The 6 best and the worst things about parenting a toddler:
1. Snuggles – When your kid agrees to stop moving and give you a hug, or, better yet, when they fall asleep in your arms (or beside you in your bed).
2. Cute faces – Because come on, toddlers make really cute faces. And right, Mommy, if I’m cute you won’t punish me? Wrong. Oh, and there’s peekaboo. If I cover my face, you can’t see me . . . because I can’t see you.
3. Copycat – there’s nothing more flattering – or funny – than when a one or two year old attempts to copy Mom or Dad.
4. Humor – If you sound like you’re saying something funny, they laugh. Or they copy the silly things you do to make them laugh. Because obviously, it’s funny, and you’ll laugh at it, too, just like they did. And guess what? You do laugh at it.
5. Empathy – Oh, I’m sorry I elbowed you in the shoulder trying to get to that shelf. Here, let me rub it for you.
6. Interest – Anything that’s new is interesting. Even if it’s just the cardboard from a new pacifier.
1. Temper tantrums – Nuff said.
2. You do it – I can’t get it, let me help you get it for me. Here, let me put your arm where I want it.
3. I want it . . . and I don’t know how to say it. Or, I don’t want to talk, I want to sign. But you know what I want, right? I waaant it! Why are you asking me what I want?! I told you I want it! You know what I want! Stop asking me exactly which of the fifty items on the table I want! And it all comes out in the form of a whine, grunt, or crying.
4. Non-distractable – Gone are the days of “out of sight, out of mind”. Take something away, and your toddler wants it back. You can only distract him/her with something that’s even better than the desired object/goal.
5. I do it! Not you. Don’t help me, I want to make a mess on the table, not eat. And don’t take it away, either! I want to make a MESS. Food isn’t always for eating, Mommy; why don’t you understand? It’s for throwing, and putting water into, and smearing . . .
6. Discussion? Forget it. No chance of reasoning with a toddler – that’ll have to wait. As will any kind of normal adult conversation.