Have your little ones gone through the transformative twos yet?
It seems like just yesterday that I was wading through a sea of baby tears and dirty diapers. In many ways, it was just yesterday. After all, my baby boy is only two-years-old. But the transition that takes place from the baby years to the toddler years is not to be overlooked.
For me, it seemed as if one day, my son went from crawling, to walking, to walking backwards, to running. His cries lessened as he learned how to better communicate his wants and needs. Now, as a toddler, he is in the thick of processing big emotions and figuring out if he prefers to offer a wave or just yell “hey!” to strangers.
When I look at my toddler boy, I still remember his newborn coos and smiles. However, I also see a maturity in him that wasn’t there before. He now speaks with certainty and passion. What were once shaky footsteps are now confident strides. Even though he will always be my baby, there’s no doubt that he is becoming his own person right before my eyes.
At the same time, my little guy is also recalling all of the things we’ve been pouring into him over the last couple of years. He is reciting numbers, the alphabet, and belting out bedtime songs to his heart’s content. It really is a joy to watch his development unfold.
Plenty of parents seem to enjoy the newborn stage the most, but personally, I think this stage is a lot more rewarding. I get the chance to watch my son transform each day and become more of himself. He’s more self-sufficient and independent than he was as a baby, but still very much loving and affectionate.
While he’s trying to figure out who he’s becoming, so are we, as his parents. During his moments of big feelings, we are trying to breathe and calm ourselves before tending to him. Having a child watch everything you do really causes you to question why you do what you do. I try not to allow this overthinking to turn into self-criticism, but rather an opportunity to learn with my son.
I guess the moral of the story here is that everyone needs grace in this season of life. Your toddler needs grace even in moments of correction. They’ve never gone through any of this before, and if you’re a first-time parent like me, neither have you. If you’ve already been around the toddler block, each child brings their own personality to the table, making it a learning experience every time.
As you add to the memory books for your child, take a little time to pat yourself on the back. You’re raising a tiny human while re-learning yourself, and that’s no small feat.