When our firstborns were toddling into their second year, my friends and I discussed how weird it is that all kids learn that slightly deranged, fire-coming-out-of-those-sweet-baby-blues way of saying “MINE!” somewhere between twelve and eighteen months. Even the kids who aren’t in daycare and don’t have older siblings somehow pick it up somewhere and all of a sudden you realize you have a toddler on your hands.

With the second kids you don’t have to wonder; they have the very best teachers in their big sibs from whom to learn this and all future words of questionable appropriateness.

So in honor of Boy Powers achieving this important milestone, I present to you The Toddler’s Rules of Possession. I remember my mom having this somewhere when we were growing up and Googling will lead you to a few different versions and no discernibly accurate source, but whoever wrote it deserves props for sure…

The Toddler’s Rules of Possession

1. If I like it, it’s mine.

2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.

5. If it’s mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in anyway.

6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.

8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.

9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.

10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.


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