July 2, 2013

Toddlers Are Awesome, Yo!

Toddlers get a bad rap.
Yes they are often unreasonable, illogical, self-centered and prone to massive mood swings. They've got a lot of awesome going on too, though.
1) I can order cheese pizza again! "I'm splitting it with Evie" is enough to quell the looks that say, "But don't you want a chicken alfredo pizza with pancetta and spinach on top?". No. No I don't, thank you very much. I have a toddler, and she wants cheese pizza (and so do I, but that's beside the point).
2) Running through sprinklers, eating popsicles and coloring with sidewalk chalk is a totally legit way to spend an afternoon. Quality time, kids.
3) Naps with my kid? Also quality time. Huzzah for naps!
4) The Lizzie Maguire Movie, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid? Some of my favorites, and now I can order them from Amazon because "they're for the toddler". 

5) Doritos, Chee-tohs and Red Dye 40. Look, anyone who knows me knows that I don't let my kid eat junk all the time. Anyone who knows me also knows that my motto is: All things in moderation. This Summer we've had the delight of introducing Evie to all those summer time pleasures: cold kool-aid, red popsicles and licking processed cheese dust off of your fingers.

In all seriousness though toddlers have the most amazing conviction, and I admire that in them. Where ever they go they go with all of their hearts. They might be the most committed group of people I've ever met. They're going to sing Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs and meltdown over the toy that you won't buy with all their heart, but they'll never give you on seventy-five percent. They are balls to the wall, go big or go home all in. Every bug is a new discovery, each time a train passes by is a surprise, a trip to the park to swing is just as cool as Disney World and every song has the perfect dancing beat. Toddlers live life as it is meant to be lived full of verve and passion and always always ready for the next adventure. This momma right here is enjoying it to the fullest.

I can't go backwards and re-live a time when a train passing by would be the coolest thing ever, but I can laugh at my child's delight not because I think she's foolish, but because I delight in it with her. I can make the time to stop and look at the ants carrying crumbs instead of pulling her along with an impatient tug at her hand. I can dance in my chair at a restaurant when her favorite song comes on the radio, in happy harmony our heads bop and bob instead of admonishing her to sit still. I can enjoy her innocence and joy before life and time turn her into a kid, into a teenager and an adult too busy for trains, ants or dance parties with me.

So I will because toddlerhood for all of it's ups and downs and "Are you trying to make me crazy?"s is a wonderful reminder of how we should live our lives.   
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