Problem Child

imageI love both of my children. I love them both equally, totally and unconditionally. I would do absolutely anything in the world for either one of them. They are the greatest thing to ever happen to me in my entire life. That being said, sometimes I would like to launch my 3 year old daughter from a giant slingshot straight into the center of the sun. Not really. Well….maybe a little.

The other day she threw a tantrum while walking into a Target store because her shoes were not “pretty enough” and for the life of me I couldn’t decipher what the hell that meant or how to defuse the situation. So back we went to the car, crying and yelling to wait until my wife did the grocery shopping. That was only the most recent of her mini-meltdowns that have been occurring with alarming regularity. If I had a dollar for every time her mother or I have had to leave a store or cut short a trip because she decided to turn all “Hulk Smash” on us, I’d have my PlayStation 4 already. And if you’ve ever tried to reason with a 3 year old you understand that sometimes there is just literally no way to win. Logic and reason do not play a big part of their everyday lives. And I know that every single parent goes through this with every single kid, but sometimes it feels like my kid has that extra little ‘pain in the ass’ gene inside of her. IMG_1592 (3) I guess if I had to draw some sort of gaming comparison, my daughter would be the equivalent of Bloodborne or a Dark Souls game. I recognize how amazing and wonderful you are, but so often when I’m with you I just want to bang my head against the wall over and over in frustration. She is a challenge like nothing I have ever faced. Whether it’s eating dinner, potty training or just getting dressed in the morning for daycare. There is no seemingly simple task that she cannot instantly turn into an epic battle of herculean proportions. Just getting her to sleep at night can turn into such a trial of patience and resilience that it leaves my wife and I mentally exhausted by the time that little twerp is snoring.

I know that my wife and I aren’t terrible parents. Our oldest girl is growing up to be one of the kindest, most compassionate and well behaved kids I’ve ever seen. So I know we KNOW how to do this. It just sometimes feels like we must be doing it wrong. But when the dust settles at the end of the day and we open a bottle of wine and put on a show to try and unwind a bit, I remember that all children are different. Some might be little angels that listen to everything you say and get straight A’s and never get into trouble. While others require a little bit more…. perseverance.

And in the end, I know that all of the hard work will be worth it. Because for each moment of anger or frustration, there are the moments where she makes me laugh harder than I’ve ever laughed before. There are the moments where she stops whatever she’s doing to come find me and give me a kiss and tell me that I’m the best daddy ever. And those moments when I see that sweet, funny, beautiful girl far outweigh the ones where she’s beating her sister over the head with a Barbie doll (her sister might disagree). And as emotionally exhausting as it can sometimes be, when it comes down to it I wouldn’t trade her for any other kid in the world because she’s a unique and wonderful little girl. Even if you sometimes have to look past a lot of piss and vinegar to see it.

Have your kids ever driven you to the brink of insanity? Share your stories in the comments below!


  1. I wish I could remember the link, but I once read an article on how grateful we should be to have strong willed children as they will grow up to be confident adults. Of course, that means they somehow survive their trying threes without being launched into the sun…, but it’s something to keep in mind.

  2. My 3 year old is the exact same way. Independent and sassy as hell. As my one year old is the complete opposite of her, sweet and nice 24/7. I loved reading this, mostly because my 3 year old has had one of those days today & I’m trying to unwind at the moment. Thank you for the post! 😀

  3. My six year old has been like this since she was three. It is so exhausting to deal with when the tantrums erupt out of nowhere over seeming nothingness. Like you, my oldest is a kind, level-headed kid who has not had a tantrum since she was two. With her I could bear-hug her and that would bring things under control. If I try that with my six year old I am likely to talk away with bruises. When she isn’t going crazy, she is a great happy, go-lucky kid, which makes it all the more challenging when she erupts. Most often I think it is related to hunger. Unfortunately she refuses to eat when she is angry. Ah well. at least I am raising a stron-willed, confident kid – or something like that.

  4. Having been the obstinate making-parents-cry-on-a-daily-basis child, I hope I can give you a bit of encouragement. I did turn out to be an independent, self-motivated adult. I don’t care what other people think of me, I have my own particular style, I have a strong sense of justice, and I’m not susceptible to peer pressure at all. Way to go! 🙂 Keep it up!

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