Not everyone sees toddlers as sweet spots. Ambitious people immersed in their career who do not happen to have any toddlers at the moment may not find toddlers at all interesting or entertaining. But I have always found toddlers very endearing. They can, of course, turn your neat, organized life into chaos, but they learn something new every day and you just never know what they will say. They turn almost instantly from babies to toddlers, mobility I guess is the key, and they remain toddler-like until they are about four. Slowly they slide out of our arms; they no longer want to be held or cuddled, unless they are tired, or hurt, or ill. Then we will be called back into service until the crisis is over and as soon as it passes they are once more on the move.
Listening to toddlers learn language is always fun and we often find it difficult to hold back our laughter when they try out a word that is less than acceptable in public. The way they begin with one word, then graduate to two word phrases and then make the leap to complete sentences can be something we take for granted until we are astonished by something these toddlers just come out with. Watching them sort out their verbs and the way they learn to add the appropriate endings is actually a lesson in natural language acquisition. Aren’t toddlers amazing? So many lessons to learn, colors and numbers and sharing and socializing with other children; those years from 18 months to four years old are just jam-packed with amazing changes.
The sweetness of young children is, of course, not apparent all of the time. Sometimes when they are fighting and screaming or saying no over and over while they stage a temper tantrum we think we may have been temporarily insane to want to raise a child or babysit a child or even hang out where children are present. There is a certain high-pitched scream that toddlers give out which literally gives you the chills and sets your teeth on edge. But when toddlers are smiling, when they are happily being toddlers they are one of the absolute best sweet spots in this life.
Since my mother and father had eight children and thirteen grandchildren we are now harvesting a crop of “greats”. We have six toddlers in the family right now who are all in their toddler years at the same time and we also have a few more out-of-towners who come on holidays to swell their ranks. They used to rely heavily on the adults to entertain them and feed them and get them over their initial shyness. However, since they have reached critical mass they now entertain each other (and us) until some tiff or slight or toileting accident sends them running back to mom or dad. Once dealt with they are gone once again and they seem to really enjoy each other’s company although it is impossible to understand how.
I know there is a sort of standing joke about people wishing their friends did not post quite so many baby pictures on Facebook, but I have never minded those baby (and toddler) pictures. It is as if I get to go along on these toddler/baby outings without actually being required to go. I get the cute stuff without the tantrums or the tears.
Anyway, toddlers are one of my sweet spots and maybe also one of yours, so here are a few samples of toddler cuteness to brighten your day.
Sweet Violet, is the newest member of our clan and, of course, a future toddler.