by Judy Dutton
Yes, toddlers are exhausting, infuriating, pure chaos in human form ... and yet, when you're not cleaning up their messes or begging them to go to bed, you've gotta admit: Toddlers are the best. From those staggering steps to their adorable mispronunciations, toddlers have a special charm that moms would be wise to step back and relish while they can.
Take a look ...
- You can swear in front of them. Well, until the day they say the F-word at daycare and you realize you need to stop swearing in front of them.
- Toddler mispronunciations -- i.e., "bluebabies," "burstday" -- are frankly better than the original words.
- You can buy their presents from Santa, like, right in front of them. (We're not saying toddlers are dumb, but seriously?!)
- You can still keep things secret from them by spelling out words like I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M and D-O-C-T-O-R.
- They still take naps, so you have a precious hour or two to answer emails, pay bills, and otherwise keep your home from falling apart.
- They think they are AWESOME (and they're right). Every 3-year-old on the planet thinks they are all that. Like this awesome video of a toddler who gives herself daily affirmations.
- They love to cuddle. And they'll share their blankie -- and even their thumb -- with you.
- Pooping in a toilet makes them ridiculously proud.
- They think your poop is also extremely interesting, too.
- They cry for the funniest reasons, like the sheep ate food from his hand, or you cut her sandwich in half.
- You can tell them anything and they'll believe you, like how storks deliver babies or rabbits chocolate eggs. It makes zero sense, but if mom said it, it must be true.
- They wear crazy outfits, like tutus on top of snow pants or Superman capes to school.
- Because pictures of turtles are "hats," and sharks are "airplanes," and we can totally see where they're coming from.
- They quickly master the use of the word "Please." As in, "Cookie, PLEASE." "iPad PLEASE." At 3 a.m.
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- When they first learn to walk, they walk like zombies. Walking Dead fans can relate here.
- In spite of their faltering steps and hilarious mispronunciations, they can operate your iPad better than you do.
- You can see through their innocent ways to manipulate you -- asking for a glass of water to stall bedtime, or crying crocodile tears and, when you don't respond, whining, "Mama, I'm cryiiiing!"
- After they sweep their food onto the floor and say, "Mess!" they grind it into the carpet to help "clean up."
- All the abilities adults take for granted -- opening the door, taking off their own shirt -- bring a huge, gloating smile of glee to their face.
- They're ninjas at climbing out of their crib but ask tearfully to be carried to the car.
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- You can actually see their gears turning: For instance, if you reward them with an M&M for peeing in the potty, they need to pee every five minutes.
- They have zero hangups -- naked or clothed, hands down the pants or up their nose, it's all fine, alone or around company.
- The simplest things make them laugh, from putting your shoes on your head to sloppy raspberries on their stomachs.
- They are grownups in so many ways ... and still babies in others.
- They say they love you with unabashed enthusiasm. Soak it up while you can, guys, it won't last forever.
What do you love best about toddlers?
Image © Susanne Dittrich/Corbis