Toddlers…well well well, they come in all sizes and personalities. But one thing they share in common is their membership of elite toddler club. These little human beings are super cute, wise, empathetic, wild, and fun to be with. They make life truly exciting and worth living.
Photo Source: Emily Poisel
Tah-dah! Sounds great…eh? Well, hold on…here comes the challenging part…outlandish demands, impulsive behavior and unpredictable meltdowns, just to mention a few of them.
Raising a toddler can be quite a task and toddlerhood literally takes you on a roller coaster ride. Having a toddler around is like dealing with someone with a multiple personality disorder…angelic at wake up time, an exasperated despot at breakfast table; inquisitive researcher at park examining every pebble and blowball; panicked, frantic and fearful at the sight of something unpleasant; and then you get to see that cute puppy face again that wants to be held.
In my case, DS has always been an easy going and good natured baby. And then right before his third birthday, he discovered his toddler stride. And my toddlerhood-stricken life is by all odds much different than it used to be earlier. So, based on firsthand experience of living with a toddler I know there are days when life seems fun and blissful. And again there are those days too, when I feel the urge to confess that my darling son has successfully exhausted my lifetime reservoir of patience in just less than three years.
But despite being on my toes all the time, I would never want to have it any other way. I’m just loving it, for I know that these days would never ever come back. He’ll grow up long before I know it. And all the silly laughter, tears, smiles, mischief will soon be a part of memory lane.
Photo Source: Anne Fitten Glenn
And here I’ve summed up some of the telltale signs of living with a toddler:
Centre of the Universe
Babies strongly believe that they’re the center of the universe and the entire world revolves around them. They reckon that they literally own and control everything. And as they grow and toddlerhood arrives, reality starts settling in. They begin to learn that they’ve lesser control on things and end up feeling less significant. Their impulsive and inexplicable behavior can often be attributed to this. And in an attempt to continue being significant they just do what they do.
Ever wondered what toddlers are like. Well, let me tell you. Consider a cyclone wildly whirling around the house pulling in things, destroying them and then casting off elsewhere. That’s exactly what a toddler is like— a crazy crazy tornado that can turn your house upside down. Harvey Karp has rightly described toddlers as cavemen. He says that toddlers live in right side of the brain, which is impulsive, emotional and non verbal side. The right side is the impulse control center. Now that justifies the behavior like screaming their lungs out…running in circles…putting noodles in the hair and so on. Ahh…these primitive little cavemen.
In-house Amusement Park
If you have a toddler, no trips needed to an amusement park. In all probability, you already have one at home. Let me explain. Everything around you is loud and bright. The atmosphere is always buoyant and hyper with lots of screaming. You spend half of the time taking pictures. Moreover, you are always surrounded by speaking stuffed toys and other terrific stuff. Not to mention the chance of someone throwing up, which is pretty high. And as you finally hit the bed, body aches are killing you.
You’re literally never ever alone. Somebody is always watching over you. Things reappear out of drawers seconds after being put, lights get switched on and off. Those voices chase you everywhere in the house. A very tiny figure keeps dictating you, and peculiarly you keep listening. And silence seems scariest. Sounds eerie? Well don’t get panicked…it’s not at all a set up for a horror movie. Just get used to it if you have a toddler at home.
Unmatched Manipulations and Inexplicable Rules
Those tiny dictators know how much to push you towards insanity so as to get their way out before transforming back into cute and cuddly teddy bears. They’re unparalleled manipulators with uncanny skills to push you to the limits indeed. Their biggest weapon is the cuteness waves which they emit. They can literally hypnotize you with that overloaded cuteness only to leave you wondering when you actually gave in to the demands. Their complex and often incomprehensible rules may drive anyone haywire. Besides, they are also famous for their labyrinth rules of possession, which earn them the right to own anything they touch or lay their eyes upon.
Unpredictable Tantrums and Meltdowns
Here comes the most wondrous part of toddlerhood that can leave anyone spellbound and awestruck. Yes…you guessed it right…tantrums and meltdowns. Sometimes they can be seen coming while at other times they just hit like a thunderstorm out of nowhere. Handling a toddler’s tantrum is like putting up with a blender without a lid. Trigger can be anything like trying to dress them up or denying a cookie at mealtime. Supermarket tantrums, however, seem to win the title for scariest ones. Two main triggers nonetheless remain hunger and exhaustion, which they never admit and try to escape from. So, if you ever see your toddler flailing in desperation, don’t forget to check sleep and food boxes in the checklist.
Toddlers are amazingly empathetic. These tiny humans can surprise you with the level of empathy they possess and display. For instance I’ll recount something that happened couple of days back. It was raining heavily and I had to go out leaving DS home. And all the while when I was outside, he kept asking his dad how mom will manage in this bad weather. Will she get drenched? How will she come back? As soon as I entered home, there he stood with an affectionate smile. And next moment he just ran into my arms, hugged me tight and asked, “Are you alright?” I certainly felt deep gush of emotions. They laugh when you laugh even if they don’t understand the joke. And they feel sad when you are sad. And this reflection of parental emotions plays the key role. You get what you feed…love, care, stress, anger or anything that you put out.
Photo Source: Megan Sparks
In short, they’re miniature people in the making. And the development is volcanic. Gone is the tiny squealing infant and emerging is the self-aware toddler with his own way of exploring things. They begin showing up unique and dominant personalities. They learn to assert their needs, fears, feelings, ideas and even stories. This is indeed the commencement of becoming a human.
Hold on…let me check why it’s so silent in the house.