Things Little Kids Are Bad At

Ick. That headline is rough. I couldn’t come up with a better, non-pretentious way to write “Things At Which Little Kids Are Bad.” That just makes it worse.

As a mama, I spend a lot of time hanging out with other mamas. We all subtly #HumbleBrag about what our kids can do, which milestones they’ve reached and how they compare to their peers. I don’t see anything wrong with this method of communication, as long as it doesn’t get particularly annoying.

Well, at least one out of four knows to smile at the camera.

Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about the opposite issue. Yes, my son is fairly tall for his age. Yes, my daughter can communicate when she needs a new diaper. But what can’t little kids do?

And so, of course, I’ve formed a list. Here we go.

Little kids are really bad at the following:

Estimating time.

A few days ago, we switched cell-phone providers because, apparently, AT&T likes to be stingy with signal in our area. We spent two, post-dinner hours at the Verizon store, while our two children ran amok through the expensive display devices. (I always assume that if my children aren’t being particularly destructive or obnoxious, they can cause a bit of adorable mayhem in public places. I also assume this will enhance the speed of our customer service.) When we left the store, George asked, “Why did we stay there for so many years?” Good question, son. Good question.

Pretending not to rubberneck.

Whenever there’s a kid producing raucous soundwaves and physical activities (i.e. a tantrum), my children stare like a deer in headlights. I, like any socially trained human, pretend to meander on with my day, giving the fellow mum a bit of space away from prying eyes. My children, however, watch like the audience of a Jerry Springer show. And I can’t exactly hiss, “Kids! Stop goggling that poor mother and her wildcat toddler! You and I were in the same situation like three minutes ago. Seriously! Hmm, hang on. I’m going to see if she needs some fruit snacks to bribe that kid into submission…”

Explaining what just happened.

These days, I let my kids interact (“play”) on their own a lot of the time. Inevitably, this leads to fake/real scream-crying from one or both offspring at some point during the day. It’s getting harder and harder to judge who’s at fault. And so, I’ve moronically taken to asking, “What happened?!” when Olivia is pout-crying and George is sprinting out of the room. Yeah, I never get an answer.

Having a filter.

While it’s clear baby folks are sinful from birth (sadly. Sigh.), it’s also clear they’re not born with socially created filters. This is good, bad, and seriously awkward for those of us with filters. George has taken a liking to the U.S. presidents, so now, every time we see an African-American gentleman, George loudly states, “He looks like Barack Obama!” Sigh. I love his little, unbiased heart. However, I’ve started responding, “Just because his skin is a little darker than yours, doesn’t mean he looks like Barack Obama. Your skin is lighter, but does that mean you look like Millard Fillmore?” I like this because it points out the ridiculousness of his statement while also allowing anyone within ear shot to notice I’m educated enough to casually reference our 13th president in everyday conversation (I had to Google to pinpoint that number).

Finding things.

Parents, can I get an “amen!” on this one? What is the deal?!

“Mama, I can’t find my Martin Van Buren card.”

“Did you look under your other president cards?”


Mama fully awakens from her nap, slunks over to George’s bedroom, and looks at his pile of U.S. president flashcards.

“George. Honey. I can see why you couldn’t find Van Buren. I mean, one corner of the card was obscured by Benjamin Harrison.”

Y’all. Why can’t young humans find anything? It’s only right in front of you!

I should’ve added “Looking at camera” to this list.


OK, I find this one ironic. I know this point is true, but I can’t actually remember a specific example. If you have an example, share in the comments below!

Low-carb diets.

This one is clear from the abandoned Cheerios, Goldfish, and graham cracker crumbs littering my minivan. Little kids are really bad at eating things other than carbs (sugar included).

Any ideas to contribute from your own little-kid experiences? 

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