I saw a post on Instagram about parenting (that’s pretty much most of my targeted posts now) littles that made me stop for a moment. It talked about how everyone always talks about the “Terrible Twos,” but people rarely stop to think about all the great things about toddlers when they reach this general stage. Kaia is now 22 months old, so while she’s not yet 2 officially, she certainly is a curious, independence seeking young toddler who wants to do her own thing. The post went on and discussed all the great things about this stage of development, like the fact that they can walk, run, and climb; they can speak a little so can actually communicate with you a bit; they are extremely responsive, they can listen to things you say and take action; they can be sweet and affectionate, and they are still in the ‘happy-to-cuddle’ stage.
I’ve thought a lot about that this year. While I could certainly do without a lot of the toddler tantrums that Pookster has had (and to be fair, in the grand scheme of everything I hear about this age range, my baby really is nowhere close to being extreme Terrible Twos toddler at all), I’ve really loved this year of development. I’ve loved hearing her say first words or phrases for the first time, even annoying ones like “come on!” when she wants me to get her out of the stroller/high chair faster. I’ve loved hearing her finishing sentences in books. I’ve really enjoyed the journey of watching her grow confident in walking and now running. I love hearing her surprise me with songs she has learned and remembered that I’ve sung to her ages ago, both in English and Chinese, plus new ones she learns at school and through our Amazon Alexa. I love when she asks to hug or kiss me, or when she remembers the Chinese word for some food I’ve given her before. I love it when I watch her figure out how to play with a toy correctly, or identify a new object with the right name, and also when she discovers how to do things like open pill bottles and drawers (dangerous, but still good progress for her development….). I love it when I’m giving her a bath, and when it’s time to lift her feet for a scrub, she lifts the right foot when I tell her to lift it, and then she giggles and smiles while exclaiming, “toesies!” I always tell her, and have been telling her since she was a newborn: “Mama loves your toesies! Pookie’s toesies! I want to EAT Pook’s toesies!” I love the way she smells and sleeps. I still love how she sleeps on her stomach with her tiny butt sticking up in the air. This time will pass, though. It is bittersweet.
I love my sweet cheeky young toddler baby. She really is just so lovable, and I hope I can always have this much love in my heart for her. I hope she will always love me and see me as a safe space, even as she grows, matures, and decides she doesn’t always want to run to me when she sees me at pickup.