“Yes boss, I am coming.”
“Yes, I will clean the mess.”
“You did #2?”
“Don’t worry, I will clean it for you!”
“I am begging you to let me do it.”
“Noooooooooo…don’t fire me.”
Does that sound familiar? Is that how you talk to a boss, well except for the poop part I suppose? But, I have to clean my boss’ poop too, even when she is wiggling around when I am trying to put a clean diaper under her bum, while she waves the dirty one over her head! I am the mother of a very naughty 17-month old toddler. Thank you for empathizing with me. I might be freelancing, but at home, she is our boss.
I have been very lucky when it comes to having a boss at work. I have had some very good ones, whom I miss terribly at times. That was until now. Now, I work for a boss who is not even 2, but has an attitude that would fit a 60-year-old with all the experience in the world!
Come on, what is with toddlers? They are mini-boss versions who make you do what you don’t want to do, at hours which are unusual. I thought teenage phase was what we parents have to be afraid of. But, looks like toddlerhood is a peek into what or rather who is going to rule your life for the next 16 years. The only reason you work for them is because they make up for their bossiness(wait, is that even a word?) by showering you with the utmost love, kissing you on your cheeks when you least expect them, and hugging you like they will never let you go. Awww. Well, I have decided that I don't want a good boss if I can have my toddler every second of my life! She completes me. A day without her stuffing my socks into the commode would be very hard to enjoy! Little one, don't grow up.
But, the fact remains that toddlers are like bad bosses. They have similar characteristics. You don’t believe me? Let me list it out for you here.
15 They Are Cranky
Toddlers are cranky. Period! They are like women during their menstrual cycle, or like men during a football match which their team is losing. Toddlers can throw a tantrum anywhere and anytime. You don’t see it coming. It is like the lava burst of a dormant volcano. Boom, it blasts quite unexpectedly and if you are near it, you are covered in black soot, while the volcano continues to wail.
A bad boss is cranky most of the times. Nothing pleases them when they are cranky. They can get cranky and throw a tantrum because the sky is blue, but their favorite color is red. They will cry for reasons that even the creator of the universe might be obliged to apologize for. "Sorry kiddo, next time, I will make the trees all purple with animals hanging down and fruits will have four legs and walk around slicing everyone." Believe me, a bad boss who wants you to achieve an unimaginable target might suddenly look like an angel!
14 They Do What They Please
One of the most important characteristics of a bad boss is that they do what they please. They don’t listen to their employee’s opinions. They think whatever they deem right is the right thing to do, and no one in the team can convince them otherwise. Maybe, the only one that they will listen to, is their boss. But, with a toddler, remember, she is the boss, and there is no one to boss over her. So, you are stuck with a boss who can’t be controlled. Power, my friends, is corrupting, and with a 2-year-old, it is plain disaster.
If your toddler thinks that he can wear 2 pairs of socks and his diaper on his head during a snowstorm, then he is freaking right! Who are you to tell him he is wrong? He knows what he is doing. What do you think of him? Do you think he is a child? Oh my God, how could you make such a naive mistake? Are you looking to get fired?
13 They Make You Work Overtime
I understand you are tired, and you have to clock out. A good boss understands that and will even let you take leaves. But, with toddlers, there is no leaves. In fact, you have to work every day, every hour, even at night sometimes. You have to run behind them, take them to parks, feed them food they won’t eat, dress them in clothes that they don’t want to wear, put them in the car seat where they don’t want to sit, and put them to sleep so that they can get up in the middle of the night and play only because you don’t want them to play during that time of the night.
The hours can be erratic. A job that takes five minutes can, sometimes, take an hour, because the boss is being difficult. There have been times when I have taken half an hour to dress my girl for day care, because she was roaming around the house naked, licking mirrors and patting her tummy!
12 They Demand You Do More
You think you are working your ass off, doing everything you thought is humanly possible, but your boss is not happy with the results. He wants you to do more, more than humanly possible. Well, if not, prepare for a low rating. It is the same with toddlers. You work consistently, you hardly even take loo-breaks. But, they demand you to do more.
