Complaining has become popular sport these days, and far be it from me to discourage it. Really, what brings people together more easily than griping about the weather, the line at the grocery store, or that bad call from the game last night? Wouldn’t we all agree that it’s totally disgusting when the bathroom sponge gets a hair on it, or how irritating it is that the honey container gets all sticky? Not to mention the fact that traffic circles even exist. And don’t even get me started on how aggravating it is when dried quinoa gets stuck in the side of my wire colander. Jesus. 

When lamenting the agony of getting our kid into the best preschool or the fact that the family SUV we have our eye on doesn’t come with built-in DVD players and mini-microwaves for popping popcorn, we might cheerfully shrug and offer up, “First world problems!” as an antidote to the level of obnoxiousness evident in these so-called problems. And they are, without a doubt, truly obnoxious.

But I think there may be one other category of “problem” that has First World Problems beat in terms of obnoxiousness. Toddler problems. How many of us have struggled to keep a straight face when our toddler is in hysterics because the surly cigarette-smoking teens on the bus stop bench failed to wave back at them? Don’t we all cluck sympathetically at the distraught preschooler whose day has been ruined because she forgot to draw you a picture at school that day? If you think your two-year-old’s problems are ridiculous, take heed: Hell hath no fury like a three-year-old inconvenienced by the unreasonable parentally-imposed limit of fruit snacks. I wrote last fall about my three-year-old daughter‘s plaintive wails because her fingers were “so small.” This is no joke, people. Toddlers take their problems seriously.

So today, First World Problems are taking on Toddler Problems in a degree of obnoxiousness match. So decide for yourselves: which side wins?


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