Top 10 Ways My Toddler is Like a Homeless and/or Crazy Person

I've started to notice some things lately... some general observations about my 2-year old daughter. She, and her fellow toddler contingent in general, exhibit behavior resembling... well, a mentally unsound street person. Yes, that's right, I am comparing my precious, beautiful daughter to a insane vagrant. Here's why:

10.)  She eats her meals on the go, taking bites while hunched in a corner or while walking around talking to herself.

9.)  She talks to herself.

8.)  She occasionally growls at strangers.

7.)  Aggressive behavior may spring forth at any moment.

6.)  She carries around collected money, old bits of food, and other random small objects in a change purse.

5.)  She asks for money when she sees it.

4.)  She asks for food when she sees it.

3.)  Personal hygiene is not a priority. And she occasionally pees on herself and/or her bedding.

2.) She finds creative (and crazy) uses for objects.
"This glove is for squirting babies."  "My forks hold my shirt."

And the #1 reason my toddler is like a homeless and/or crazy person:

1.) She pushes her most prized objects around in a shopping cart.
This may include blankets, cups of water, dogs, babies, weapons, snacks, sun glasses, shoes, and so on...

I know this is potentially offensive. To the (many) rational, down-and-out folks who are homeless (and reading this blog? =none), I apologize. What can I say? Childish impulses do often resemble insanity.


  1. Have your family members struggled with dementia, traumatic brain injury, extreme poverty or just being "insane vagrants"? I hope not, and I'm sorry if they have. Is your "precious, beautiful daughter" worth more than an "insane vagrant" (who was someone else's baby once)? Of course not. I'm sure you didn't mean that.

    I found your blog posting when doing my work for a healthcare center for homeless Americans...and on behalf of my clients, I want to respectfully ask you to take this posting down. Please take it down: the humor is there, I acknowledge that. But humor (and the disclaimer) doesn't negate the stereotyping that is inadvertently being reinforced by this posting.

    The tragedy of the folks you find humorous in comparison with your daughter: those folks' tragedy is partly the loss of human dignity. We ALL can imagine the pain of losing our status and our dignity...I'm sure you can. Certainly you have your own difficult journey in life.

    Early childhood behavior does not equal "insane", I'm sure you agree. Additionally, homelessness does not equal "insane". Mental illness does not equal homelessness. Lack of a home and "vagrancy" does not mean a person is incontinent. And poverty does not equal personal failure.

    I have lost family to cancer, I have cared for many toddlers, I LOVE women who blog and share their stories to encourage each other--you make us all stronger. But maybe you could take this particular posting down? Thank you: many blessings and much support on your journey.

    1. Christine,

      Thank you for your comment and input. I'm sorry this post has offended you.

      I don't believe it to be a value judgment placing worth on my child over another person with a mental illness, or I certainly hope it's not. Neither do I believe all children are insane. (Although, the definition of insane includes, "in a state of extreme annoyance or distraction" ... that does kind of fit at times [joking!]).

      Moreover, I do not believe that every person facing the tragedy of homelessness is mentally ill. That would be a ridiculous and inaccurate assumption. There is some correlation; according to the National Coalition for the Homeless website:

      "According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness. In comparison, only 6% of Americans are severely mentally ill (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009). In a 2008 survey performed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 25 cities were asked for the three largest causes of homelessness in their communities. Mental illness was the third largest cause of homelessness for single adults (mentioned by 48% of cities). "

      But of course, correlation does not mean it's the rule. At any rate, I admit I have capitalized on this (real) prevalence in an attempt at humor. And, truly, I'm sorry it would be read as offensive. But I must point out, just because we laugh at someone's behaviors doesn't mean that we don't care about the person.

      What is the stereotype here? Some, but not all, people who live on the street are mentally unsound and exhibit odd and erratic behavior (e.g., talking to themselves, growling, aggressive behavior). Those behaviors BY THEMSELVES are not usually funny, but when a CHILD exhibits those behaviors, it can in fact be rather comical. To that extent, the post doesn't reinforce stereotypes, but reflects the truth of many people's experiences with some mentally unsound homeless people. And the comedy isn't directed at the mentally unsound homeless population; rather, it is directed at my child - a normal child who exhibits the kinds of behaviors of a mentally unsound or "crazy" person. We shouldn't laugh at the state of the mentally unsound and homeless, but the comparison is funny, nonetheless.

      This post has a lighthearted purpose. As with this blog overall, I attempt to use humor to lighten our loads at times. I have made fun of my very darkest hours here, fairly openly for others and I have also playfully raised some parenting challenges in the hope of bringing a chuckle to another tired, happy parent.

      May God guide all those in need of care, shelter, and dignity and bless those, such as yourself, working to provide it.


  2. That is pretty funny!!! Never thought about it that way...