I know for a fact that mothers all around the world have done a double take on certain things they see their toddlers do. It can be perplexing to think of where the kid picked up that trait or how on Earth they could’ve imagined something so crass to act out. More often than not, it seems like our 2-5 years olds are fighting a complex duality inside of them and we’re on the sidelines watching, unable to help.

While this is obviously a completely normal period of development (I know through home videos I went through the same three-nager phase once upon a time), it doesn’t mean that we won’t question their mental health at some point or another – just saying. Rest assured, the following 17 Things That Make You Question Your Toddler’s Sanity have been experienced by most of us parents – and these kids tend to grow up to be just fine and well-adjusted adults.

17. Lay Down And Pretend to Be Dead In The Middle of a Store

I’ve not only been the parent in supervision of the child who’s done this, but I’ve often witnessed other parents with that dumbfounded look on their face when their kiddo just randomly lays down facedown on the floor in public — either prompted by a tantrum or not. 

And as intrigued I am about why this happens…something tells me we won’t ever get to the bottom of this one.

16. Yell Out Random Nonsensical Things In Their Sleep

Who needs a TV or a good book when you have a toddler? They just make the perfect entertainment. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as the times that I hear what wild things come out of my child’s mouth when he’s asleep.

Whether it’s an intense dream or subconscious want that propels them to yell out things like, “Bologna man!” or “I’m the Hulk now!” (both testaments of what I’ve witnessed ), it makes for a good icebreaker at a cocktail party.

15. Ask For Something…Then Cry When You Give It To Them (But Not In Gratitude)

I can look back on my teenage years and confidently say I feel sorry for my parents for the ups-and-downs my hormones caused me to go through. In fact, when my son was born, my mother did say in a joking manner that she wishes he would avenge her for all she went through with me.

Little did she know she wouldn’t have to wait until he was 13. The rapid change in mood swings we associated some teenage behaviour with clearly starts in toddlerdom – and lucky for us, we’ll forever be wondering whether they like us or dislike us, or want that thing or not. 

14. Hide Behind A Curtain To Go Poo

This one is a favourite of mine because it reminds me that at the end of the day, beyond all of the screens and technology available to us, we are still animals at the core. No one shows us our original human side more than our kids.

At some point in their development, our kids will beginning feeling an urge to seek privacy when going to the washroom – even if they’re still in diapers. The thing that might have you cocking your head in disbelief is seeing them choose the weirdest spots to go…like a wall unit cabinet, walk-in pantry, or underneath a car.

13. Smack Their Head Off Of Furniture

When your little sweet child randomly begins bouncing their head off of your couch (no matter its softness) you’ve got to ask yourself – are they about to do some damage to their little noggin’ or, umm, are they off their knocker already?  Apparently, it is completely normal for your child to intentionally bang their head off of the couch cushions or carseat headrest. There are hundreds of toddlers out there, say mamas I’ve spoke to and read about, that even like to hit themselves.

This is more common with kids who can’t yet verbalize properly what they intend to say – hello, definition of most toddlers! Even though it’s one of the weirder things your kiddo may do, knowing that you’re not in it alone definitely helps. Don’t call your doctor yet – chances are your babe is just exploring the motions of their body in a very daring way. If you do worry, just put a helmet on them.

12. Walk Around With Their Hands In Their Pants

We all know males tend to be a little protective of (and dare I say obsessed) with their private parts – but sticking your hands in your pants and exploring down there isn’t just a thing male children do. Even though it looks super odd to us adults, it’s just a natural part of getting to know your body.

Next time your little one seems to be exploring their nether regions, try to not respond the same way you would witnessing a grown adult do the same thing. Remember – it’s a novel idea to them that they have certain sensations down there and an innately curious mind is just going to want to check out how that all works. Just remind them to only do it when alone or at home.

11. Pour Their Bath Water Outside Of The Tub

I think this point right here is the reason why I passed the bath time torch to my husband a long time ago. Now with two kids, however, I can’t really get out of it much (and good thing we like to only bathe once a week since there are numerous benefits to it). At the end of a bath, the truth is, I most always end up soaked.

We have to remember that entering toddlerdom most surely comes with testing boundaries and announcing oneself as an individual. This means that no matter how sweet your little 3-year-old may look, he or she is likely to purposefully shovel a gallon of water at you to “test” what you’ll do .

 

10. Put Random Things In Their Nose or Ear

I kind of imagined my kids would end up sticking something or other in a face hole of theirs since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Yep, you guessed it people – I most definitely put a little marble found in a Kinder Surprise egg up a nostril when I was around 2 or 3. My dad definitely panicked, my mom rolled her eyes at his panic, and calmly took some tweezers, held me down, and got that bugger out lickity-split.

If we really think about it, we can see how becoming more aware that the holes in your body lead to another place in your body may lead to an inclination to test out a theory of yours like, “If I put this in my nose, will it come out my mouth?” – especially if we’re naive to any dangers associated, like most kids are. It’s only common sense, isn’t it?

9. Barge Into The Bathroom While You’re In It

If you don’t have kids yet, please don’t underestimate the lack of time for yourself you’re going to have once you’re a parent. I understand that our babies, once they’ve conquered crawling, will randomly miss us and search for us high and low – whether we’re in the kitchen or sitting down on the toilet in the bathroom. But toddlers – the ones who may seem like they do things irrationally, but are so much smarter than we give them credit for – doing the same thing? It’s just absurd.

