As parents, we love to see our children succeed. Nothing quite compares with the joy we feel when our little ones learn to do things for the first time. However, some of these accomplishments and milestones can suddenly make parenting ten times harder than it was the previous day.
Some children are practically born crib escape artists, but, for the most part, cribs do a pretty good job of keeping babies in bed until someone goes to get them. Not the case with toddler beds. The first night in a bed is completely new and different for your child. For toddlers, new and different is just another way of saying fun, exciting, and scary. The moment children realize they are physically capable of getting out of bed, it gets really difficult to convince them to stay in bed.
Repeating Everything You Say
Mimicry is essential for language development. When your baby starts repeating words like “mama” and “dada,” it is heartwarming. But kids repeat a lot more than just the adorable things you like to hear. In fact, they seem to fixate on repeating the things we wish they wouldn’t and they do it over and over again. Let one swear word slip and there’s a pretty good chance your child will be singing it loudly the next time you are in a public place together. Aside from public humiliation, constant repetition can really get on the nerves of even the most serene parent.
As a toddler’s motor development advances, she will get better at controlling her arms, legs, hands, and feet. Soon enough she will be able to master the zippers, snaps, and even diaper closures that used to confound her. And she will take great joy in demonstrating this skill. Keeping clothes on toddlers can be a nearly impossible task. As far as toddlers are concerned, not even freezing weather or the presence of house guests are valid reasons to wear clothing.
Communicating Wants and Needs
Every parent of a crying newborn has thought, “I wish you could tell me what you need!” In the moment, it seems that things would be much easier if your darling child could just tell you what she wants. When she figures it out though, you may find yourself longing for the days when she was a crying infant. Why? Because it turns out her wants are often as mercurial as they are fantastical. Toddlers want everything, even things that don’t actually exist, and they want it all now.
The best thing about milestones is that they indicate a new stage of development. Though they can be infuriating, it is important to remember that stages are phases. Much like temper tantrums, it may seem that they will last forever in the midst of them but the truth is, they will pass sooner than you realize. Mark the milestones and celebrate the development of your toddler, as much as you can. They’ll be entering new stages with entirely different infuriating behaviors before you know it.