After my "mommy frustrations" post the other day, I thought it would be worthwhile to remind myself all of the blessings of having a toddler. I quickly forget the trauma of past stages and focus in on the negative. But since I am trying to have more of an attitude of thanksgiving in my life, perhaps I should apply the thankfulness principle to my toddler.
So, what do I love about having a toddler? Here are some thoughts:
--I laugh far more than I ever used to. I have a daughter who thinks everything is "silly" and "funny."
--I can now have conversations with my daughter. She has a great ability to understand conversation and a great verbal ability.
--I have been having more chances to teach her to cook. She loves to stand on a chair and dump ingredients in and stir. She even remembers the "why" of instructions many times.
--Her extroversion gets me out of my shell with other people.
--I get to see my daughter have the friends that I never had as a child. I delight in seeing her ability to make friends easily. I delight in her extroverted personality and the way she runs up to a friend and just naturally gives them a big hug.
--She remembers to pray for people that I might forget to pray for, like people who have stopped by the church in need. She prays for the "people in trouble" and once when my husband shared with someone who he was helping a second time that my daughter had specifically been praying for him each night, the man about teared up. She is already doing ministry!
--She has a very active imagination and loves to sing and dance and act. I love her creative side.
--She will sometimes burst out with an unexpected kiss or an "I love you very, very much." And she melts my heart when she does this.
--She often compliments my cooking! "Mmmm! This tastes really good!" (As long as its not "spicy"!)
--She sometimes says something and then adds, "I was just joking!"
--She is able to help in small ways around the house--unloading the dishwasher, getting parts of her lunch out of the fridge, bits of vacuuming. And she is usually willing to help out.
--She has a great sense of fun and brings out the playful side in my usually too-serious self.
So, yes, some of the toddler behaviors drive me nuts. But there is much to rejoice in too. And on my frustrated days, I need to remember that and to model my belief that bad behavior times are an opportunity to show unconditional love.
What do you love about the toddler years?