Welcome to Another Episode of How Toddlers Think

“Good afternoon, and welcome to another episode of How Toddlers Think. I’m Todd Smith, and I’m coming to you live on location from our local Big Box o’ Books to talk to Jennifer Smith, the critically acclaimed three-year-old author of Kicking Cats and Hugging Strangers: Things I Do Just to Fuck with My Parents. She also happens to be my daughter. Jennifer, thanks for taking some time out of your book signing to speak with us today.”

“Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here. Do cats lick their butts because poop is delicious?”

“I’m…not sure. Let’s just get to the interview. First of all, congratulations on the success of your book. I’ve haven’t seen this many toddlers in one place since the local homeschooling co-op heard there was a sale on denim jumpers at Kmart.”

“Thanks, Dad. It’s been overwhelming so far. What I’m hearing from a lot of my fellow two- and three-year-olds is ‘I thought I was the only one who really liked to screw with my parents, I didn’t realize there was anyone else out there who enjoyed it as much as me!’ It’s just amazing that my book has helped so many feel accepted, and is really helping create some community among likeminded toddlers just trying to figure out how to mess with their parents’ emotions effectively in an increasingly disconnected world.”

“I’m sure that’s great to hear. I am a testament to your success. Can you tell us a little about the book?”

“Sure. It really just came out of my own desire to pass on some of the things I’ve learned over the past few years twisting my parents’ colons into knots. It has a lot of personal stories of times of both success and failure in my own experience as a small child, and just really drives home that we can’t all be a perfect little pain in the ass all the time. There are no super-brats out there, no matter how much some toddlers might look like they’re really on their game 24/7! Ha ha.”

“Ha ha ha. So true. One of the things I’m hearing about the writing in this book is that it’s very raw, very real. You don’t pull any punches when it comes to your own experiences. Does that go along with what you were saying earlier about being honest?”

“Yeah, totally. You know, Dad, no one can go it alone out there. I think sometimes when we toddlers are trying to make our parents feel like total failures at life we think we can do this by ourselves, but the fact is we all need support. We need the perspective and encouragement of other horrible small children if we’re going to make it. I’ve always said, ‘There is no I in NO, you can’t tell me what to do!‘ Obstinacy is something best practiced in community.”

“Boy, it’s refreshing to hear that. Besides your book, would you like to share with our viewers any resources that have helped you in your quest to really fuck with your parents’ heads?”

“Sure. Two books by fellow toddlers that have been a real help to me are The Cutest Illusion: A Parent’s Notion of Control and Crying till It Hurts and Why It’s Worth It. Both have some really great practical advice for how to make your parents believe they suck at everything they do. Another book that isn’t so much a practical guide as a means for evaluating progress is What’s Wrong with Daddy’s Eyelid?: A Guide to Your Parents’ Nervous Disorders. I highly recommend all three of these books.”

“Thanks, Jennifer. Any closing thoughts before we wrap up?”

“I just want to reiterate once again to all you toddlers out there: don’t give up. You really are making a difference. I know there are days when it doesn’t feel like it, when you’re trying to stick to the cycle of affection and apathy, affection and apathy, and it just doesn’t seem to be doing anything, and you think ‘What’s the point? Is it even worth it to spill my yogurt on the laptop again today? Am I getting through to them at all?’ The answer is Yes. It may feel like wetting your pants again even though you know perfectly well how to use the toilet isn’t getting a better reaction than last week, but when you find your mom or dad huddled on the floor of their closet picking scabs into their legs and muttering the name of a relative who’s been dead for decades, that’s when it pays off. Those moments really make all the time-outs and all the frozen peas you’ve crammed so far up your nose that the family doctor had to remove them totally worth it. Hang in there!”

“Thanks so much for talking with us today, Jennifer. Good luck with the book and with learning your numbers.”

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