09/24/2012 01:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why Toddlers Are (Almost) Exactly Like Superheroes

They're territorial. Superheroes hate when outsiders invade their turf. And toddlers? One word: "Mine!"

toddler territorial

They get mad.
Remember the Incredible Hulk? Multiply that by about one hundred, and you have the transformation a sweet toddler undergoes when, in the midst of playing, you tell her it's time for bed.

toddler tantrum

They can become invisible.
Some superheroes, like Spider-Man, can quickly disappear into the night. Others, like The Shadow and Invisible Woman, can actually turn themselves invisible. And your toddler? All he has to do is close his eyes, and he thinks he's disappeared.


They are freakishly strong. No, toddlers weren't bitten by radioactive spiders or born on the planet Krypton. But have you ever tried to pry a pack of gum out of a toddler's hand in the Target checkout line?

toddler strong

They change often. Superheroes change often. And toddlers are changed often.

toddler changed often

They have enemies. Superheroes fight bad guys and toddlers fight... well... you. Yes, you are your toddler's arch nemesis. You don't get to wear a cool costume, but your catchphrases are "Don't touch!" and "No."

toddlers enemies

They're the strong, silent types. Most superheroes are men (and a handful of women) of few words. So is your toddler. The good news for you is that your toddler will grow out of it. And, even before they can talk, toddlers can dance around naked after a bath. Is there anything better than a little naked dancing after bath time? What can superheroes do? Freeze time? Catch bullets? Big deal.

toddlers silent

They want to help. A big part of a superhero's schtick is helping others. And toddlers want to help too. The problem is that they're not very good at it. Unless you find it helpful when someone pulls the clean laundry out of its basket and throws it all over the family room. The exception is pushing buttons. Toddlers make excellent button-pushers.

toddler help

They work alone. If you take the Avengers and X-Men out of the equation, superheroes don't play well with others. And toddlers? Well, the technical term is parallel play. But I'm just going to call it like I see it.

toddler work alone

They enjoy repetition. You're probably already well aware that toddlers love to have the same songs sung to them over and over and the same books read to them night after night. But let's talk about superheroes for a moment: They wear the same costume each day, they fight the same villains again and again and they're some of the most monogamous men on the planet.

toddler repetition

They fly. Wait. Sorry. My bad! Typo! Yes, superheroes fly. Toddlers cry.

toddler flying

This post originally appeared on Mammalingo