Toddlers are awesome. If you have one, then you already know this. At least some of the time. If you are reading this whilst cradling your baby in your arms, however, toddlerdom may feel like a scary unknown waiting for you in the distant future. In truth, toddlerhood will be here before you know it, and far from missing those newborn days, you'll be fully immersed in the wonderful world of the toddler.
There are many, many ways in which toddlers are awesome, here are just a few of them:
Awesome Things About Toddlers #1: They Tell It Like It Is
Toddlers don't yet understand the concept of sugar coating, so they're about as straight talking as they come. Your toddler will think nothing of telling you that you smell, informing your dinner party guests that daddy's poo smells, or tell your friends that their house is small. These are the downsides, of course, but it also means your toddler is pretty straight talking about her feelings too. If she's feeling upset or scared, it's not too hard to find out why.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #2: They're Full Of Energy
Long gone are the days of the long afternoons spent cuddling on the sofa. Toddlers have two settings; ‘asleep' and ‘very, very on'. You will find yourself thrust into the great outdoors as you take long walks, spend hours in the park and play fetch in the garden in a desperate attempt to tire out your still fully charged toddler minutes before bedtime. You will spend your days chasing, running away from, wrestling, and exploring with the most wonderful and passionate kid who never tires of fun or adventure.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #3: They're Sassy
Toddlers are undoubtedly the sassiest people around. If you thought things would be easy until the teenage years, you may be surprised at just how much attitude your little toddler has. She will talk back to you, roll her eyes at you and tut loudly to let you know she's unimpressed. It won't just be you on the receiving end, everyone is at risk of being on the sharp end of your toddler's tongue.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #4: That WTF Expression
By the toddler years, your child should have mastered the art of mimicking facial expressions. That WTF expression you've been giving her since the day she was born, usually just after the departure of strangers offering (supposedly well-intended) advice. By toddlerhood, your offspring has perfected that look, and now gives it to everyone and anyone.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #5: They Give Constructive Criticism
Not only will toddlers tell you what you're doing wrong, but they'll also provide insight into how you can improve. For example, “This pasta is too pasta-y,” or “This strawberry is too red.” These helpful hints will help you to up your game for your next attempt at seamlessly parenting a toddler.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #6: They Love Their Independence
Toddlers love being independent, and this means that while they will still need you for somethings, there are others that they will happily do alone. Unlike the slave-like days of caring for a baby, you will now have a few minutes free here and there to drink a warm cup of tea and simply relax.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #7: They Are Really Excited
Toddlers are excited about pretty much everything all of the time. This is infectious, so you will soon find yourself being embarrassingly overenthusiastic during conversations on nights out with your friends.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #8: They Say I Love You
Remember how your heart melted the first time you saw your baby smile? Or the way you had to fight back tears the first time your baby wrapped her chubby little arms around your neck? Well, the first time she says ‘I love you, Mummy” will be so, so much more amazing. And once she starts saying it, she won't stop – and each time will feel as amazing as the first.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #9: They Tell On Daddy
This should have been top of the list really. Your toddler now has the ability to communicate everything he sees. So if Daddy was busy on his phone while your toddler was getting into mischief, your toddler will tell you so. If your mother in law feeds your toddler sweets when you're not looking, you'll soon find out. Your toddler is now your all seeing spy accomplice, and all it takes is a few (seemingly) innocent questions to unlock her knowledge. Be warned though, this works both ways. Your toddler is not a loyal colleague, and will change sides almost hourly, so be on guard.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #10: The Naughty Face
Toddlers are not yet streetwise, and have not yet developed a poker face that will see them through years of mischief. At the moment, your toddler's face will completely give her away. Even before you notice the damage, think crayon on the walls or a self styled haircut, your toddler's face will scream GUILTY. All you need to do is figure out the crime.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #11: The Laughter
Laughter comes easily to toddlers. Your toddler probably has a whole repertoire of laughs – a giggle, a belly laugh, a false laugh (for polite company) and an uncontrollable wheeze. Houses with toddlers are homes filled with laughter.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #12: Their Imaginations
Toddlers have amazing imaginations. Your toddler will surprise you with the depth and complexity of the games she makes up and plays by herself. You will find yourself standing quietly in the doorway, watching in awe as your toddler turns a simple cardboard box into a boat, and rows across the room to rescue dolly from a fire.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #13: The Future Glimpses
Toddlers have strong personalities and know their own minds. If you spend all day with a toddler, you may catch the old glimpse of their future self. You're able to almost imagine what she will look and act like in five, ten, even twenty years time. There will be moments where your little girl suddenly transforms into a successful business woman chairing a stakeholder meeting before your very eyes.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #14: They Have Friends
When your baby was born you probably made friends with some other mums who had babies the same age. You may have seen these families every week since you first met, always referring to your babies as BFFs. As babies, however, they fought a lot, then seemed indifferent to each other. Only now that they are toddlers can they truly become friends. They will look forward to seeing each other, play games together, have conversations and then be sad to say goodbye. Your little toddler is suddenly starting to form real relationships with people outside the family.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #15: They Care
Toddlers are developing empathy and kindness, and you are lucky to be on the receiving end of some of that. If you look sad, your toddler might cuddle you, ask if you are ok and give you a kiss. If her friend is upset, she may want to offer a cuddle or see what else she can do to help. You will feel so proud of her each time she reaches out to help a person in need.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #16: They're In Charge
Ok, this one can be a bit annoying at times. Especially in public when your toddler is shouting at you to move seats, or telling you she won't eat her dinner, but it's actually an awesome trait. You probably want your child to grow up to become an independent, assertive person who knows her own mind. That means you have to nurture these qualities in your toddler, and that's awesome. You're teaching your toddler how to stick to her guns, be herself and challenge authority.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #17: They Love Mess
Paint, glue, water play, mud, glitter, even their dinner can be used to enjoy some messy play. Toddlers love mess. They don't care about having dirty hands, or spilling on their clothes. They're not worried about the carpet or looking nice for Granny later. All they care about is fun, and mess is fun. It's easy to think of activities to occupy them, you just have to think of the quickest way to make the worst mess possible.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #18: They're Always Learning
A toddler's brain never switches off. No matter what she's doing, your toddler is learning, practicing, reinforcing and understanding something about the world. The whole world is a classroom, and your toddler can explore at will choosing what to discover and when. Toddlers are inquisitive and hungry for information, and they're always keen to learn new things.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #19: They Are Evolving
Your toddler is growing, evolving and changing every single day. Each day she may learn a new word, master a new skill or learn something new. Each night when you tuck her up in bed, she will be older and wiser than the day before. There is no time to stop and appreciate the now, because she's always two steps ahead of you, running towards tomorrow. The days may be long, but your toddler's growth and development is a constant reminder that the years are short.
Awesome Things About Toddlers #20: They Sleep
Not always when you want them to, and not without a struggle, but they do sleep. It might take eight hundred stories (with voices), thirteen lullabies and an hour of cuddling, but eventually your toddler will fall asleep in your arms. Then you need to carefully extract yourself from her grip (how does she always manage to keep you pinned down by your own hair?), gently get up off her (ridiculously loud) bed, tiptoe across the (toy-covered) floor and out the door without waking her up. Then it's a mad dash to the kitchen to pour yourself a well deserved glass of wine. After that long day of bouncing, running, screaming, shouting, sassing, giggling, wrestling, exploring toddler, it's extra awesome that toddlers sleep.