I know a lot of people hate the toddler stage, which is basically anytime between when a baby starts walking (and thus, is toddling) and preschool age, about 4 years old. It’s my favorite stage though, and while I deeply regret that my youngest is nearly out of his toddlerhood, in a way, I’m kind of looking forward to having another little boy to enjoy when he hits toddlerhood.
Yes, that’s in spite of the other concerns — like the costs of having a third kid (and the concerns that going from two to three is so much harder than one to two), of not having enough time to devote to my older kids, the inability to finally take a vacation, etc.
I’m on bed rest per doctor’s orders, so I haven’t been able to do most of the things that I normally would do for my two boys — take them to daycare, brush their teeth and get them dressed in the mornings, give them baths. But one thing I continue to do, that I absolutely love and am loathe to give up, is checking on them after they’ve finally gone to sleep. One is about to go into preschool, and the other is still very much a toddler, so sometimes it takes a long time, and a few swipes on the behind, for them to actually sleep.
But when they’ve finally gone to sleep? Oh my goodness. They’re cherubic. I could watch them sleep all night.
My 4-year-old has taken on that big kid sheen, with long limbs and knobby knees and elbows. He astounds me with his vocabulary, and cracks me up with what he picks up from us — he likes to exclaim, “aw nuts!” which I’m pretty sure he got from me. And, he’s been so willing to help me out as I’ve been increasingly limited in my movements, from bending over to pick things up off the floor to being completely barred from doing most activities.
My 2.5-year-old, my goodness, still looks like a baby in his face and sometimes I just want to squeeze him. He is just so cute, even as his fleshy limbs are stretching out into lean legs and arms. He still has his cheeks, and I don’t want them to go away. So when I go in to check on them — and they now have taken to sleeping in the same bed — I see him asleep, and all I want to do is stay there, stroke his hair and watch his sleeping baby face.
Sure, he has his Terrible Two tantrums — in fact, he woke me up Sunday morning screaming bloody murder over a shirt his dad put on him. But toddlerhood is truly underrated. Most women like to hold babies when they’re still helpless and unable to walk, and eschew them as they get more independent. But toddlerhood is so awesome because they’ve still got that sheen and look of babyhood, with the wonder and excitement of being a toddler discovering the world around him.