The toddler. What an amazing age group. A toddler is defined as a child between the ages of 1 and 3 (Wikipedia Definition). I personally adore the 18-24 month age group. Although all ages bring new firsts, phases, and character, the toddler can be the most amusing.
My daughter is 22 months old and a barrel of fun. I remember feeling the exact same way when my other daughter was that age. It's so entertaining. I could spend hours just watching and listening to her talk and communicate. It's intriguing and amusing. They are in desperate need of an adult to guide their way at that age and they are also sucking in every single thing you do or say like a sponge.
Here are ten reasons why you gotta love the toddler age:
- The two word sentence. "No, no." "Eat Here." "Snack now." "Come on." "Birdie Cute." It's simple and sweet and to the point. Every time time I hear a new toddler sentence it is so endearing and makes me so proud.
- The cuddle. At this age they still want to cuddle with you. And I know that time will fade all too quickly. They actually need to cuddle to feel safe and to gain that confidence they thrive on. In the morning when I need to prep breakfast or I want to clean the floor, she often times starts crying because she desperately just needs her morning cuddle. Once she's sat on my lap and drank her milk - then she's good and takes off to start playing. Or at night if I say 'bedtime' she immediately says 'back' which means she wants to lay across my lap and have her back rubbed or tickled before we get ready for bed. Her nightly cuddle time.
- Imitation junkie. Every move. Every word. Every desire is replicated so she can learn how to act in this big world. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." (Taken from Ann of Green Gables). At this age they become your shadow. I was looking up at the sky to see that plane I was hearing with my hand up over my eyes to shield the sun and my other hand on my hip. I look down and my baby was doing the exact same thing while looking at me to see when she should change her pose. It made my heart sing. ;) So sweet.
- Everything is brand new and life is amazing. This summer it was bugs. Outside we would spot an ant or bug and she lays down on her stomach on the ground and just stares at it saying "mama bug!" Anything from ducks, animals, flowers, clouds, juice - everything is new, amazing, and perfect. If we all couldn't just bottle up that feeling and feel that way everyday - it would be a better world I tell ya;)
- "Mama, Fingers." Holding their little hand. I love the way my daughter wants to hold my hand when we walk anywhere. She desperately wants to feel safe and be sure that she is walking in the right direction. It's adorable to stare down beside you and see that tiny little child. Today I was walking ahead with my oldest daughter at the park and I looked behind me to check on Grandma and my baby. They were holding hands, walking down the bike path together. I wished I had my camera because that childlike pose is always priceless to see.
- The best toys are sticks, dirt, and rocks. I swear - it doesn't matter what toy my daughter gets to open on her birthday or Christmas. Of course she is excited to see it but it soon gets tossed to the side and that box it came in becomes the new favorite toy to climb on and in! The second we go outside that little sand pile that has accrued in the nook of that sidewalk is the first place they're drawn to. Or the rocks that surround our house - soon I find a little pile of them next to the door when we're about to come in. It's the small things to them that count.
- Hugs. I swear toddlers give the best hugs. She will say 'uppy mama' and then say 'hug' and wrap her little arms around me and squeeze as tightly as she can. There is something to be said with hugs. Do not give them unless you truly mean them and then give them all you've got. The person on the receiving side will feel the love that much more and return the favor:)
- Reading in your lap. I absolutely love it when we are getting the girls ready for bed and then we say okay book time! Go grab a book to read. She then grabs her favorite - which turns out to be the only book we read every night for a couple weeks and then she comes to find my lap. No matter how I am sitting. Inviting or not. She finds a way to sit on my lap. Not beside me, but right on me. She craves that human contact and security. I just love that feeling so I always sit 'criss cross applesauce' just for her:)
- Little shoes and outfits. They still have the body of a baby and look SO adorable in little outfits. They let you put them into anything unless it's tight and won't fit over their head properly. That is such an issue with both of my girls. If it takes longer than a second to get over their heads they have no interest in wearing it and they start freaking out. I love my daughters little belly and how it sticks out almost as if she is Kris Kringle himself. She is still shorter and has that baby chunk with slight rolls and creases. They look adorable in hats, costumes, pj's anything. They make the phrase 'adorable' ring true.
- Naps. Yes parents, I know you are all thinking the same thing. At this age they still require that afternoon nap. That 2 hours of solitude that you are longing for to get things done or just relax. OR perhaps you want to nap right along with them. Perfect excuse, right? Once they reach 3 they may not want to nap anymore. And that can make life a bit longer...
Whatever the reason, and I know there are a hundred more, the toddler age group is perfect in my eyes. Yes, they have their tantrums, their terrible two antics, and their overwhelming cries, but the good far outweighs the bad. This age goes so fast. You absolutely have to step back, put the phone away, and enjoy it.
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