Because when your toddler is going through a biting phase; or has just spent a week waking you up multiple times in the night because she has a rotten cold and can’t breathe through her poor little nose and of course you care but it’s exhausting; or because you have to do the fifth puddle-related laundry pile of the week; or because there’s red wine all over the carpet and for once it wasn’t your husband’s fault; because when all these things are happening it’s good to remember the love.
Things I love in spite and maybe a bit because of all the above:
– the little flamenco dance of excitement she does like taka taka taka when something makes her happy, like going to the park or noticing there’s some juice in the fridge or finding a great new floor surface that can be danced on;
– the way her singer-songwriting is really coming along, and she accompanies herself with abandon (and increasing tunefulness) on both piano and guitar;
– her developing sense of style, and ability to pick out combinations of accessories that I wouldn’t have thought of but which really do look fresh and funky (while yet being weather-approprate);
– the way she sings the Rainbow song on every car journey, drowning out Kasabian on the car stereo if necessary;
– the way she is a passionate and dedicated cheerleader for George Pig, and leaps up and down with joy when he reveals another hidden talent. I think she both idolises and identifies with George – both are small but neither should be underestimated;
– her increasing social ability, and the way she charmingly says “hello” to the postman and the lady in the cafe like Emily Post herself;
– the way she will gives big kisses, even if the kisses themselves are a bit snotty. Scarlett kisses make me feel so special;
– her big blue eyes and her tiny but articulate feet. I know these are body parts, not personal skills, but I love them anyway;
– the smell of her hair after a bath;
– the rather matter-of-fact way she greets us with “Hello mummy, hello daddy!” when we pick her up or return from work, which lets us know she’s missed us just the right amount;
– the way she fearlessly tries to jump into swimming pools, which I hope is a good thing in general;
– the way she says “hello” to inanimate objects, like trees and flowers, which makes her sound a bit like Basil Fotherington-Thomas but she is not at all a wet;
– the way she pats her horsey before riding him, tucks her bears into bed and looks after her tiger by ensuring he always has enough tea;
– the super-duper cute way she says “Bye-bye!” to the Friends at the end of every episode of Friends (but at the end of no other show, weird);
– the way she loves reading stories, whether the story is an actual book for children or a 500-page adult novel or the menu in the cafe. She’ll declare “story!”, open it and read it aloud, whatever it may or may not be;
– the way she still falls asleep in my arms, in a manner I am told by other mothers that the boys her age don’t do any more. Boo boys.
What do you love about your toddler or former toddler? Share in the comments below and let’s all shed a joyful tear together. Snuffle.