You could spend the next couple of years fighting with your homegrown terrorist or you could lean in, my friend. Lean into the illogical hilarity that is The Toddler.
They’re tiny, they’re furiously opinionated and their steely-eyed determination to force everyone to bend to their will is utterly hysterical.
Smart adults know it’s far better to let their toddler think they’re in charge. They kind of are, anyway.
A toddler will always tell you the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear—and especially in public, to complete strangers who probably didn’t need to be told how fat their bum-bums are. Toddlers simply must give the brutal truth. All the time. Unless you really want them to tell you something they’ve done (that they shouldn’t have done), in which case they will lie straight to your face, like the unapologetic reprobates they are.
A toddler’s zest for life is infectious and adults are powerless to resist. Grown men will strap on fairy wings and tiaras, grandparents will slurp that pretend cup of tea, random strangers will answer that imaginary phone your child just handed to them.
If a toddler is inviting you to play, who are you to say no?
They forgive so quickly and can go from screaming fury to sheer delight in thirty seconds flat. They don’t hold grudges and when they’re happy, they’re happy with their whole body and it’ll often burst out in the form of a dance—a dance so uninhibited and joyful it’ll make you wish you had never grown up.
Life is never boring with a toddler. A toddler will wake you up with a poke in the eyeball, spend the day destroying everything they touch, completely ignore every and any attempt you make to stop them, hurl themselves down when you innocently ask what they want for dinner, and go to bed when they very well feel like it. But it’s impossible to stay angry with toddlers because they’re dangerously cute and endlessly hilarious.
Toddlers are so much more than babies. You can’t even comprehend how drastically they’ve changed since the day you brought them home. They’re no longer fat little burritos to cuddle and feed. Your baby is now a person and the depth and brilliance of this little brain, with opinions and the words to express them, will—ironically—leave you speechless.
Every single day is a new word, a new trick, a new skill learnt, as they grow before your eyes. And in the middle of all this growing and learning, your baby will become someone who cares about you—who genuinely wants to know how you’re feeling. Their chubby little fingers will cup your face and their roly-poly thighs will climb into your lap, and they will choose to love you and comfort you. They’ll love you more than anyone has ever loved you and you will forgive all the moments of chaos for those pudgy arms around your neck and the words Lub yoo Mumma.
They feel things with the intensity of manic circus clowns and you’re forced to ride the wave with them, buoyed by the unadulterated joy and affection only a toddler can give.
Yeah, they’re happy little sods. You would be too if you did whatever you wanted without considering the consequences.
Toddlers: all the perks of a sociopath, none of the stigma. You’ll love every bit of them.
You Will (Probably) Survive from Lauren Dubois, published by Allen & Unwin (RRP: $29.99), available now.