Toddlers may well be described as the most exhausting, frustrating, and wine-time-inducing little people that exist. No doubt this description would be echoed by parents of toddlers everywhere. I have to confess that the ‘toddler stage’ was one I was least looking forward to as part of my parenting journey. A naturally rational, logical person, who doesn’t get overly emotional or ‘rattled’ by things, I was dreading the time that I would have to parent an irrational, emotional little person who wanted to embrace independence before their time.
I now have a toddler, and while being his mum is certainly not without its frustrations at times (often daily!), I have discovered this fascinating side of the little people that test our patience and push our boundaries.
The secret, private world of toddlers
This is the part I feel so privileged to have discovered. While these energetic little people can cause a ruckus in the most inappropriate of public spaces, at home, with mum and dad, we are let in to the little secret world that they share with so very few. This is where the magic happens.
These are tiny little people who are sharing every step of their exponential learning curve with you and astounding you daily with their ability to recall small moments from weeks’ past. I’m in awe of the way they move on so quickly from fist-pounding the floor with tears of frustration to a quietly spoken “mummy, I want a cuwwle (cuddle)”. The complete openness, trust and innocence that allows them to share every little learning experience with you. Their sheer delight at learning a new skill and the way they regale stories of cooking with grandma or gardening with daddy, in such great detail that they’ll only ever share with those that they feel comfortable conversing with.
There’s a huge sense of intimacy to the world that a toddler lives in with his most trusted few. I don’t think it can really be described. And it certainly can’t be conveyed to others who aren’t a part of his trusted little circle. No photo on facebook or instagram can ever capture the blooming personality behind the cute little face, or the little voice that recalled the story over breakfast that morning and had mum and dad in hysterics.
In public one way, at home another
Much like Superman (as I’m sure many of them would be happy to be likened to!), toddlers can seem like totally different people when out in public or around others. Whether they suddenly turn shy and mute, or go the opposite way with boundless amounts of energy and exuberance. They can be an absolute handful, and you can find yourself wishing more of the toddler you have at home would come out to play.
Rather than wishing others could see, feel and appreciate the precious moments that our toddler gives us on a daily basis, I’ve come to instead appreciate the exclusivity of this little club. And that it is the exclusive nature that makes it what it is. Whether it’s having ‘in’ jokes that are repeated at every meal, or knowing exactly which words he will recite from memory from his favourite books. The way he sings a random medley of nursery rhymes as he plays with his blocks, or climbs into your lap the way he would with no other. These are the beautiful moments that toddlers share with their special, trusted few only, and it’s an enormous privilege to be part of that world.
A problem solver by nature, my purpose is to create ways to make motherhood easier and more enjoyable. At 3 months pregnant, i recently ditched the corporate world (giving up a great salary, job security, and paid maternity leave) to pursue my purpose. I’m writing a blog about my startup journey at www.annesidebottom.com
Featured Image – Photography by Tammy Baird and Brooke Keam from Aver & Line Photography