Nina In New York: 50 Reasons Why My Toddler Is Crying

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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By Nina Pajak

As I near the end of my pregnancy, things with my toddler are really heating up. Rage, defiance, frustration, neediness, and impatience are at an all time high. And she’s no better than me!

Ba dum dum.

No, but seriously, things have reached a level of emotional intensity I didn’t know possible. And that’s coming from a person who sobs uncontrollably while attempting (unsuccessfully) to read the same children’s book for the twentieth time. The day is a virtual minefield of tantrums and blowups of all types and lengths. You may have seen us around, in fact. I’m that pregnant lady with the kid screaming in the public bathroom at that roadside gas station. I’m also the woman you saw struggling with a contrary child in the middle of that crosswalk. And yeah, that was me in the ice cream store, simultaneously threatening to leave and bribing my kid with a sundae in a truly desperate attempt at inspiring a modicum of compliance. So for your entertainment, my catharsis, and possibly your schadenfreude, here are just some of the reasons why my three year old is crying (today):

  1. She couldn’t cut a piece of paper into the shape she wanted.
  2. I cut a piece of paper for her into said shape, at her request.
  3. She didn’t want to go to the potty.
  4. She had to go to the potty.
  5. She peed in her pants.
  6. Her pants were wet.
  7. She didn’t want dry pants.
  8. She wanted to go to the playground.
  9. At 3AM.
  10. In the rain.
  11. She wanted a lollipop.
  12. At 9AM.
  13. We wet her toothbrush before putting the toothpaste on it.
  14. I accidentally flushed the toilet for her and couldn’t unflush it.
  15. I thought she was saying “macaroni and cheese,” but really she was saying “macrarobi and shreeze.”
  16. She said something and I nodded and said “mm hmm” instead of saying “yeah” at the precisely correct pitch, speed and intonation.
  17. She wanted to wear a fleece sleeping bag in her stroller on an 85° day.
  18. She wanted to “go somewhere for lunch.”
  19. At 7PM, ten minutes after we’d left the place we’d taken her for dinner.
  20. She wanted a snack.
  21. She wanted a different snack.
  22. How about another snack?
  23. What other snacks do I have?
  24. Not lunch, a snack.
  25. NO SANDWICH. SHE SAID A SNACK!
  26. She wanted to watch a show.
  27. She wanted to watch a show.
  28. SHE WANTED TO WATCH A SHOW!!
  29. We had to go home before she was ready.
  30. She wanted to go home before I was ready.
  31. She asked to go home and then changed her mind once we got home.
  32. She asked to go to the playground, but didn’t want to have to wear shoes.
  33. Why can’t she wear her slippers?
  34. Slippers are like shoes!
  35. She wanted to put the hood of her stroller “all the way up,” which means she wishes the hood of her stroller could extend to fully cocoon her within her conveyance.
  36. She didn’t want to wear that dress. Or that dress. Or that dress.
  37. She wanted pants.
  38. No, not those.
  39. She said shorts! She wanted shorts!
  40. Aaaaaargh not those shorts. The long kind.
  41. Yeah, pants!
  42. Actually, she wants to wear her Queen Elsa dress. To school.
  43. She doesn’t want the babysitter to come.
  44. She doesn’t want the babysitter to leave.
  45. No reason at all. Why are you asking?
  46. She wanted to watch a show. PLEASE.
  47. She needed socks to sleep because she’s hot. No, not cold. Hot. Don’t question her.
  48. She needed a band-aid for her knee. No, her ankle. No, her thumb. No, the other thumb. Wait, her knee.
  49. I failed to telepathically understand that she wanted her chicken nuggets to be cut up prior to serving.
  50. And of course, the most important of all: she wanted to sleep in our bed.

Phew. That feels better. Now: why is your three-year-old crying?

Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!

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