When I wrote this in late 2016, we had two toddlers who are now 5 & alost 7. As we venture back into toddlerhood with baby number 5, a lot of this rings true, as this will be our last time embarking on the toddler years.
Toddlers toddle. That’s just what they do. And because of that, it can be pretty difficult to parent them. The toddler stage has brought us so much joy (learning to sing the ABC’s, while still pronouncing the letters weird), and also much frustration (like sticking their tongue out at everyone). Even with its ups and downs, there are still moments that I wish I could save in a bottle forever. I hate to admit it, but I know that I am gong to miss this stage.
1. Their helpfulness
Can toddlers get any more helpful? It doesn’t matter what the task is, they will be willing to help. Taking out the trash? They are more than happy to take items to the recycle bin. Spilled something on the floor? They will be the first ones to get a mop or towel to help clean it. When they complete their task, the pride and joy on their little round faces and in their voices is something they I wish I could capture each and every time.
2. Hugs & Kisses
Do you want to know what love is? Have a toddler. There is a steady stream of hugs, kisses, rubs on the hand and back. While all of those moments are great, the best part is the unprompted “I Love You” that they throw out. Talk about tears. And when you’re sad, they know just what to do to make you feel better. The hard part is these days don’t last forever. My twelve year old won’t give an unprompted “I love you” unless I’ve bought her something. But even still, I’d bottle those moments as well.
3. The way they talk
I just love to hear Sarah say “Iwa” instead of Isla. Some of the funniest and cutest moments are trying to figure out what they are saying. Years ago when the “Wonder Pets” were popular, I would hear parents complain about their kids watching the show due to the way Ming Ming would speak (with a lisp). Considering that’s how all of my children sounded between the ages of 2-4, I took no issue with it. It was cute and they eventually grew out of it. However, for the time being, every time they mispronounce a word, I giggle just a little.
Right now I have a mental index of twelve years worth of moments from four kids that I will keep close with me forever.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.