Sometimes you can't win when it comes to parenting a toddler. Unless you count commiserating with other parents who are also disappointing their illogical little ones.
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Parent calming crying toddler
Credit: Getty

My 3-year-old son has mastered a look we call "mad brows." He knits his eyebrows together and glowers at you whenever he doesn't like what's going on (for the Ted Lasso fans, think Roy Kent). So, if I say "no" to him having a brownie for breakfast or watching YouTube videos of kids opening dinosaur toys for the eleventh hour in a row, I get "mad brows." It's his way of telling me I'm the worst parent ever.

A new Reddit thread in which other parents share why they're the worst parent in their kids' opinions has me feeling less alone about constantly disappointing my son when I'm actually trying really hard to be the best parent ever.

"My threenager (almost 4) just had a meltdown and called me 'the worst daddy' because I wouldn't drive to Dunkin' Donuts and buy her a donut," the original poster shared. "She then proceeded to wail for about 20 minutes until I picked her up and calmly explained that she was not hurt, she was not scared, and she was not in danger, so that sort of crying was unacceptable over a donut. I then rocked her like a baby for a couple of minutes and made her ramen noodles. She's now happily watching Paw Patrol and eating her noodle soup...pretty sure she was hangry…"

Other toddler parents were at the ready with their own experiences of crushing the "donut dreams" of their demanding darlings. "Mine was yelling 'I want to go home!' INSIDE OUR HOUSE! I think she just wanted something to scream and couldn't think of anything else," lamented one parent.

"Almost 3 YO had a meltdown this morning because he wanted 'a phone' after seeing a cellphone commercial. Calmly I explained that cellphones are for grownups and almost-grown ups, and that they are very expensive and breakable," another not-winning parent related. "After a good amount of whining, it was determined that he did not, in fact, want 'a phone.' He wanted 'a phone video.' As in he wanted to watch more cell phone commercials. Why?! Why, kid, why?"

If these familiar fiascos aren't enough to prompt some vigorous head nodding on your side of the screen, consider this kiddo conundrum: "Meltdown over here because my 2yo's belly was a little too tubby for the romper she wanted to wear, so it was a bit uncomfortably tight around the middle. Cue complete meltdown because she didn't want to take it off but didn't want to have it on."

Parents who didn't confess to specific scenarios involving letting down their littles for alleged "bad parenting" were on hand to express their gratitude for those who did. "God I needed this thread. I love you guys. I feel so much better about being the worst mum all the time," one Redditor enthused. Another user joked we are "foul and villainous caregivers" uniting "against our tiny tyrannical toddler terrorists."

It's all a plot—according to the little people in our homes. Clearly this caregiver was out to get their child considering a story shared in the thread: "Yesterday my 2 YO said he didn't love me because I was standing on the 'wrong' side of the room."

Or how about this ill-intentioned individual, who related their daughter's recent meltdown origin: "She asked me to 'sing the song from TV.' I asked for more clarification…how dare me!"

"My 2.5 YO had a meltdown because he wanted a popsicle but not a frozen one," shared another parent who was unable to alter the laws of physics for their child. Worst. Parent. Ever! That is, until later, when I inform my son it's bath night and win the title again.

My son will either tell me he wants a new mommy or just get those "mad brows" going full force, even while I'm washing his hair. While glaring at me he refuses to close his eyes, and, even while he's complaining about me getting water in his eyes as I'm washing his hair, it's mildly satisfying because if you don't laugh, you'll cry. That mantra has guided me through disappointing four toddlers over 13 years, folks!