For all of their mind-altering, soul-sucking and ear-piercing attributes, toddlers — specifically the ones who are just learning to talk and use their limbs beyond sticking a finger up your nose (or theirs), are the most adorable, entertaining form of human beings I have yet to cross paths with.
The age? That super-sweet, physically and verbally adorable time just so happens to coincide with the “terrible-twos” phase. Coincidence? I think not. They’ve got to have something going for them in the heat of all those angst-filled, whorls of aggressive, possessive, irrational moments they throw at us. It’s another dimension, the toddler dimension.
The “terrible twos” are really the, “terrible threes” and the “terrible fours” anyway. I know. I have 4 (and a bit)-year-old proof.
I mean, a terrible two-er can melt your heart with laser-like precision by dropping little love bombs of mispronounced words and sweet nothings whispered in your ear. Hearing I luv you, mama in the tiniest, bird-like, sing-song voice really is the magical gateway to soul revival. Delicious neck cuddles not a mere 2.5 seconds after your ears are still ringing from that very same toddler who lost her ever-loving mind over being handed the wrong cup, will indeed save all of the rotten days.
It’s a hot mess, a wave of human interaction like no other that I’ve ever experienced, that I’ve been riding for almost four years now. And I fall under the current all the time.
Yet, even when I’m neck deep, with my hands flailing about as if to signal, “I’m fine, everything is fine!”… a slow, bittersweet realization creeps over my brain that makes me sad in a way that I just can’t shake. Because this phase is nearing its end.
My 4-year-old is less a toddler and more a boy, inch-by-inch, day-by-day.
My 2.5-year-old is still running like a penguin trying really hard to take off in flight but can’t. (Because penguins can’t fly.)
She is the most ridiculous, dramatic little ball of fire that I’ve met at such a tender age.
She picks her nose and says, “Ew, mama. GWOSS.” And hands me her snot. (Why oh why do I think this is cute?!)
She treats her dad’s vintage Star Wars character models like babies and swaddles them to her chest in face-cloths and talks to them. She tells the bad guys (as explained to her by us), to “stop being bad on the dark side” and makes Princess Leia the boss of everyone. (Also known as kicking ass and taking names at 2.5 years old.)
She sings Frozen’s “Let It Go“ at the top of her lungs and asks me to sing The Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World“ to her for her bedtime song every night and joins in. (Thank gourd I can be done with Rudolph now.) I’ve just gotta say, her singing voice is ridiculous. It’s toddler Broadway when she really gets into it.
Her idea of a good time is leaping down flights of stairs with no notice, based on the assumption that I’m standing there, so I must be waiting to catch her. “Dance, mama dance!” she seems to be saying.
She takes imaginary play and dress-up to a whole new level and draws the entire family in with her antics.
People stop in the street, in the park (OK, indoor playground, because POLAR VORTEX), or the mall to exclaim over her fantastical-ness and to steal just a few moments of her time. To be in her joy-inducing presence. I get it. I live it.
She also knows that she’s irresistible and acts like a little celebrity… which could get dangerous, I know. If it makes me a bad mom to confess that even when she gets mad I have to turn away lest she see my grin, because girl can’t even do pissed off without looking like Shirley Temple with a scrunched up bunny face and demon eyes? Well, then that’s OK. Because I’m also this mom.
I could go on and on. But I won’t. Because my toddler’s cuteness isn’t aiming to win any contest, except the one aimed at stealing my heart. At that, she is winning. There was never any question really. She just gets better every day, in spite of her wild and crazy toddler-self.
More Babbles From Selena…
- WATCH: An Ode To The Muffin Top
- You Bet I’m Raising a Mama’s Boy!
- This Is Not a Momfession: On Wanting, Needing (and Taking) Alone Time
- Toddler Cries Watching Parents’ Wedding [Video]
- You Can Do It! 4 Steps To a Successful Toddler Screen-Time Diet
- 3 Ways My Kids Have Helped Me Unlock My Own Potential
- 7 Tips For a Weekend That Your Toddlers Will Never Forget!
- Are We Overindulging Our Kids?
- 10 Things I Hope To Teach My Kids About Being Happy
Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all-time geek. Elsewhere on the Internets… via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve