Posts Tagged With: toddlers

Wisdom from an Almost One-Year Old

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I could do this all day. That’s my plan.

I spent some quality and quantity time recently with an almost one-year old. I recommend it to nearly everyone. I learned some profound and not so profound lessons I think I could apply to my life, if I’d just loosen up a little bit.

  1. Water is JOY! Put it in a plastic five-foot circle, a sippy cup, a bath tub or running out of a faucet or hose. It’s the best toy ever! It surprises, cools, splashes, runs, makes music I can dance to. It also has the magical ability to clean everything or transform it into a giant mess
  2. I’ll stop everything if there’s an animal to observe.
  3. Except eating, I won’t stop for anything if I’m in the middle of eating. I probably wouldn’t notice a Tasmanian devil and an animated rabbit in the room if I had food in front of me. I want it. I need it. And I need it fast! Don’t be lollygagging around once you’ve decided it’s time to eat. Oh, and what I loved yesterday, or even at lunchtime, I might turn my head away so it ends up in my ear.
  4. I just need one little foothold to expand my play space from the floor to everywhere else. Chairs, pillows, toys, people, all count as legitimate means to upward mobility and access to all things taller than me. You’ve been warned.
  5. If you want an honest, unrestrained belly laugh just tickle me under my chin. Or kiss me there.
  6. Clocks – schmocks. Nonsense.
  7. I’ll insist I’m not the least bit sleepy even when every indicator for exhaustion is blinking red and making warning noises. If someone can just help me slow down long enough to pay attention to the tired meters I’d probably start snoring before my head reaches the pillow. If you want to hum a soothing tune or gently brush your hand across my forehead for a few minutes I might just fall asleep in your arms. I’ll try not to drool.
  8. Dirty toes, sticky fingers, splotches on my face and spills on my shirt mean I’ve simply been exploring, learning and having an all around lovely time of it.
  9. My smile is all about you and has very little to do with me. I’m happy to see you, I love being in your company. As much time as you want to hang out with me, I’ll take it. All I have to offer you in return in my undying devotion and this smile.
  10. When you go away, even if it is just down the hall or into a small square room with a lock on the door, I’ll feel forlorn and lonely and think the world has come to end. At least temporarily. I’ll probably cry, loudly and with gusto. But when I see you again, all is instantly forgiven and life is good.
  11. My big bulging belly is part of my beautiful physique. It isn’t who I am though. No matter how much exercise I get, or how healthy I eat, my belly insists on being a prominent part of what everyone sees.
  12. I want to move to everything that sounds like music. I may break into dance without any warning whatsoever. If I’m moving around in silly ways that not everyone will interpret as dancing, you’re welcome to move to another part of the room and pretend you don’t know me, or you can laugh. But please, don’t try to video the experience because it’ll just ruin my groove.
  13. I love being snuggled, and held, and hugged and patted on the back. But I need my space. Don’t crowd me. How will you know when to hold me and when to let me go? I have no idea. Go with the flow and take a chance.
  14. I’m going to fall down a heckuva lot. It’ll look like failure, but it’s not. I may whine and cry about it. But mostly, I’ll just get myself up off the floor no matter how awkward it might look, and, if I can remember what I was doing before I fell, I’ll try again. Obstacles abound. Oh, well.

That’s not everything I learned. But it’s a piece of it.

Toddlers. Who knew?

Those little people possess a boggling amount of wisdom for having just barely learned to walk.

Midnight? What's that?

Midnight? What’s that?

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Categories: Fun, Happiness, Humor, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Accessing My Inner Two Year-Old

Two Year-old kids get a bad rap. 

Oh sure, I’ve seen the meltdowns in the grocery store, the toy wars in the sandbox, the frazzled parents trying to get a tot cooperatively moving in the direction and speed they need to go. I also raised a few two year-old kids myself, although, admittedly that is ancient history.

I suppose it’s a case of the squeaky wheel when it comes to two year-old behavior. What most people see and experience is the negatives, of which admittedly, there exist quite a few.

There are redeeming qualities in two year-olds, apart from their general cuteness, and their adorable options in the clothing department. What is up with that anyway? How come little kids have such fun, bright, practical and comfortable pants, shirts, shoes and even sock options? Can we please just design a few of those in adult sizes? I have a particular fondness for Osh Kosh B’gosh styles which I think I’d look great in. Or not.

Sorry, I got sidetracked.

That right there is a two-year-old trait. Easily sidetracked. It’s one of those plus/minus categories. It can work for you or against you. Distraction is particularly important as you maneuver past any grocery items that might not be healthy choices. If I could distract my attention away from the donuts, soda and ice cream I’d leave the store with healthier options and a bit more cash left in my wallet. Dropping some niggling problem like a two year-old changes gears could help out my stress levels. Worry, worry, worry, oh look, something shiny, no worries. If only.

Two year-olds are usually a friendly sort. They’ll wave and smile at most people who say hello or smile at them. They’re eager to play with almost any willing playpal. I’ve seen two’s dance for an hour at a wedding reception without ever exchanging names or phone numbers. They were just happy dancing! That distraction thing then kicks in when punch and cake show up and the evening plays off as a massive success.

Double the fun with a two-year-old

Double the fun with a two-year-old

Here and Now

Two’s live in the moment. This very moment. There is no “in a few minutes.” Everything is now. That’s an enviable trait to copy. This right now takes all my attention. No yesterday haunts me as I do what I’m doing. Tomorrow doesn’t loom because I’m living the moment I’m in. Sure, that leans to the negative if taken to extremes, but so can overplanning, over scheduling and overdoing.

Empathy Abounds

One particular two year-old I know acts quickly to literally wipe away tears when her mom or sister cry. If the tears last long enough she’ll run for the tissues and bring some to help staunch the flow. Then she gives a wonderful full on hug and a kiss on the cheek. What a perfect response. Twos get it. They feel that full range of emotion loud and clear and when they hear or see it in someone else their empathy sensors kick in to high gear. “I see you’re sad. Let me help, even if I don’t understand why you’re sad, I’m gonna do what I can right now to give love, attention and solace.” Perfect. Those Two’s notice, care and respond to grief, sadness and unfairness with a quick hand.

Honest to a T

Honesty abounds in two year-old, mostly. They let you know when something is “yucky” or they “don’t like it.” There’s no fudging around, wondering what the correct response should be. Yes or no rule. Maybe doesn’t exist. Count on them for a real answer. I’d like the bravery to act and speak so definitively.

The advantages of being a house dog in a home ...

Two two-year-olds sharing with the dog. (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hook-y ;o))

It’s MINE! Except when I share it

Amazingly, the mine, mine, mine mindset that two year-olds often operate from can sometimes magically morph into sharing. Fairly generous sharing if you don’t mind half a mashed cookie or squishy banana bites. They don’t wonder if the gift they’re offering is good enough, measures up to your expectations and standards, or even if you want or need it. They just give and let it go at that. Good idea, I think, to apply to my life.

And surprisingly, there are times when the “mine” mentality needs implementing. Getting adequate sleep, eating well, meeting our basic emotional and physical needs so we can give from a position of strength rather than giving until we fizzle out.

Simplicity Rules

Simple things easily entertain a two year old. No need to buy elaborate toys when they’d prefer the box the toy comes in. The top of a soft drink cup can keep some kids going for a good fifteen minutes, popping and unpopping the “bubbles” for coke, diet, and other over and over and over. This is another two year-old trait I’d like to emulate. Not that I’m simple minded, but I’d like satisfaction to come by simple, pure sorts of things that require imagination and activity rather than sitting and being spoon-fed couch potato food. I don’t need or want bells and whistles and flash and bang. A great book, a walk in the woods, a discussion with friends,  music, bike riding, art, thinking. The more basic, the better.

Wall-e and Two’s

Recently, while watching “Wall-e” my daughter pointed out that little robotic dude behaves in many ways just like a two year-old. She was right. Focused, and yet easily distracted. Curious and driven. Playful and loyal. Simply entertained, generous, direct as possible, happy to help.

I’m lucky to have a two year-old in my life. She’s teaching me to be a better, calmer, generous, happier, responsive, more in the moment me. When I access those great traits I find a simple joy in life. It’s something to keep in mind. Food for thought.

Two-year-old’s: worthy of emulation.

Categories: Humor, People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Small Delight, Immeasurable Joy

It’s Gratituesday! Today I am grateful for tiny pink toenails, sticky handprints, sidewalk chalk scribbles, sand-filled shoes, small hands clasped in mine, here and now thinking and snuggles.

My two-year old granddaughter calls back long-lost days as a young mother. I feel almost, but not quite, like a time-traveler. There’s something about the intervening years that allow me to relish her tiny, detail-oriented, focus-scattered perspective.

The tiniest of bugs receive her full, undivided attention as they travel across the sidewalk. Butterflies, pebbles, birds, airplanes, the moon, dirt specks, water droplets, the small and the large all occupy the whole of that specific moment. For having such a short attention span she sees more than I do in a day.

Seeing the world anew through toddler eyes opens my own eyes wide with wonder.

It’s refreshing to slow to her small steps and engage again in the tangible world.

At the same time she seems to travel at light speed at times. Focused on doing a task she’s set for herself, such as filling the tub with toys for bath time, or getting ready for a trip to the park. It can take all I have to keep up with her rocketing from room to room, books to buckets, kitchen toys to stuffed tigers, blankies to sippy cups. Her toddler speed can take my breath away with her energy and excitement and unpredictability.

There exist few other delights as rich and full as those this sweet girl brings me. For her smile that brings one to my face I am ever so grateful.

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Cutest two-year old I know.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday, Joy | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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