The Definition of Toddler

by on 21/05/10 at 9:12 am

Dear Merriam Webster,

I am a bit confused by your definition of toddler. According to your online dictionary, toddler is “one that toddles; especially : a young child”. Obviously, whoever came up with this definition has never spent much time around one. As a mom to a 2 year old, I can think of better phrases to describe the word instead of “one that toddles”. Here are my suggestions for consideration:

  • “one that throws tantrums so loud they pierce your eardrums”
  • “one that acts like an idiot in public and causes humiliation to parents and pains everyone around”
  • “an extremely effective form of birth control”
  • “a little person who wants  control at all times and if you try to stand in his or her way, you may be injured by flailing limbs”.

I appreciate urban dictionary’s definition of toddler, it reads:

“Tiny bipolar humans under the age of 3, who can swing rapidly between endearingly cute antics and screaming, kicking, biting fits of rage. Completely unpredictable and often unintelligible lovable little walking blessings/nightmares disguised as tiny human beings with giant heads. Prone to selective hearing and repeating overheard curse words at inopportune moments. More dangerous when traveling in packs. Evolutionarily speaking, it is ridiculous that humans have the ability to reproduce fast enough to be the parent of more than one toddler at a time.”
Now that is right on the money! Please take note and edit your definition appropriately.
The Unemployed Mom

Disclaimer: I love my son very much, he is such a blessing. His behavior yesterday pushed me to write this! Of course today he is being a cuddly little bear and I should feel guilty about publishing, but I do not.  :)

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14 Responses to “The Definition of Toddler”

  1. Katie

    May 21st, 2010


    I can completely relate to this…and I love LOVE the curly hair.

  2. Dalia

    May 21st, 2010

    I really wanted to post … I can soooo relate. I love my litte guy too, but sometimes I think I must be doing it all wrong because it can be so hard when they have a mood swing. The good thing is that I’ve learned to tune it out. He has a mood swing and I switch to calm and collected, ignoring everything. He can flail all he wants and I just do what I’m doing. I’ve had very good luck with this, and when he goes into a mood swing, most of the time it only lasts minutes.

  3. Brooke

    May 23rd, 2010

    My husband and I are the proud parents of a 15 months old little girl/dictator and we could not agree more with your post!

  4. Giana

    May 23rd, 2010

    I’m am a lucky (or not so lucky) winner of the multiple toddler prize. I have 2 boys 118 months apart and I can SO relate to this post! I love them to death, but my goodness, sometime its enough to make me want to pull my hair out. Urban dictionary is was spot on!

  5. Distracted Daddy

    May 23rd, 2010

    Really not looking forward to this stage with my daughter. Maybe we can just skip the whole toddling stage.

  6. Brocha

    May 23rd, 2010

    This is SOOO true. I have a 17 month old who I call Hurricane Nathan the Destructor, and a newborn… I am so worried when they gang up on me!

    I am going to be in BIIIIIG trouble!

  7. The Unemployed Mom

    May 25th, 2010

    I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this frustrating toddler stage! :) @Distracted Daddy, perhaps you’ll get lucky and your daughter will be really mellow. :) GOOD LUCK everyone.

  8. Aimee Hays

    Jun 8th, 2010

    So funny and so true. I always tell my friends that have teenagers they can borrow my 2 year old. She is an excellent form of birth control.

  9. Jackie

    Jun 16th, 2010

    This is so amazingly true! I had to share this with my sister who has a 2 yr old son and I can see him acting exactly like this!
    I’ve also had my own experiences with this … I have 3 daughters and a 5 month old son! Sad to say that the tantrums don’t really stop… they just change a bit!

  10. Petula

    Jun 29th, 2010

    Perfect! Love this post and, you’re right, they need to edit their definition. Geez!

  11. TheSuburbanMom

    Jul 20th, 2010

    Please add licks strange things when you aren’t looking to your definition. Yesterday, at the grocery store, I turned back to my daughter to find her LICKING the frozen peas bag. ICK ICK ICK

  12. The Unemployed Mom

    Jul 20th, 2010

    Oh boy, my son hasn’t licked anything strange yet…but I am sure he will!!! Thanks for the warning. :)

  13. Tara@ourlifeinthedeepend

    Apr 8th, 2011

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, SCARED,SCARED,SCARED Thank you so much for sharing this! We took him to Epcot today and wow to see his reactions, smiles and interest. You are right when you say enjoy it now!

  14. adebisi

    Jun 9th, 2011

    i’m actually doing a package on toddlers in boarding school and tried geting a definition from your site met wit this interesting definitions. i laughed silly. well i guess thinking back at the sort pranks my kids play which gets me mad most of the time i can’t but smile and say am indeed a blessed mom. they make life really interesting!!!!!

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