Being a parent, myself, to a 4.5 year old and a soon to be 3 year old [Update 10/17/14: now a 5 year old, 3 year old and 5 month old... I get blessed by strangers often - and could always use a few more], I'm not naive to the ways of toddlers - my kids aren't angels, I'm not some miracle parent, and, like any parent, I need a good chuckle (or a cookie) to help me get through the day.
With that said, I want people to understand that I "get" the point of her blog. 3-year-olds are challenging, defiant, and rather uncontrollable human beings. So why am I getting all sensitive about a little joke between parents? First off, in my opinion, an asshole is someone who consciously decides to be mean to someone else for the sake of their own satisfaction or selfishness - they know what they're doing is wrong and they just don't care. 3-year-olds, on the other hand, are often selfish and defiant because 1. their brains are still developing and they are literally less capable of controlling their reaction to emotions (like anger & frustration) and 2. they are trying to determine what the rules are and if they can be bent. They want to know if we say "no" does that really mean "no"? And to make sure, they will test this rule over and over again. They are not choosing this behavior based on some sort of preconceived notion that they should be empathetic toward others or listen to their parents, but just don't care - they simple haven't fully grasped the concept of empathy, or respect, or self-control - but trust me, they're learning. Is it convenient to us adults that matured out of this stage many years ago and prefer to live a life of order, compromise, and "using our words" to express ourselves? No. But I'm pretty sure no parent has children because they think it will make their life easier or more convenient.
So you might read all that and say, "seriously, what's the big deal about making a joke about calling a toddler an asshole?" And this is the part that I think more people in society need to understand: in our country, more than 4 children die every day as a result of child maltreatment. 80% of those children are under the age of 4. Why? Because these are the most challenging years of our development. As a parent that has empathized and vented among other parents about the trials and tribulations of caring for young children, the one thing that has been mentioned by myself and other parents - is that we understand why people abuse children. Not that we think it's right, but when we see our toddler throwing a fit because someone touched their toy, we gave them the "wrong" Disney princess spoon etc etc - we know, that the wrong parent or caregiver in that situation will not have the self-control and mindset to rationalize that this behavior is a natural and normal part of raising young children. That person will believe- this kid is an asshole, and resort to abusing them, most likely physically, in an attempt to control this behavior. (Take, for example, the daycare provider thatkilled a 3 year old for not taking her coat off, or 4 year old Myls Dobson who was tortured and killed by his father's girlfriend who "confessed to having beaten and tortured him with increasing severity in a failed bid to discipline him.") It happens every day - and yet, research has shown when parents receive support & guidance to understand the process of child development, they are better able to make better parenting decisions and, in turn, raise better children. But we're not helping anyone by simply giving toddlers a derogatory label - not the parents dealing with this behavior, and certainly not the children that are being abused and murdered.
So while it might seem harmless & funny to label toddlers as assholes, it does nothing to help people empathize and understand the developmental process that young children undergo. Nowhere in the post did it mention why children act this way, just that they do - and to "hold out" for when it's over. When parents don't understand their child's behavioral development - they can't help their child work through it. They can only look on and say, this child is making my life difficult - why do they have to be this way? Rather than understanding that it's not so easy for a 3-year-old to simply accept that they have no clean pink pants, that even though it's not a big deal to us - to her, it's a big deal. They need comfort, they need patience, they need time to work through this stage, and they always need our love.
There are a lot of words I could use to describe toddlers: defiant, rebellious, sassy, irritable, but also: creative, generous, humorous, fun-loving, and inquisitive. Never all these things at once, but each at its own time and for its own reason.
Love them, understand them, give them time. Trust me, they're learning. They're not assholes.
For helpful ways to understand and raise toddlers, try this Amazon.com search of toddler discipline books or check out Facebook for pages dedicated to "positive parenting".