Imagine being in a room with a toddler who wants to play with a ball. The ball is right next to her, at a finger’s reach, but she wants you to get up from you seat and hand her the ball, so she can play with it for, say, five seconds. The probability of such situations happening increases when they see that you are tired AF and want to just sit for some time, and would have barely managed to let your bum brush the couch.
11 They Interfere With Everything You Do
If you have a bad boss at work, you know that one most annoying habits of hers is that she micromanages. She pokes her long nose in everything she sees. It is the same with nosy toddlers. They follow you like shadows. You turn your head, and they are there, standing close to you, looking at you like you are about to commit a mistake. It can get very intimidating.
If you want to eat, they want to eat from your plate. If you want to sleep, they want to sleep on you. If you want to sit on the pot, they want to come into the bathroom and see if you are doing it right! They are like the ankle monitors that the police have on criminals that keeps a track of them every second. In this case, it is just personified by a small person who barely is 3 feet tall and barely weighs quarter of your weight.
10 They Make You Seem Bad In Front Of Others
You know you are doing a great job. Your heart knows it. You have been busy trying to do the right thing so that your boss appreciates. But, they don’t. Period. They humiliate you in front of your colleagues. You feel miserable. But, it is not you, it is your boss who is cruel.
With toddlers, they make you feel bad by their behavior. They mostly do things that they aren’t supposed to do. They make you feel like a bad parent in front of others by being stubborn and not listening to you. Some of it can be changed by parenting, while most of it is the toddler trouble phase that you have to live with. My daughter is a social butterfly, she loves people. She likes going out. But, at times, she throws a tantrum in the park when we ask her if we can head back home. She stretches her body, or curls up into a ball, before we can shove her into the car. Most parents understand. But sometimes, we get a stink eye from a stranger who thinks it is our fault.
9 They Are Bad Listeners
For one to be a good boss, the most important attribute is that he should be a good listener. He should listen to the concerns of his employees like they are his own. But, bad bosses use their mouth more than they use their ears. It is like their ears are blocked by a shitload of ear wax.
Same with toddlers. Once the baby becomes a toddler, they develop something called as selective hearing. They listen to only things they want to hear. If they don’t like what you are saying, they will just ignore you. It is like they will shut their brains. The auditory signals get muted. If you tell a toddler to stop splashing water from his cup, chances are he will not react the first time or even a million times after you have said it. He will continue to do what he pleases till he has turned the living room into a messy pool for the parents to slip and fall.
8 They Treat You With Left-Overs
For team-bonding, a good boss will take you out for fancy team lunches, movies or a baseball game. He will take the opinion of everyone on the team, ask their choices and will come to a conclusion based on what everyone might like, rather than what he likes. But, a bad boss will do just the opposite. He will take into consideration only his choice. At best, you might score a bad burger or two at his favorite burger joint.
Have you tried feeding a toddler? It is like feeding a lion some grass. The lion might eat the grass. But, your toddler will refuse to eat the meal you cooked for her, with all ingredients she likes, just because it is green in color. She will take a bite or two, and then force you to eat her left overs. In our house, if my daughter is feeling more loving, she will make sure, she stuffs you with food she half-ate, making sure it is made soft and gooey by her chewing.
7 The Word No Doesn’t Mean Anything To Them
With a good boss, you have the option of saying a ‘No’ every once in a while. But, with a bad boss, that is never an option. A ‘no’ might make your boss release fumes out of his ears. Same with toddlers, they hate the word, ‘no’.
Parents of toddlers probably say the word about a million times in a day. Not that it has any effect. Probably, because of the over usage of the word, toddlers become immune to it.
“No, don’t climb on your baby brother.”
“No, don’t eat cat food.”
“No, don’t color yourself.”
“No, don’t put milk up your nose.”
“No, don’t wipe your poop with my new top.”
Sigh! The list is never ending. But, when they say ‘No’, it is their ultimate warning before a battle can ensue and a tantrum is around the corner. The ‘no’ might not apply to them, but they have a monopoly on saying the word. Not fair!
6 They Stress You Out
Stress is bad for health. And one of the many reasons for stress, other than the husband, the rest of the world, and your boss, is your toddler. These curious little things are like monkeys jumping on the bed. Yes, that same rhyme which your toddler might have heard a trillion times by now, and still will continue to jump like a monkey and act crazy!
