gets better : )

Memigen Memigen

My son is currently two (March 2010 baby) and will drop to the floor as if lightning has struck him and will cry and scream, kick and yell, etc.  I, as you do, find it particularly hilarious yet I hide this from him as best I can.  The other night I simply asked him to go play in the livingroom with his sisters (he had come into my bedroom and I was in the midst of changing to come back out and join them in the livingroom) and he proceeded to run out there.... throw a tantrum fit the size of Texas... then when he realized I wasn't on my way to his "rescue" he stopped, ran into the hallway, peeked in my room and made eye contact with me simply to fall into the hallway floor and start again.


After all.... he had to make sure I noticed him. ;)

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