5 Things You'll Miss Most About Having a Toddler

toddler dandelionRaising a toddler can be tough at times -- even most of the time. Sure, there are those blissful days when your little one seems like the smartest, most adorable creature ever born and that you're the luckiest mom in the world. Unfortunately, there are also those less-than-spectacular days when the potty gets dumped over and somebody misses her nap and there is screaming and kicking and where did this little beast come from, anyway?

If you're having one of those days, I'm talking to you. I've been there, and I haven't forgotten what it feels like to sink to the floor in tears next to your mid-tantrum tot and sob, sob away because your kid obviously is going to have behavioral issues and there's a puddle of chocolate milk on the floor from two hours ago that has since solidified and you're never, ever going to get to take a shower again, not ever.

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But now I know that even the most terrible 2-year-olds tend to turn out okay, and eventually showers do happen again on a regular basis. And now I actually find myself missing the very things about having a toddler that used to drive me up the wall:

  1. Walking really, really slowly down the street. I know, you've got 5 minutes to get to Music Together, which is a 10-minute walk away, and still your tot stops every two seconds to turn over a rock or inspect an interesting leaf. Get there late. You won't remember the music class in a few years, but you will remember the look of wonder on his face as he studied that rock.
  2. Elmo. Or Thomas the Tank Engine or Caillou or whatever show/character your kid is obsessed with. Right now it feels like watching that same episode of Arthur one more time will make you kick the TV in, but someday when your viewing partner is off doing big kid stuff, you'll secretly watch it by yourself and get misty-eyed with nostalgia.
  3. Play-Dough. Play-Dough under your fingernails, Play-Dough smashed into the carpet fibers, Play-Dough stuck to the bottom of your shoe ... once I accidentally ate a piece of Play-Dough that made its way onto my plate. I thought I hit my Play-Dough wall, but looking back, there is nothing more meditative and soothing than rolling that stuff into balls and flattening it out, over and over again.
  4. Macaroni & Cheese. Take mac & cheese to also represent animal crackers, Cheerios, yogurt in a tube, and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. You're sick of serving the same few staples for every meal, but once your kid outgrows this stuff, you have no excuse for eating it anymore.
  5. Bedtime Rituals. At this point in your overtired existence, nothing sounds better than being able to send your child off to bed with a hug, kiss, and a goodnight. Turns out there's not much sweeter in life than working your way through a pile of books, reading each one more and more softly until those little eyelids flutter shut.

What will you miss about having a toddler?

 

Image via leann_b/Flickr

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