The ups (and downs) of toddler-hood

July 15 | Guest post by Sarah Crawford

I always hear people go on and on about how they miss their kids being newborns. Sure, newborns are cute and little and … immobile.

Sometimes I wish Cash was little again, even if it's just so that I could eat lunch in peace while he's strapped into his carseat.

But now, at a year and a half? HE IS SO MUCH FUN.

  • No more 7 outfit changes in a day.
  • No more nursing or formula.
  • No more 12 times a day diaper changes.
  • No more baby carrier, swing, exersaucer and all that other random crap that you "need."
  • No more baby food.
  • No more newborn screams.

Now it's playing all day, laughing, tickling and giving kisses.

I'm not going to lie to you – toddlerhood is no picnic.

He's full of energy, runs instead of walks, demands my full attention ALWAYS, has to watch the same movie day after god damn day, throws food, throws toys, throws bottles, pitches fits, screams, yells, hits mama, cries when he's in trouble, waves goodbye, plays with his toys, rearranges the books on his shelf, throws things in the toilet, slams doors, pees straight through to his pants, gets strawberries all over his shirt, feeds the dog goldfish, gives fierce hugs, gives sloppy kisses, wipes his dirty hands on my jeans, pulls on my necklaces, shares his treats, laughs, giggles, talks a mile a minute in his own little language, signs please, claps his hands, claps my hands, snuggles with his blanket, runs barefoot outside and eventually, falls asleep snoring–and that's on a day that we don't leave the house.

However, none of that tops the feeling I get when Nate brings him into our room in the morning and Cash bolts from his arms to give me a kiss. Or when he lays there, even just for a minute so we can snuggle and I can breathe in the smell of his hair. Or when he knows I’m feeling sad or stressed out and will put both hands on my face and touch his nose to mine. Or when he runs shrieking into the kitchen only to give my leg a hug, then turns around and scampers off. Or when he sits on my lap, looks me dead in the eye and tells me a story I don’t understand.

Sure, babies are cute — especially those newborns — but nothing beats having a little boy to spend your day with … except for the days he throws a tantrum in line at Costco.

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  1. They were the best of times, they were the worst of times. I miss Jonah being a true toddler (like under 3.5 years)… there is still the possibility of distracting away from a full on meltdown, there was that last bit of chub left on hands and feet. But every age gets a little easier in one area and presents new challenges in another!

  2. You almost made me cry! ;0) This is EXACTLY how I feel about my son, who is now almost four. I miss the baby-ness, but there's nothing like the random "Mom, I love you", or the snuggles for no reason, or his excitement over getting to play the original Mario brothers video game, or his constant asking to be tickled (I have never met a child who loved to be tickled like him). And then I think, he's going to pre-school a month from now, and his toddler-ness will be gone. *sniff*

  3. My wee man who is 3 waits until I am at my most frustrated and angry faced to look up at me and say "I just want you to be happy Mummy."

  4. I have a little baby who just became a toddler and I do miss the 4 hour naps, but I wouldnt trade them for her calling "mama!" or laying her fierce kisses and hugs on me, or her signing "milk" when she wants to nurse.

  5. Our 10-month old is just starting to transition. She's still a baby, but suddenly she's mobile, pulling herself upright, getting ready for the next phase. And, I'm surprised at how sad that makes me. So, thank you for this post, about the pleasures of what comes next!!

  6. Mine just turned 3, and though she certainly gets herself into more trouble now and makes a bigger mess, this is certainly my favorite time with her. She tells hilarious stories (the parts you can understand), loves zombies, and is very empathetic. All I have to do is play pout and she's got her hands on my face, kissing me and saying "Awww, don't be sad, Mommy. It's ok."

  7. I do love me a good baby, but yep, toddlers are pretty cool. Each age is awesome in it's own way. My youngest turns 3 tomorrow. My last kiddo leaving bubtown. She's a fully fledged little girl now. For the first time in a LONG time I am no longer a mum to a baby. My other kids are 9, 7 and 5 so I've had a fresh one around a few times with no real break. It's so exciting watching them reach new milestones, but hoorah, Me time coming my way!!!

  8. My little guy is also 1.5 years old, and it's an amazing, thrill-a-minute adventure ride that never stops (at least not while he's awake). I wouldn't go back for anything, even though cuddling is now a contact sport that is likely to end with an elbow to my eye and slobber all over my face.

  9. I am lucky in some respects and so unlucky in others, I am step-dilf and I have come along at the start of the toddler stage, munchkin is amazing and I'm starting to get all of the running and hugging that has been mentioned and also feeling the mild frustration on the craziness. Toddlerhood rocks.

  10. Sigh, this is it exactly. We sometimes forget the good stuff in toddlerhood because there's so much exhausting stressful stuff to worry about sometimes. But we need to focus on the amazing parts too – I love that he can talk to me in his own words, and "real" ones, and give us kisses and dance and sing and run around crazy, and roar like a lion etc…

  11. OMG this post rocks my socks!! My son is 2 and I have a little girl on the way, I have been looking forward to the newborn phase but I LOOOVE this toddler phase so much, too! The kisses, the hugs, the running, the singing songs, the yelling things out in the car ("JEEP!" "DUMPTRUCK!") it is all too precious.

    Babies are cute but little kids ROCK!! <3

  12. leslie – goldfish crackers :] thankfully, no real goldfish in the house (they wouldn't be safe from his desire to snuggle with them!)

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