Life Lessons from My Toddlers

As irrational, emotional, and bipolar-esque as they are, kids are twice as loving and affectionate. It’s just the way toddlers are built: if they feel it, they share it. I think we could all learn a thing or two from being emotionally spontaneous like them, minus the public tantrums at Target. I almost always regret tossing myself down in the middle of the clearance section, crossing my arms over my chest, and screaming “NO NO NO!” when my husband announces it is time to leave.

Anyway, I think our lives would be better, fuller if we took a page out of the Toddler Book of Emotions. Here is how I plan to embrace the things I’ve learned from my children:


1. From now on, when my husband comes home from work, I’m going to run to him, throw my arms around his legs, and hold on for dear life so he knows just how much I’ve missed him. He may get mixed signals with me, uh, down there, but I’m only in it for the hug.

2. If I’m sad, I won’t be afraid to show it. Bottom lip pout or full-blown ugly cry, I won’t apologize for my tears.

3. Excitement will come easily. A hot cup of coffee= shaking with anticipation. A trip to the park may very well result in a short-circuit. I love me some swings.

4. Something soft? I’m all over it.

5. A little bit of nudity never hurt anyone. Walking around the back yard sans pants on a hot summer’s afternoon? Sign me up.

6. There will be days where I eat my weight in chocolate, despite friendly warnings, and, yes, my belly will hurt. And then someone will need to please rub my back and tickle my face until I fall into a cocoa-induced coma.

7. My iPhone is my lovey. I must have it on my person at all times to feel secure. If you take it, I will scream.

8. I will never under-estimate how a round of Hide-and-Seek can lift my spirits.

9. Real talk: Finding Nemo is horrifying. I don’t care what Disney says or if I’ve offended Pixar. When Nemo’s mom… *sob* When she tries to…*sob*. I’m sorry, I can’t. I just can’t.

10. Fluffy clouds floating in the sky, Fourth of July fireworks, a trip to the zoo, the discovery of a flushing toilet. These are moments that I will savor, for it won’t be long until they blend in with the landscape of life.

11. Repetition is key. If I keep on keepin’ on, I will eventually find success, or another way of accomplishing the same task.

12. I’m entitled to change my mind with zero prior notice. Roll with it.

13.  There are few things a good snuggle can’t cure.

14. Laughing uncontrollably about nothing is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. If I pee my pants, so be it.

15. My fears, however outwardly trivial, are important and no one should make me feel like less of a person for admitting them.

16. If you tell me no, you better have a good reason. It’s no secret that I don’t like the word, but I’ve been working on accepting it without a battle. It’s not going well, so just prepare yourself for the worst.

17. We all make mistakes. We won’t want to own up to some of them, so if they’re not a big deal, let’s not call each other out. If I burn dinner, it’s obvious I burned dinner. No need to point a finger at the roast and screech, EWWWWW. And if you do, might as well take your ass to Pizza Hut.

18. Naps are necessary. Period.

19. Chances are good that I will suddenly reach out and pet you. It’s how I show affection, do not be frightened. Unless you’re a stranger. Then you should slowly back away, avoiding eye contact.

20. I will say “I love you” more often. It may be directed at a person or a Popsicle, but I will say it.

And there you have it. I’m hoping that by enacting these Toddler Lessons effectively immediately, I’ll be so in touch with my emotions that by the time I hit menopause, I will totally bypass the kind of crazy my mom put me and my brother through. I’m still have nightmares…

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  1. motherhoodisanart says:

    Hysterical! I am totally down with #5….and if I get thrown in the clink I will tell them I read it here so I believe it is totally acceptable. If they don’t buy it; you’ll come bail me out….right??!!!

  2. “blend in with the landscape of life” – just beautiful!! How I wish we could all hold on to that wonderment at new discoveries!!

    Love it, sista!

    • I watched Ella’s delight at flushing the toilet today and thought, “REALLY?!” but then realized it’s brand new and amazing for her, why would I fight it? ;)

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE! My favorites are #7 and #18!!! What is WITH the iPhone obsession, anyway? Oh wait…seeing as I’m on the damn thing 95% of the day (and even check my email when I get up to pee in the middle of the night), I guess I kind of get it… ;)

  4. #13 is the truth!!! But #9 had me cracking up…I’m sorry. I love Finding Nemo duuuude!!! Great post, absolutely loved it. Loving the new look as well.

    • If you can rebound from all of the babies and Mama dying in the first 5 minutes, then, sure, great movie.

      THANK YOU for the compliment. I just got a trim and I’m actually wearing make-up today. Oh, wait…you’re talking about the blog, huh? ;)

  5. nothingbythebook says:

    I triple-dare you to do #5 on the first day of summer…

  6. Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. says:

    “If I pee my pants, so be it.” Awesome. As I was reading this, I realized how much I have in common with my toddler. I sometimes actually clap my hands with delight when presented with a tasty dessert or Starbucks coffee. And I am pretty open with my disappointments as well, you know, crying and all that. And naps? Seriously. I loved this post!

    • Thanks so much, Stephanie!!! I’ve been known to clap my hands when excited, too! When my college roommates and I get together, anyone within ear shot probably thinks the State of the Union is going on; we clap at EVERYTHING! Weird now that I think about it…

  7. Jill Pinnella Corso says:

    I like #11. That’s my blogging philosophy.

    I HATE movies about animals. The Lion King? That shiz is f#cked up.

  8. Brilliance. Pure brilliance. My mom alwasy says that kids are exactly like us, minus the veneer of socially acceptable behaviors. We feel what they feel. We want to react the way they react. We think what they think. We’ve just been taught we’re not allowed to act on it because that’s not what grown up do. I think that veneer is getting tiresome. Let’s let it all hang out!!
    Thanks for the laugh and the brilliant perspective.

    • Vicky,

      I think this is exactly why the elderly revert back to their child-like ways. It’s exhausting caring about social norms! I, for one, am walking around naked from now on. Okay, maybe not, but I will try to say I love you more :)

  9. This was great!! My husband day the same thing about my iPhone. And I just wonder if I do all of this maybe my hubby would appreciate what a stay at home mom is. Probably not thought sigh!

    • HA! Probably not, Sam! I feel like even though we moms have the more difficult role, it comes back to us ten-fold with the bond we have with our kids that the dads don’t have. That’s not to say they don’t have a good relationship with their kids, but what we moms have with the little ones is irreplaceable!

  10. Stephanie, this was such a refreshing post! It’s a good reminder to leave our inhibitions at the door. I would love to try number one on my husband when he gets home, but like your guy, he’d get the wrong impression. So, instead I’ll opt for #13- a good snuggle. Because sometimes a hug is all a mommy needs.

    • Ahahahaha! My husband read this post and confirmed that he would, in fact, be expecting a little somethin’ somethin’ ;)

      I’m with ya on the snuggling bit. It’s raining ice here today–best snuggle day ever!

  11. Piper George says:

    Brilliant. I love this – this is how we should all live life. Never grow up – that’s my motto!


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