6 reasons toddlers are smarter than the rest of us

Guest post by Sara Lomas

TODDLER WIN! By: Jessica.TamCC BY 2.0
My kiddo is three years old, and the girl is fierce. I think most parents agree that any toddler can be a handful, and mine is no exception. I make jokes that she could go a few rounds with the Devil himself and win, but really, she’s pretty normal. Well, on the high energy and hard-headed end of normal.

I don’t know a lot about parenting, since I’ve only been a step-parent for four years and a bio parent for less time than that. What I do know, aside from having ALL my notions about motherhood, children, and life-after-kids utterly demolished, is that my daughter navigates this world better than I do.

Thus, I present my case that my toddler — and really, most kids her age — is smarter than me:

She feels things out loud

If she’s pissed, we know about it. Happy? Can’t be ignored. Whatever she is feeling at that moment, she is fearless about letting us, and the world at large, know. Me, I’m more of a “shove-that-shit-down-until-it-gives-you-cancer” kind of woman. What can I say? Feelings are super hard.

She eats until she is satisfied

Who does that? Rhetorical question, don’t put your hand up. If I find a food that I love, I make it my personal mission to create a world shortage of said food. It doesn’t matter if I’m hungry. Hunger is irrelevant. I love me some good mouthfeel. And I hate me some mornings after.

She loves openly

I think this is a sign of a wise person. Most parents know that feeling of having your child excited to see you, or take solace in your arms. I think that’s stuff that keeps us from selling them when they’ve painted the walls with poo or stuffed Play-Doh into the keyboard. That unguarded love, shameless, visible… I suck at that. I’m no Dark Knight, but I take some serious time to warm up and say the “I love you”s out loud.

She don’t give a damn

Enjoys public dancing, ignores dirty looks, talks to strangers, pets all dogs, wears silver tutus, bee wings, and winter hats simultaneously, sings her own version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, chases bugs… etc. The kid is fearless (a little too fearless for this nervous mom). Even after a bad experience, she just keeps going. I give up if the wind changes direction. I hate change. And new stuff. And outside. And hard.

She doesn’t pretend to like people

I love that about her, even if it makes for the occasional awkward social interaction. I trust her judgement, though. Sometimes, it’s just a beard issue (she doesn’t trust the facial hair, and I don’t blame her). Sometimes, it’s less evident. I never force her to get close or speak to a person she doesn’t care for, because I would hate that being done to me. I, however, have put up with WAY too many heebie-jeebies in my time. It rarely turns out well.

She runs everywhere

The child is incapable of holding still for a millisecond. I have an idea on the back burner that I would call “The Baby Workout.” Basically, an adult would just have to do all the same things a baby or toddler would do for half an hour a day. In my case, I would: run to the store and down most of the aisles, jump up and down all stairs, use the slide at the playground 43 times in a row, somersault out of bed, and crawl under every chair. I would be crazy-buff by the end of two weeks. I fight my temptation to make her slow down because god knows, she’ll be a sloth when she’s grown if she has any of my genes.

Now, I know that she has yet to learn a lot of less-than-noble, adult behaviours. Only time will reveal what neuroses creep in as she ages. Right now, however, she is who I want to be when I grow up.

Comments on 6 reasons toddlers are smarter than the rest of us

  1. I love this, and it’s so true. One thing I’ve learned from my nephew is that he just doesn’t hold punches. He says whatever is on his mind, and won’t pretend that something is okay when it’s not. I think we could learn a lot from kids. As we age, we begin to follow more and more “rules” that are really quite arbitrary in most situations.

    Great post!

    • I believe that “polite society” is directly responsible for road rage. It’s gotta come out somewhere. Kids are brave, and they don’t even know it. Thanks for visiting Jen.

  2. I love it, These are the same things I love about my toddler, even if those things can sometimes drive us insane, I love them, she knows who she is, what she likes or doesn’t and isn’t shy about it. I think I am learning so much from her everyday. Kids are amazing little beings! 😀

  3. I loved this. I’ve also thought to myself, that life as my 3 year old might be kind of nightmarish for me, now that I’m used to being an adult. To get so emotional over Every Little Thing? I think my friends would ditch me! Having other people dictate what I can do and when? No way! Before having a kid I thought I’d be such a permissive parent. Now I’m realizing that while little kids do have zany ideas that you should just let them try, they also have insane destructive ideas that you just have to say no to. (I’m talking wearing 2 different shoes, both backwards, vs. sticking your hand in the blender while it’s running.)

    • It would be hard to be a three year old, wouldn’t it? Being told what to do all the time (emphasis on the NO’s). I’d be having temper tantrums too.
      Here’s to mismatched socks and finger-free appliances.

  4. Sara, you’re an amazing mom! As great a teacher as your daughter is, you have the wisdom to not mess with her curriculum. Kudos, my friend! xoxoM

  5. All of this is so true! I work as a swim teacher, and one of the kids I teach (he’s 3 going on 4) comes to class every week and tells me he’s _______ this week. Its awesome. Last week he was Pikachu (this has been a theme for the last 2 or 3 weeks), and last week, he was a tiger, then a frog, then Pikachu! Its one of the reasons I love teaching swimming lessons, the kids are such characters! They can brighten my day and make me laugh or smile.

    I’ve also got two young cousins, and when I was at my grandparents house with the family for my grandma’s 86th birthday, they decided to call me “potato.” So when I was leaving, I asked them to give me a kiss goodbye. One of them “whispered” to the other one “let’s call her potato!” and my other cousin was so excited and said “yeah!” Thus began a 5 minute conversation that started with “bye potato, bye potato, bye sweet potato, bye mr. potato (at which point I said, I’m not a boy, I’m a girl!), bye mrs. potato…” all said amiss a torrent of giggles. They’re 4. And they’re adorable!

    • Dear Potato,
      Kids are SO free! They remind us what that is. I love your stories and the obvious joy you get from the kids in your life.
      This week I think I’ll be Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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