Toddlers, being little curious Georges, can’t contain their curiosity and find themselves exploring new things. It is a very good thing for their physical and mental being, but not so much for their parents’ well-being. Most of the times, in a span of one day, if you count, you would have averted a major fall, or injury, at least five times. That equals five times your heart would have found its way into your mouth. I know it is normal for toddlers to fall and injure themselves. But, as a parent, it is still stressful.
5 They Are Unavailable When You Need Them
A good boss always makes sure they around when you need them. But, bad bosses make sure they are not around or are unavailable when you most need them. It is quite like that with toddlers. Most of the times, when you want some space, they are hovering over you like a fly. But, a few times in the day, when you really need them, they are busy doing something you told them to do two months ago! How convenient!!
You want to take a good photo with them, but they are busy rubbing their poop on their shirts.
You want to go to the store, but your toddler decides she has to take that nap she never takes.
You want them to sit with you and cuddle, but she wants to run around instead, waving your bra like a peace sign.
They are busy when you most need them. Make an appointment, the next time around.
4 They Have Bad Communication Skills
A good boss can always communicate his ideas very clearly with you. Whereas, a bad boss struggles to do it. And with toddlers, still learning to speak and master their communication, they are bad communicators. They either point out at things, which might be a million things on the counter and expect you to give them ‘that’ particular thing. Or, they may babble something incoherent, that you won’t understand even if you try to map their brains.
Sometimes, they say words, but their pronunciations are so funny or ludicrous that you wish they hadn’t said it out loud. My daughter loves ducks, and she can’t say duck yet, but she tries to say, “Quack, quack”. But, it sounds like “Cock, cock” and she says it everywhere she sees a duck, a picture of a duck, a toy duck or for that matter, any bird that is present. It.is.embarassing. I duck!
3 They Lack Decision-Making Ability
A good boss can decide what is right or what is wrong, after giving it a thorough thought. But, a bad boss takes a lot of time to make a decision and most of the times, the decision is wrong, or simply put, pathetic. Well, toddlers are no different. Their decision making skill is still at novice stage.
They can’t decide if they want a yellow squeaky duck, or a blue squeaky duck. They don’t know if they like broccoli or not. They don’t know if they have to go potty or not. Their decisions are never consistent. You get a huge box of cereal they like, because they ate a lot of it last week and decided that they loved it. And this week, they refuse to put one single cereal into their mouths, because apparently, they have decided now that they hate it! What?!??
2 They Have A Sense Of Pseudo-Independence
A good boss knows that he is bound by the rules of a company, and/or his superiors. A bad boss doesn’t acknowledge the fact and he thinks he is an independent entity who makes or breaks the rules, and expects you to follow them. A toddler is the same, because they have a sense of pseudo-independence.
They want to do everything by themselves. They want to wear their diapers, even if it is on their head, and serves no purpose. They want to eat with their spoon, even if they continue to spill rice on their stomachs directly, instead of directing it into their stomachs. Don’t get me wrong. I know it is very important for toddlers to learn these life skills. But, at least they can get the timing right. Most of the times, they try to do things on their own when you are running late, and had to be at a place four hours back.
1 They Take Credit For Good Results And Blame You For The Bad
A good boss always credits his team for a successful result, while a bad boss takes all the credit. If results go bad, a good boss will own up his responsibility, whereas a bad boss will blame you for it. With toddlers, though they don’t blame you for the good or the bad, considering their judgement seeds have sprouted yet, their behavior can cause others to blame you.
For example, if a toddler says, ‘Please’, the toddler is appreciated for his politeness, whereas if he throws a tantrum, it is the parents that are to be blamed. The problem with this is that the picture is not black and white. It has shades of gray in it. A polite child might be a result of good parenting or not, while a mischievous child might be a result of the child being a toddler and not necessarily bad parenting. I do not say that the parents might not have slipped in their roles. But, sometimes, a parents tries and puts in all the effort, but a child is a child and they are still learning, so they decide to act out. Don’t be harsh, every parent is trying to do their best for the child!