Monday, June 29, 2015

8 Reasons to Appreciate Toddlers

I've been realizing more and more how many ways I want to be like my toddler. And how many ways people underestimate toddlers. We all just think of the "terrible twos" part; the destruction, the tantrums, the messes, the stubbornness. But I think we ought to give them a lot more credit. Toddlers have so many great qualities, I hope mine never loses them. 

1. They test their boundaries.
They're pretty fearless. But it's mostly because they have a clean slate. They don't know the cause and effect of sticking their fingers in an electrical outlet. A lot of things are innate, like heights and the teeth on a barking dog, but they are still unaware of the total effects of jumping from 5 feet in the air or how badly wounded they could be after a dog bite. They know the results aren't going to be good, but they still wanna know how bad. That's where we have to step in, and that's when the "why mama?" happens.

2. Their curiosity.
"Why, mama?" Most of the time as adults, we feel asking the question of "why" is rude or challenging the other person. Children don't care. They ask you why you're doing something, whenever, wherever. I truly believe this is why they learn so much so fast. Just think if adults asked the question of why as often as children. We would be so much smarter.

3. They're creative
And innovative. And oddly enough, they like to methodize things. My daughter has been really into organizing things by color or style. She lines up shoes, those little jam packets from Perkins, and any accessories that happen to be at her eye level in department stores to create new "patterns" for them. Toddlers also are great at drawing a small blob of a picture and creating an entire detailed story behind it. We are just starting to get into this stage and I'm really excited to see where it goes :D.

4. They have reasoning for everything.
It doesn't always make sense to us, but it makes sense to them. According to my toddler, I apparently work solely so I can buy her muffins. Sometimes she growls at a man at the store because "he's a mean guy" when he looks like the nicest man on earth to me. Maybe she has a weird sixth sense I don't know about.

5. They love to help.
Granted, when they try and help it's usually defeating the purpose. It's the thought that counts though, right?

6. Their gratefulness.
Toddlers appreciate everything you give to them. They don't quite understand what you do for them, like working or buying clothes. But when I come home with a box of crayons or take my daughter to the park, she is ecstatic and so appreciative. Every little thing counts.

7. Their innocence.
This is more heartbreaking than anything. I see her playing with kids a few years older than her and they tease her or try to run away from her. On their part it's just good innocent fun, but on her part she feels betrayal. She doesn't understand that not everyone gets included. She doesn't understand that certain people get treated differently for being a different gender, age, or personality than others. She can't understand why anyone would run away from her, and it breaks my heart. But it's something we all learn. We fit into groups and we have to conform if we want to be part of a group.

8. Their generosity. 
They will give up the only thing they have for you. I have tested this out. My daughter will be given two small pieces of candy and I will ask her for one just to see what she says, and every time, without fail, she will give it up to me. What makes this even more special is that she places the value of that piece of candy much higher than any adult would. Yet many adults wouldn't give up a piece of candy with only having 2 of them.

Please, my sweet child, never change. (Except for the part where you color on the walls and take everything out of drawers). 

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  1. Great reasons! My 2yo is a handful. In stark contrast to my 7yo who was super chill at that age. It can definitely be a struggle to be grateful for these wonderful toddler traits. Thanks for this reminder today. =)

    1. Maybe with our next kid, it will be super chill like your older one! :) Funny how that happens so often.

  2. Love it! I'd add: they're hilarious! My youngest (17mos) last week decided an empty plastic flower pot was the perfect hat, thankyouverymuch, and she insisted on wearing it for hours one day. Never a dull moment! :)

    1. Oh, yes! I totally missed the best trait of all, they are very hilarious. Haha I'd love to see your little one with that hat!

  3. Spot on! Toddlers really are the best.... when they're not running away from you or throwing food or otherwise having a meltdown ; )

    1. They ARE the best - really does balance out those meltdowns!


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