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Lessons from a toddler

July 1, 2012

I’ve been dreading the onset of the terrible twos. Whilst the baby stage is mainly emphasised as having lack of sleep, the toddler stage is often categorised in a more negative way with an emphasis on strong-willed individuals who want their way ALL the time.

It is true that it can be extremely challenging. Like one night last week when she had a full-blown tantrum which lasted a few hours. She was crying and didn’t want to go to sleep. But when I tried to comfort her, she was having none of it and continued kicking and screaming. Her anger just kept building up and up and she just got consumed by it. I couldn’t do anything but hold her until she settled down and finally fell asleep.

Looking back, I think she realised that Daddy was away for work and my sister was sleeping over – and she didn’t like the change to what she considered ‘normal’ – her sense of security was lost.

But this is in no way a daily occurrence. And even with all the abruntness and resistance, there is plenty of affection and laughter which makes me enjoy the toddler stage more than I thought I would.

Here are the daily lessons I learn from my toddler:

To love unconditionally
Toddlers show their love like no other people. Lily is so affectionate and is always coming up to give me cuddles and kisses with a loud “MWAH!”. I know for certain that she loves me as she makes me feel like I’m the single most important person in the world. I would love to make my other loved ones feel this way.

Be persistent
It amazes me how persistent toddlers can be. I would have certainly have given up on most things after failing. But Lily will keep trying and even after multiple failures, she still keeps on trying. She has this inherent desire to succeed. She still hasn’t mastered how to put a nappy on her doll but without a doubt, she keeps trying everyday!

Get over it
The next day after last week’s tantrum, Lily was as happy as sunshine – you wouldn’t have known she had only a few hours of sleep. Toddlers go from extreme frustration and anger to being happy as larry – and on most occasions, in a matter of minutes. She doesn’t dwell on the same unhappiness everyday. I can certainly learn to forgive and forget!

Give it a shot
Lily has such a strong appetite to learn and discover. Tasks which are way out of her ability are still given a shot without fear of failure.

If you are happy and you know it, show it!
Did you know that toddlers laugh up to 300 times a day, while adults only laugh on average 15? Lily shows she is happy with rolling her head back with laughter with her hands up in the air. Her love of life is infectious!

What do you learn from your toddlers?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2012 10:43 pm

    This is a beautiful post! My girl has taught me the power of a smile, to literally slow down and accept that things will take time and everyone loves a bit of love!

  2. July 2, 2012 12:20 am

    You’re absolutely right with this, we can get way too consumed with what has happened and get stuck, it would be great to try to be a bit more toddler like especially showing affection.

  3. July 2, 2012 5:40 am

    This is so true, especially about how quickly they change their moods. Along those same lines, I realized how forgiving toddlers are. Sometimes when I’m cross with my toddler, he’ll later still hug and kiss like none of that even happened, and it’s just amazing how few grudges they hold.

  4. July 2, 2012 4:03 pm

    Lovely post Sass 🙂
    The one notable thing that my kids have taught me is to apologise when an apology is due. I find it makes my 4 year old a lot more compliant without forcing him to loose his strong will altogether when he knows that at times he is right and Mummy is wrong.

    Personally I think the terrible 2’s are over rated :p
    My son goes to a Montessori pre-school and reading up on the various sensitive age periods as per Montessori’s material has helped us put a lot of my son’s tantrums into context. Seems a child’s sensitive period for order peaks around the 18 to 30 months of age mark. And it is during this time that kids crack the heebee geebees big time when something does not follow what they are normally use to. Some people don’t agree with it, but it makes sense for us. 🙂

    By the way, Lily’s dress is gooooooorgeous!!!

    • July 2, 2012 10:26 pm

      BB – How funny that I’ve been doing some research on Montessori’s schools too. I’ve heard there are huge waiting lists and unfortunately I hadn’t heard about Montessori schools until quite recently.

      The dress is indeed gorgeous but already ruined as it was folded in a t-shirt and it went in the tumble dryer…SIGH. Big housewife fail!

      • July 9, 2012 6:23 am

        Sass, we didn’t hear about Montessori until last year. We got pretty lucky though. The people we bought our current home from had both of their kids at the local Montessori pre school school and they put in a referral for us. We managed to get the very last place available due to a late withdrawal.

        Not sure how things work around your neck of the woods, but our local Montessori pre school prefers to deal with parents face to face than via emails. So it may help to drop by the school if you’re really desperate to get Lily into a Montessori school. 🙂

  5. Desert Darling permalink
    July 3, 2012 11:02 am

    What a beautiful post Sass- every word you have written is very true!

    I definitely admire the way Bay lives in the moment- no dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I am trying to be more like that myself.

    I wouldnt have thought it possible, but Lily just keeps getting more and more beautiful

  6. July 3, 2012 2:46 pm

    Our Angus is the most forgiving little boy. No matter HOW grumpy or upset or impatient I get with him, whenever I apologise for it, he always says that he forgives me. I just love him for it.
    Ronnie xo
    p.s. I think Lily is the most stylish two year old that I’ve seen in the blogosphere!

  7. July 4, 2012 8:23 am

    This is the sweetest post. You made me cry. 🙂

    As much as I can tell over the internet, Lily sounds like she is quickly growing in a lovely little girl. It is truly a privilege to watch her journey.

    P.S. I love those PP tights. We have them too.


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