Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

For the purposes of this discussion, however, I would like to extend this in another direction.

If I may…For every freakin’ adorable thing Matthew does, there is an equally mean/sloppy/disruptive thing soon to follow.

This is what I call the Good Thing-Bad Thing Principle.

Our son is almost two. From what I’ve been told, it is during this time that your child turns into a bloodthirsty demon who feasts on the flesh of his caregivers. Or something like that.

I’ve observed, over the past month or so, several examples where fiercely adorable turns bad really quickly.


Let me show you what I mean…


Good Thing: Matthew practices counting while ascending and descending the staircase. “One, two, eighteen…” (Yes, he really said eighteen…) Cute, right?

Bad Thing: Matthew gets to the bottom of the stairs, finds the salt shaker, then empties the entire contents on the kitchen floor before I am able to wrestle it out of his hand.


Good Thing:  Matthew shows interest in his little brother by leaning in and kissing his forehead.

Bad Thing: Overcome with love and affection, Matthew takes a little nip at Michael’s forehead, leaving a bite mark at his hairline.


Good Thing: I give Matthew a bunch of barely ripe bananas to hold at the grocery store. He’s ‘helping’.  He yells, “Nanna!” He smiles, saying, “Hello? Hello?” into the banana while cocking his head and flashing me a grin.

Bad Thing: He bites into the banana skin, straight through to the banana, screams, “UCH!” then flings the entire bunch on the floor.


Good Thing: Matthew learns how to eat using a spoon and a fork. He beams as he shows off his technique.

Bad Thing: He decides he’s finished eating, then swipes everything on his tray off so the food smacks the wall before rolling off onto the rug.


Dennis the Menace (U.S.)

Good Thing: Matthew finds his clean laundry. He takes it off the table and brings it to me with a smile. I say, “Thanks, Matthew!” I hold out my hand to take the clothes.

Bad Thing: He pulls the clothes away from me, darts into the kitchen,  and throws them all in the trash.


Good Thing: Matthew makes friends with a little girl, about the same age, while sitting down having lunch at the zoo. He bats his eyelashes and smiles at her.

Bad Thing:  He raises his sandaled foot very slowly up towards the girl’s face as they inspect one another. The dad grabs the girl around the waist and smiles at me sheepishly as they both back away.


Good Thing: Matthew has his eye on Dad’s frozen lemonade. Dad hands it over for him to try. Matthew has a sip, which he finishes by smacking his lips, and saying, “Ahhhh…” Ahhhhh-dorable. Dad lets him have another sip.

Bad Thing: Matthew turns the cup over into his crotch as he laughs wildly.


You know, sometimes I think this is all because he’s soon to be two.


Other times I think it’s because he’s evil.




  1. This gave me quite a chuckle this morning, for that I thank you. My youngest (of three) just had his third birthday. I have come to learn the more I react (either positive or negative) the more they do it. You will find a balance that works for you, they do out grow some of that; try to keep your humor about it, you will miss those days when they are gone.

  2. Oh, how familiar. And my vote is with evi– two! I mean two!

    I could *never* think that your Matthew – and, by extension, my Miss – is evil. What a terrible person I’d be. (Am)

    Two. Definitely a two year old, breaking free. And enjoying it.

  3. Okay also just wanted to say that my website addy above is my old one and for some reason showed up so i am now writing a new comment with my current site addy – okay are you confused? Thats okay so I am but that is what 8 kiddies will do to you:) Love your site and can’t wait to read more

  4. Wow..
    Sorry, but I didn’t find any of this amusing.. a lot of people here seem to have found laughter in it though.

    I thought it is torturous for you to go through all of this on a daily basis. Thankfully, my 5-year old is not like this – maybe I screamed sense into him from an early age, I don’t know. In fact, he helps me set the table for dinner by carrying plates & such from an early age. Before he turned 2, he graduated from the bottle to drinking milk from a glass – I gave him milk in a ‘glass’ mug, not a plastic one. He would handle the ‘glass’ carefully and even keep it next to the kitchen sink once he was done.

    If it’s any consolation, Matthew will grow out of it & maybe you will have to help him grow out of it.

  5. Well, he is only 19 months old, and he does have two younger siblings constantly competing for parents’ attention, so I actually don’t find any of this odd or disturbing. Jealousy with younger siblings is quite common at this age. He’s also been drinking from a cup for quite some time now. I am certain he will grow out of it.

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