What could be so important as to have it shared with us in the moment we need to empty ourselves? Something that can’t even wait the 2 minutes (or 20 minutes if it’s a husband) to be relayed – something like, gasp, telling us the sky is BLUE. OH MY GOD. I’m so glad this type of epic, life changing information is shared with me whenever I try to get some relief on the loo. How about you?

8. Spin Really Fast Knowing They’re Going To Fall

The words that have come out of my mouth the most in the last 3 years (the time I’ve been a mom) and are the precursor to most activities that I see my toddler and baby get into? By far and none – “Be careful.” My personal philosophy tells me that hovering over your kids isn’t the best thing to do if your end goal is instilling self-confidence and initiative in them. So I do back off as much as my fear of them injuring themselves will allow me.

Toddlers also seem be aware of how much of a bad idea something may be, yet most of the time just go for it, anyway. They just have relentless faith. I guess it’s something to be inspired by, this type of leading your life by your passions, with no care of the world or contingency plan in place. Or it’s just absolutely insane. A little bit of column A, a little bit of column B, perhaps?

 

7. Injure Themselves While Spinning…And Then Do It Again

As I stated in the point above, I try consciously not to be a helicopter parent – you know, the ones who need to do everything for their child, never trusting s/he will do something correctly or being utterly afraid of the consequences of any of their actions. I do try to let my kids explore and try things out, while relying on the idea that if they do end up bonking their head or scraping their knee, they’ll at least not repeat themselves. Common sense, no?

Clearly, ladies and gentlemen, that theory doesn’t hold up when it comes to kids between the ages of 2-5. Common sense, not so much.

6. Fart On You When You Change Them

I get it. It’s hilarious to toot in someone’s face. Not that I know from personal experience from having done so myself. But I do see the endless bellowing of laughter that follows after my son lets one loose while we change his diaper. But aren’t there so many other ways to have fun or make jokes?

Apparently not. On that note, do remind me to get on that potty training ASAP.

5. Write On Your Furniture Even When You’ve Said No 1,000 Times

Limit-pushing behaviour seems to be endless in those initial years of childhood. Even if they look at you and clearly nod their head, acknowledging that you’ve just told them not to do something – they may end up doing that exact thing a few minutes later. As manic as it may seem, once again, we can blame their immature little brains for a certain lack of control or patience they seem to inhabit.

When it comes down to it, kids between 2-5 are overwhelmed by biological impulses bigger than they are. We all know that most tykes of that age won’t tell us, even if they’re incredibly verbal, that they’re tired or need a rest. Some can even go hours without eating, because they don’t register their physiological needs the same way adults do. So if they’re being especially trying and have made your couch into the latest contemporary art piece – try not to take it as personally as your wallet may.

4. Make You Feel Like There’s A Ghost Around

The concept of kids being able to access another dimension in our world didn’t begin with the blockbuster The Sixth Sense. Ever since the dawn of time (okay, at least for a very, very long time) little kids all over have been creeping their caretakers out by sharing stories of the apparitions and ghosts they see just casually hanging out around us.

Whether it’s because of their lowered level of inhibitions, high sensitivity, super fantastic imagination or a mix of all – you can be sure to leave it up to a toddler to freak you out about being watched at night by some dead relative or lingering spirit.

3. Ask To See Their Poo After They’ve Gone

We all know curiosity killed the cat and I bet you any money there’s a toddler out there somewhere that has legit fallen into the toilet bowl trying to check out what they just produced from their body – especially if its a #2. Hopefully this wasn’t your experience, but chances are you’ll come across the scene depicted in the photo below at some point in the first 4 years of your babe’s life.

Now that I think about it, a high percentage of me assumes those childproofing toilet lid clamps were definitely invented by a parent who witnessed just this – their toddler going poo, washing their hands and all afterwards (of course), and then getting on that stepping stool to look upon their little poo with interest and a feeling of pride, only to fall in. If you’re one that’s witnessed this, please let me know in the comments, I’m genuinely intrigued.

2. Being Right In Your Face Looking At You…When You Wake Up

Leave it up to your offspring (yes, you made these wildlings) to forever surprise you in new ways – you know, by walking before the age of 1 or somehow have found their way to your room and lovingly be staring at you the second you open your eyes. On one hand, it’s neat that your need for an alarm clock really diminishes once you become a parent. On the other hand, it’s obviously super creepy and alerting to hear something breathing above you while you’re still in that state between sleeping and awakening.

They mean well. I mean, they’re just excited to begin the day and potentially even miss you. How could that be a weird or bad thing? Unfortunately, though, that kind of thing won’t last into their teenage years (you know, the years you will need a horn to stir those kids into their clothes and down for breakfast). In fact, it would be quite creepy if they still came to our bed to stare at us at the age of 16. Needless to say, it probably won’t be an issue then.

1. Talk To Themselves

Have you ever been busy in the kitchen while your one child played alone in their room and have heard two voices? I’m sure I’m not alone in this – but I’ve questioned my own sanity probably more often than my children’s. Those thoughts quickly diminish after I check up on them and see they’re actually having an intense discussion with no other but themselves.

This one isn’t too wild, I guess, and most parents will witness this role- and imaginative-type of play in their toddler. What is the craziest thing, though, is when your 3-year old seems to have made up a complete language of their own, full of nouns, complete expressions, and some questionable adjectives to describe everyday life.