What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

Episode 35: What is Up With Toddlers?

Have you a short fat dictator in your home? Do you cower before a 24-pound child demanding pizza– no, not THAT kind of pizza! the other kind, the kind she likes NOW, which apparently has neither sauce nor cheese? 

What is *UP* with toddlers?

In this episode we discuss

  • why toddlers’ tantrums may have, at least at one time, been biologically necessary
  • why taking your toddler’s french toast sticks away makes him feel like he’s suddenly swimming alone in open ocean
  • how expecting a toddler to be “magically cute” is extremely problematic
  • why, if you really must ice-skate with a toddler, you must always, always take your own skates off first

And here’s links to some fascinating research, helpful tips, and funny toddler stuff we reference:

Kate Gammon for Popular Science: Birth Of Memory: Why Kids Forget What Happened Before Age 7

Patrick Sauer for Fatherly: What’s Going On Inside A Toddler’s Brain, According To Science

Alison Gopnik’s TED talk: What Do Babies Think? 

Mo Willems and his perfect description of how a toddler goes “boneless”

Toddlerography with James Corden and Jennifer Lopez

…and from England’s First Steps Research, a study indicating that a toddler’s daily caloric output is the equivalent of going 83 rounds in a boxing ring.


This episode also features our interview with Heather Spohr, co-author of the new book The Toddler Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Whiny Unfed. Spohr’s book is hilarious *and* has practical advice (our favorite combo) for surviving the inevitable onslaught of the Toddler Apocalypse in your own household. Take heart, and plan ahead.

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1 Comment

  1. Lauren

    I am a mom of an almost 2 year old and I needed to hear this episode. I was laughing out loud at work. Which in it of itself is funny because I am also a 2nd grade teacher and my entire day I am surrounded by children. Thank you so much Margaret and Amy for doing an episode all the about toddlers and the crazy ups and downs we mama’s have with them. So very appreciative and absolutely love listening to your podcast every week.

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