Toddlers get a bad rap. Caused by communication frustrations, feeling helpless to control their own lives, experiencing an influx of new hormones and emotions, and constantly pounded with large quantities of new information to process to throw tantrums and test our limits many times, in many ways, throughout every day, we tend to dread the "Terrible Twos" and the "Threenager" years.
However, despite the frustrating situations we find ourselves in with our little humans, we have to admit that toddlers are simply amazing, and make us better people. Here are some of the reasons why.
Patience is a virtue. It's also a prerequisite for parenting.
1. They make you clean your house. You really have no choice. When juice, milk, cereal, poo and all other manner of messiness becomes squished here and there, while you're cleaning up the spill, you may as well mop up the rest of the space you're in, too.
2. They teach you patience. Ever tried potty training? Ah, the fun that is sitting on the bathroom floor, where your little one is adamant you wait, while they take 30 -- THIRTY -- very long minutes attempting to poo in the toilet, which you should be proud and supportive of, yet you are almost literally pulling your hair, teeth and eyes out as constantly remind them to stay on the toilet (you can look when you're done... no... NO... please don't run around with your poo bum!!) and you painfully wait for them to be done so you can put them to bed. Patience is a virtue. It's also a prerequisite for parenting.
3. They make you notice the little things. Bet you didn't even notice there was a miniscule elephant on the bottom corner of that granola bar package, or that chunk of discarded apple that's been living under the couch for goodness knows how long. Well, your toddler found it for you, and is probably madly vying for your attention to point it out to you. Or chewing on it. Probably both.
4. They make you get your exercise. Life with a toddler is one big gymnast circuit. Seriously. From son-up (I wish I had a son for this very reason... "daughter-up" just don't work) to son-down, I'm reaching, carrying, hoisting, jumping, running, jogging, climbing, bending, stretching, carefully creeping, and otherwise moving to the beat of my tots busy body.
5. They make you smile. Every day. At the most needed times. So many times. I can go from extreme frustration and impatient we're-late-hurry-the-funk-up Mommy to doubling over with laughter and beaming a smile that only this tiny, clever, beautiful, and soul-filling being can elicit in me. When she looks at me with that crinkly-faced smile, tells me or shows me something I overlooked or never would have thought of, or wraps her little arms around me and squeezes and kisses with all her might, my heart is happy.
No. That doesn't make everything sugar and plums, but it makes it all worth it to me. It reminds me why I wanted to be a mom, and why I plow through the exhausting, sticky, smelly, screechy-screaming-tantrum days.
Why do you do it?
This post originally appeared on The Big To-Do List.
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