10 reasons why 2-year-olds are magical (not terrible)
7. They keep it real.
2-year olds-aren’t maniacal. They’re magical. ✨
Sure, they may test your patience by deciding to take their diaper off and pee on the living room floor, or insist on throwing a tantrum while you’re trying to rush through Target to “grab a few things”—but they don’t mean to.
Quite the opposite. They want to make you happy; to give and receive love unconditionally. But they are experiencing so many new emotions and are doing their best to navigate these waters. They’re learning and growing and making mistakes and becoming tiny humans.
I get frustrated sometimes. Mama is only human. But I aspire to always remind myself that my 2-year-old bundle of love is not trying to intentionally frustrate me. She is not trying to push my buttons. She is trying to show me who she is. And at the same time, she’s reminding me every day that the toddler years—especially two!—are a magical time in our lives.
10 reasons why parenting a 2-year-old is so special
1. Toddlers will love you at your worst
Your morning breath can smell really, really bad, but they will still kiss you enthusiastically. You may not have showered for a day or two but they still tell you you’re beautiful. When you cry after a terrible day at work, they’ll give you a big hug and comfort you—no judgement.
Their love is loyal and forgiving and fierce and affectionate—which is good for your ego and your heart.
2. They remind us how to be in the moment
Running around with my daughter in the evening, before winding down for bed—actin’ a fool and getting caught up in the moment—is one of the best feelings on this planet. It’s true happiness.
In these times I realize I’m not worrying about anything, my stressors have momentarily disappeared, and my to-do list is saved somewhere in the cloud—out of sight and out of mind.
3. They keep your silliness alive
You can act like a kid with your kid.
And what a refreshing feeling that is!
Being silly with a 2-year-old can immediately transport you back in time with one loud burp, followed by happy, deep belly laughs. The harder you laugh, the harder your two-year-old laughs. And what’s better than laughing about farts and burps and boogers? Not much, mama, not much.
4. They help you appreciate the simple things
Little toddler eyes are always watching, always observing—pointing out things you might normally miss. “Yes honey, that cardinal flying by is beautiful!” “You’re right, that was a train in the distance. Where do you think it’s going?” They are often equally excited for a new $1 sticker book as they are to help you vacuum.
Their perspective of life and the world around them rubs off on you. They force you to stop and look around—to appreciate what’s right in front of you.
5. They reignite your imagination
Before having kids, how much did you exercise your imagination muscles? Probably not nearly as much as you do now!
Pretending you’re a fairy princess who has to go milk cows on the farm, or a pirate who has to fight off a shark in the scary ocean will remind you that playing is FUN! And these moments can inspire you in many ways.
6. They are able to communicate and understand
Watching your baby grow up right before your eyes is amazing and scary and sort of heartbreaking in a way. I think we will always miss our babies—but what a joy it is to watch them develop into a walking-talking-assertive child. At this stage, you can basically have a conversation with them—maybe with a lot of words, or maybe by their ability to show you what they want or need.
I can ask for my daughter’s help when I run out of wipes, but am stuck with her sister on my lap with an explosive diaper situation. Most of the times she actually comes back with the wipes! (And somehow her Rapunzel doll, Thomas the train and a random granola bar she found, too…)
They are maturing and understanding more and more every day, right before our eyes.
7. They keep it real
These little ones know how to tell it like it is, and they aren’t afraid to do so. They don’t have a filter, so they don’t really have the ability to hold back. And in a world where other adults may want to protect your feelings or are afraid to tell you something, you’re going to get the straight up truth from your toddler.
There’s something on my face? Thank you, honey. I smell funny? Much appreciated.
8. They still take naps (Hopefully)
If you’re still #blessed to have a child who naps for you, we salute you. We fear that this time is fleeting, and never want it to go away. Enjoy those moments of peace and quiet when your little one is sleeping. Read a book, do the laundry, answer emails, catch up on your DVR or take a nap yourself—your time, your choice.
Because one day you’ll have a four-year-old in your face who will declare: No more naps, mommy. And yes, that day is coming.
9. They say and do funny things and think you’re hilarious
I’m going to venture a guess that it’s just not as cute when an adult says something like “I’m nudie, I’m nudie!” or “One minute. I’m doing a poopie” versus when a 2-year-old says it.
Toddlers come up with the most random things to say and do and it is impossible not to laugh.
Plus, small humans almost always laugh at your funny faces and your corny jokes. You’re basically Amy Schumer to them (minus the one-night-stand jokes and swearing), and it can do wonders for your self-esteem.
10. They will always be your baby
No matter how much they’ve grown and changed over time, they still look like your innocent little baby at times (especially when they’re sleeping!) and you know what—I don’t think that will ever change.
They will always be your baby, and they still need you right now.
You feel it when they’ve scraped their knee and come running to you. Or when they’re exhausted and snuggle up next to you on the couch—fitting perfectly into your arms. You’ll feel it when they light up when you come home from work—making you wonder how on earth you became so lucky.
And you’ll feel it when they call for you after a bad dream, and you wipe their tears while rocking them back to sleep—putting their worries at ease, as only their mom or dad can. They’re growing up so fast, but they need you now.
And we need this magical time too.✨
A version of this post was published May 26, 2016. It has been updated.