Yesterday Jack woke up and the only word he would say for hours was “no.” He said no to things he didn’t want, and said no to things he did want. He threw a fit when we put him in the stroller for a walk in the beautiful summer-like weather outdoors (he came around). My dear husband looked at me at that point and said, “See, this is why this stage sucks!”
Even if there are more outbursts than ever, I still love toddlerhood. I love the fact that Jack has feelings and desires and communicates them (even if the communication is not always clear or positive). I love that a hug now means embracing rather than the kid just standing there passively while I clutch at him (oh, the feeling of chubby toddler arms squeezing me!), and it’s wonderful to see him running toward me when I get home from work. I love that he has an imagination and shows it by wrestling with his giant stuffed crab while making funny noises or throwing it up in the air over and over – stuff that he came up purely on his own. I love feeling his little hand tugging at my sleeve when he wants me to color with him. I love feeling like I’m my kid’s best friend.
Sure, there are down sides to this stage. Tantrums aren’t fun. I can do without the acrobatics during breastfeeding, and the daycare separation anxiety is worse than ever. Overall, though, the difficulties are just demonstrative of all of the things he can do now and the depth of his emotions. He is flexing his toddler brain and he is a force in our lives, his own individual. This is the stuff I’ve been looking forward to – the unabashed demonstration of his thoughts and feelings. It is just now that I feel like I’m getting to know my kid and seeing a little of what he will grow up to be. It’s like reading a book that is so intensely interesting that I don’t want to put it down. And as much as I want to know how the story turns out, I also don’t want it to end!