It seems like in one instant my youngest went from infant to full blown toddler, there was no easing into it at all. It has been a few years since I had a toddler in the house and I’ll admit I forgot a lot of what toddlerhood entails.
Lately I have been finding myself more and more frustrated with the big messes he makes, how he wants to run off and do his own thing all the time and so much more. It has left me frustrated and feeling so unproductive in life.
As I was brooding over a very unproductive day where it felt like I had cleaned most of the day yet it somehow was messier at the end, I realized I had to think positively if I was going to survive this toddler. This toddler, who is into way more than his big brothers ever were (seriously, we’ve had to put locks where we’ve never needed to before with his bros). This toddler, who has no fear and loves to jump off things terrifying his poor mother. This toddler, who sees his much older brothers doing things and wants to do them too even though he’s a lot smaller and much less coordinated.
So as a survival mechanism I tried thinking positively and began listing in my head why toddlers are awesome, just so I can remember it all and look back to when he isn’t acting so awesome.
1.) They are interested in everything. Yes, this is double sided because they are interested in everything and want to explore it all which creates TONS of messes. Like everywhere. But being with a toddler can help you appreciate small things, like how amazing it is to watch a garbage truck collect trash or how fun it to just splash around in the sink water. Or how freaking cool it is to go down a slide even after you’ve gone 500 times. As Sid the Science Kid says they ‘want to know everything about everything’. One day many of them will stop all this and think they already know it all. Welcome to the teenage years!
2.) They can be easy to please. Yes many are picky about what exactly they want and it can be random and irrational but they are not yet demanding an ipad, a car or the latest and greatest in toys and electronics that ALL their friends have because they are happy with a box. Know what I got my little guy for Christmas? Wooden spoons, a ball and some animal cookies. Boom, done. That’s it and he was happy as a clam. Want to cheer him up? Put on Sesame Street and give him some crackers. Give him a balloon. Grab his favorite stuffed animal and a favorite blankie.
3.) They still need you and want to be around you. You are their whole life for the most part. While this can be hard because they do need and want you all the time, it is relatively short lived. It only lasts a couple years. A couple long years but it goes faster than you think. During this time they still want to snuggle, hold hands and kiss you. Some times snuggling up in your neck is their favorite place to be. Even with my older boys who are only 6 and almost 8 I’ve found there comes a time when they just don’t need or want your help on some things. The point of being a good mom is to work yourself out a job by teaching them life skills so they can become independent little people but it is kind of sad when they do become independent and don’t need/want to hold your hand to cross the street any more or help doing things.
4.) They think you are the BEST! From mom of almost four Danielle, she says your kids think “you’re the BEST dancer, the FUNNIEST at telling jokes, and see you as the most BEAUTIFUL girl in the world even when you haven’t showered in a week and you’re walking around in your fatty mcfaterson pants that you wouldn’t even let your husband see you in.” At this age they think you’re the best at everything and totally mean it.
5.) They are on their own time. Ever try walking with a toddler? They are ssssslllllloooooowwww, at least they are whenever you need them to hurry up. But these little people take their time and aren’t in a rush because they’re so busy living life and having fun. It is a good lesson for everyone to remember, take time to stop and smell the roses. Or pick up a cool rock. Or take the long way just because it’s more interesting and you saw a dog.
6.) You get to see so many firsts. So far I’ve been able to see my toddler walk, run, pick his first blueberry, jump on the trampoline, go in a water fountain for the first time and tons more. During these toddler years they have so many firsts.
7.) They can change emotions fast. Again, some good, some bad with this. But when my little guy gets mad normally it will only take a silly face, a favorite toy, throwing him up in the air or a fart noise to cheer him up depending on what it is. Or if its a bigger tantrum moving him to a different place and giving it a few of minutes. A little bit of distraction will often do the trick (though not all the time cause he is a toddler after all!). His older brother on the other hand, who has a lot less meltdowns, often can brood on whatever it is for hours when he gets upset THEN he remembers it and can get down about it later in the day. I’ve found as my boys have gotten older there is a lot more emotion to their problems of feeling lonely, struggling trying to learn something or getting over jealousy. It takes a lot more work to help them snap out of a bad mood.
8.) They think you know everything and believe what you say. Because you are their world you are their ultimate authority on just about everything. As their world expands this will not be the case. They might even find that you are not right about everything (gasp!) So enjoy it while it lasts.
From mom of three Marissa:
9.) They are so dang cute! Chubby fingers on your arms, messy kisses from sweet little lips, big belly laughs, chubby cheeks, sweet smiles. Diaper ruffles peeking out from their back of their pants, little hobbit feet. Saying “I love you.” “Thank you”, “You’re pretty” at random times throughout the day. Who can resist?
10.) Bonus! They love just about everyone. Seriously. Toddlers don’t care about how much you make, how popular you are or if you’re wearing the latest fashions. They don’t care if your a little weird or if you don’t look like a model. They just don’t care about that stuff we grown ups and older kids seem to care so much about. For the most part they love everyone and are completely sincere.
Being a mom of a toddler is hard. Being a mom in general is hard. It’s all hard stuff but it does pass eventually. Might as well look to the bright side of things (a BIG note to self on this one) and have fun. They really are just trying to figure out life not mess up your house or make it so you can’t get much else done. They just doin’ what they do.
Advice from mom of three Brooke, “It will pass. It will be better after naps or in the morning. The way they are acting now won’t be how they are at 20. Sometimes I have to lock myself in the bathroom, turn on all water faucets and just not hear the whining/crying for a few minutes. It helps you not murder them and renews your spirit so you can keep being positive.