My child was playing with us the other day. While she was grabbing mommy and daddy by the throats and choke-slamming us down onto our new bean bag chair for fun, it got me thinking: is our child a psycho? Actually, it made my wife wonder aloud if we were the parents to a psycho-in the making. Which then led me to my ultimate question: Are ALL children psychos? I mean, we hear all the time about how serial killers grew up as morally corrupt children who tortured animals, beat up siblings, and could never pay attention in school. Naturally this must be true of all serial killers since it’s been documented in fictionalized dramas in film and in print. So I took it upon myself to do some serious research, and after scanning precisely two entries on Google, I have determined that yes, ALL toddlers are psychotic serial killers waiting to unleash themselves upon this earth.
Here is my proof. In an article from the Daily Mail (Serial Killer Traits), criminologists reveal 5 common traits shared by many of the most notorious killers in history. Not coincidentally, these five traits are also shared by almost every single toddler in the history of the world.
- Power Junkie. “Serial killers have a real affinity with power,” say the “experts” from the article. That’s interesting, because my daughter also loves to be in control of everything. She screams in the middle of the night when she wakes up with a wet diaper, and I foolishly acquiesce to her demands of a fresh diaper. I mean, I wake up in the middle of the night and do everything in my own power to avoid getting up to pee. But when I hear that loud, demonstrative cry for “Dadda” I immediately spring out of bed to appease her. Or exerting her dominance by pushing every child in front of her down the slide. Or waiting out mommy and daddy in a stare-down until they cave and give her M&Ms for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. That is power.
- A Manipulator. “Some of the world’s best known serial killers have a frightening ability to manipulate those around them, pressing the right buttons in order to present themselves in a false light,” according to the article. Hm, so what this is saying is that serial killers are like Sour Patch Kids. First their sour, where they do their evil killing business, and then they are sweet, presenting a false persona for the neighborhood so that nobody suspects a thing. Sound familiar? I am pretty sure my daughter is going to go dressed as a Sour Patch Kid for Halloween this year. She will do something nefarious, like take a toy from another child, and then immediately do something sweet, like offer said toy back to that same child. It’s like, ‘Hey, I stole this from you because I could take it easily, but I am returning it to you of my own volition because I am totally super nice.’ Or how about right after an epic tantrum of 30 minutes with nonstop crying and throwing crap all over the place, only to get up and bite their lip and give you a sweet hug and make you forget all about that hurricane of hell that destroyed your house? Yup, manipulation is definitely a check plus plus for toddlers.
- An Egotistical Bragger. The article states: ‘Egoistical serial killers often can’t help but brag about the atrocities they’ve committed, whether it’s aimed at their accomplices, the next victim, law enforcement, or just themselves.’ Oh, so you mean like when your child farts extremely inappropriately at the dinner table, laughs hysterically, and then tells you all “I farted,”? Yup, check.
- A Superficial Charmer. ’Serial killers tend to have a very good grasp of other people’s emotions and are quick to pick up on any vulnerability or weakness in order to convince them into doing things they normally wouldn’t,’ the Daily Mail reads. Have you ever done anything for your child that you otherwise would never see yourself doing? Dressing up and having tea? Having foot races that never seem to have a finish line? Tasting a terrible puree just to prove to your child that it is indeed edible? My kid has it all figured out. If dadda isn’t feeling up to doing something or is just a little bit exasperated after dealing with a fussy child all morning, she will come up to me and give me a hug, and lightly pat my back, signaling “it’s ok, dadda. I understand. But now I want you to do what I want to do,” and that little back patting will do the trick every time. How can you resist? She isn’t even two. She has the charm to last her for miles. Then, when you ain’t looking, BAM, stabbed in the back.
- An Average Joe. ‘Possibly the scariest trait of all, many serial killers look like a pillar of the community on first sight.’ What toddler doesn’t look like a normal kid? Go to any park with your child and take a look at the kids their age. They all look like good, well behaved kids. They are all having fun, laughing and playing together. They take turns going down the slide. They chase each other and play tag. It’s all so peaceful to look at. But then have one conversation with their parents and how do they usually start off? “Just wait til they’re at home. Do you know what —insert name here— did last night? He tried to drown his father in the bathtub, I swear to Gawd.” Even right now as I type this, my daughter is trying to rip the tail off our cat and use it as a jump rope. One of these days she’s going to succeed, too. Yet when she is at MyGym she runs around and gives hugs to all the other mommies that are there and hi-fives the instructors and makes everyone fall in love with her. She’s just a normal child. But wait ’til she gets home.
So there you have it. Indisputable proof that every toddler in the history of the world is predisposed to the serial killer gene. Apparently, not all of them become serial killers. I’m not really sure how, but other pseudo-science people say it has something to do with environment and parents and blah blah blah. All I know is that until my kid gets out of her toddler phase, I am not turning my back on that child for one second. I can see it in her eyes. It’s there. It’s in all of your kids’ eyes. They’re all plotting something. I know they are. I think they made a movie about it. Children of the Corn or something like that. Don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.