After five days of visiting my nieces (2.5 years and <2 weeks old, respectively), I’ve learned some relevant lessons.
- Toddlers are really good at figuring out what their points of leverage are. (“Mommy can physically pick me up and move me, but she can’t make me eat…”)
- As adults, we send mixed messages and do hypocritical things all the time. We don’t realize it until we encounter a strictly literal individual, like a two-year-old.
- When a toddler refers to a container of sour cream as “ice cream”, it’s not actually worth correcting her (unless you’re really interested in having a knock-down-drag-out argument.). Same with her stuffed “tiger” (actually a leopard), “Hot Dog” (Mickey Mouse), “snack” (can only refer to chips/crackers/pretzels, not fruit/cheese/anything currently undesired), and that prize word: “mine” (telling her that it’s yours is like bear-baiting). Not every moment is a teachable moment.
- I’d forgotten how much fun rolling around on the floor and tickling someone is, especially a giggly two-year-old who keeps laughing, “I got you!” even when you’re the one getting her.
- Projectile vomiting is not, as I had thought, just a funny phrase used by the over-inebriated.
- Breast milk has natural antibiotics (!) and you can use it to clear up mild eye infections, such as those caused by blocked tear ducts. This actually worked!
Other experiences that capture my week:
- On a walk, we encountered a flower. Me: “I wonder what kind of flower that is?” Toddler: *throws a rock at it*
- Toddler, after breakfasting: “I’m done!” Me: “Okay.” Her: “No! I want to tell Mommy!”
- I walked in after an afternoon trip to the grocery store. Toddler: “Daddy!” Me: “No, Daddy’s still at work.” Toddler, running past me to check the garage: “Daddy daddy daddy!” Me: “No, he isn’t home yet.” Toddler, echoing in garage: “DADDY!” Repeat for five minutes. (She does love her Daddy!)
I’m already looking forward to my next visit. :)