We have all heard about the "terrible twos" and the "threenagers", right? Those both seem to be very common and well used phrases. They had me somewhat fearfully anticipating the time that my daughter slid into toddlerhood. You see, she has been quite the handful since the day she was born, so I always had a slight pit in my stomach about the years that were supposed to be so scary. Guess what, we have arrived and I can honestly say that this stage has been my absolute favorite!Seriously! I am totally obsessed with her in her toddler state. No, she did not just all of the sudden flip a switch and become the easiest child on the planet. She has a firm opinion about most things she does (or I do), we have our royal tantrums, and her desire to run and get into mischief is at an all time high. BUT, strangely enough, those are the things that I have become quite obsessed with lately. One day after expressing my feelings to a friend, I thought through my feelings to assess what it is that I love so much about her right now. Here is what I came up with!
The OpinionSo, the tiny humans are developing an insanely strong opinion about...well...about anything and everything really. For example, I had a dress and shoes picked out for my daughter the other day. She was very upset with my choice. At first I, of course, thought that she was just being a little stink, but then I knelt down to get on her level and see why she was so upset so suddenly. After her leading me back to the closet and pointing to her flower dress hanging up, I realized that she was just ticked because she wanted to wear flowers instead of stripes. At that very moment, I loved her a little more than I did before. Why? Because I just had a little glimpse at her preferences and personality developing. Watching her become her own little person, as she exclaims "cuuuuute" and twirls in the mirror with her flower dress on, put another feather on my proud mama cap.
Okay, so these really aren't that pleasant during the event. However, I love the teaching moments that come with the excess of emotions we call tantrums. I have learned that kids just don't throw a tantrum for no reason. Usually they are tired, hungry, upset about a specific thing that happened, or a potent concoction of the three. So why is this something that I have learned to love in my toddler? Because I get to teach her something, and have some quiet moments specifically focused on her.
Although these teaching moments sometimes come at the least convenient times (hey there middle-of-the-grocery-store tantrum survivors!), they are still a time to teach our little ones! You can handle the situation in several ways; maybe by teaching them to better handle their frustrations, or, if they aren't being receptive, just staying patient and handling them without losing your cool. No matter what you choose, there are always things to be learned. Are you thinking that your kiddo is too young to learn those lessons? Think again, they are capable of a lot more intellectually than a lot of people think!
The Running and Mischief
I cannot tell you how many close calls we have had with our daughter. She goes 1,000 miles a minute from the second she wakes up to the second she talks herself to sleep. There is zero fear, and all of the curiosity in the world bottled into her tiny body. So, we have had to learn how to handle that in a way that encourages her to still explore the world as she desires to, but in a way that keeps her safe and here with us.
Fostering and encouraging her to discover her surroundings brings my husband and I so much joy! We absolutely love that she has such a curiosity and vigor for what life has to offer. As we have learned what allows her to do that, but also keeps her alive, we have come to appreciate her insanely energetic and curious soul.
So there you have it! I am pretty positive that you probably feel the same way if you really think about it. If your kid dumped your brand new gallon of milk and smashed your eggs on your new couch this morning, then maybe you should come back and read this again tomorrow. But, I do think that the best way to love your children is to love their worst parts just as much as their best ones!
Written by: Alyssa Liston