Alex started walking just before Christmas, he was about 14months old and after months of cruising around the furniture and taking the odd tentative step or two, he finally got his confident strut on and now there is no stopping him. I had sort of been dreading the day that Alex found his feet, I find it hard enough chasing after one child and I was anxious I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the both of them. If I’m being totally honest, I had been dreading parenting a toddler again in general. Leo was an adorable baby and toddler and obviously I still love the bones off him now, but my firstborn really did embrace the whole ‘terrible twos’ phase and I really struggled to enjoy those toddler days at times. It would seem though that I have let all those difficult times cloud the truth of what being a toddler mama is really like. All the memories of biting, screaming on the floor of the supermarket, hitting, crying and total diva meltdowns had a cast a dark shadow over all the fun and joy that having a toddler brings to your life.
Parenting a toddler, it’s not as bad as I remember
So now I have waved goodbye to the baby days once more and am spending my days with a toddler again, I feel ashamed that I have been apprehensive about facing this stage again. I’m ashamed that I have held on to all those bad times I faced with Leo more tightly than the memories of all the good. Obviously as Alex grows there is a part of me that pines for those newborn days but, to my surprise, I LOVE having a toddler again. I love watching Alex walk around the living room, wobbling from side to side like a crab that’s been out on the beers. I love seeing the joy on his face when he makes it from the one side of the room to the other without falling, the way he waves his hands in the air and shrieks with joy when he reaches me makes my heart feel all fuzzy.
I’d forgotten how cute it is to hear your baby who’s pretty much just babbled and cried for the last year try and begin to form actual words. So far we only have ‘muma’ which he definitely aims at me but I’m also pretty sure it means ‘yum’ as he says it while he’s eating too. Now that I’m living the toddler days for a second time, my brain is being constantly flooded with memories of Leo at this age and how, actually, the toddler stage was really friggin wonderful first time around too, I just wrongly let all those bad days take charge of my memory bank. I know I will go through the hard times with Alex too, he has already started showing he’s got a little diva waiting to break free just like his brother. He will shout and cry when he doesn’t get his own way and is slowly perfecting his planking skills, it won’t be long before I’ll be spending 20minutes a day trying to wrestle him in to his car seat I’m sure. I don’t care though, this time around I am prepared for what is to come and I refuse to let the terrible twos fear ruin what is frankly an absolutely bloody amazing stage of bringing up a little one.
I can’t believe I forgot about the big sloppy open mouthed kisses, the joy of sitting and reading a lift the flaps book and watching your child’s face light up when they see what’s hiding underneath. I’d forgotten how special it feels to watch your baby grow in confidence as wobbly first steps turn to full of sprints around the living room. Yes, he’s already a fussy eater, hates to share, cries in the supermarket and whinges when he doesn’t get his own way but no matter what is to come in the next few months, whatever tantrums I will have to deal with, I will not waste any more time worrying about them now.
I LOVE being a toddler mama and when things start to get tough I have my Leo, who is four now, as living proof that the meltdowns over a biscuit breaking in half or being given the wrong colour plastic plate (thanks Ikea!) don’t actually last forever. Each and every stage of parenting comes with it’s ups and downs and there are always going to be hard days amongst all the good. Just don’t let those bad days cloud your vision and stop your appreciating all the awesomeness life with kids has to offer.
Are you the proud parent of a toddler too? Were you nervous about tantrums and chasing them around or do you embrace every part of motherhood, the good and the bad?
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