Just How Long Does This Toddler Thing Last, Anyway?

Most parents have a favorite time in their child's life. Some are "baby people"; others like older kids; some may even claim to prefer the teenage years.

But almost no one says they love toddlerhood.

Sometimes it feels like my children have been "toddlers" forever. My daughter, who is coming up on 4, is more a "pre-schooler" at this point, but legally I suppose she's still a toddler, and the fact is, she still acts like one.

My son is 2 and I never understood the "terrible twos" until a few months ago.

Toddlerhood is difficult. Some call it a first adolescence, but right now, I call it my personal hell.


I think I will enjoy them when they're a bit older and slightly more self-sufficient, but right now, they're a handful and I miss them when they were babies.

The happiest days of my life thus far were the ones between the last month of my first pregnancy and my daughter's first birthday. Babies are a dream -- sweet and less mobile than toddlers, but funny and chirpy in all the right ways. They cuddle and love and their problems are usually easy to solve -- hungry, thirsty, tired, dirty, or wet. Simple, right?

My first baby was also a good sleeper, so I was lucky to avoid the hardest part of early parenthood and got to bask in the good parts.

Lately, things are ... different. My children still make me laugh and they cuddle and hug me and express themselves in the most adorably hilarious ways, but they're trying both my husband's and my patience constantly. They're indecisive and whiny and demanding a grand majority of the time, and we sometimes have to be with them in shifts just to keep some semblance of calm before either one of us goes over the edge.

Now, it's possible that I just have demanding children. Certainly they're their mother's children and have a very clear sense of the way they want things to happen. But I also get the sense that all toddlers are a bit like this.

We all want to love every second of our babies' (fleeting) childhood, but let's face it: some moments are easier than others. And I, for one, am just hoping that this toddler thing passes quickly.

Did you enjoy toddlerhood?



Read More >