The toddler stage has many endearing qualities that consistently come to mind. They are loving and sweet, adoring their parents with spontaneous and generous hugs and snuggles. In between random, but short-lived fits over perplexing issues, parents can do no wrong. They are easily delighted and enjoy the simplicity of things with full mouth grins and earnest and easy chuckles. Every moment is a new and magical discovery they can barely contain sharing. Parents of many toddlers over concur with these lovely expressions, but some of the benefits of living with a toddler go missed in the hustled rigmarole of daily life.
1. Your reflexes will remain top notch regardless of how late you were awake the night before watching The Great British Baking Show. It's like having your own devoted Cato at the ready to lunge out at you.
Rough night sleeping or up too late without a good reason? No worries, you won't have time to think about it. Sure, there are the typical random meltdowns over wanting the red bowl instead of the blue one, but other toddler trademarks keep parents on their toes. For instance, how can you feel sleepy when you've stepped on several hard plastic toys littered throughout the house like a sadistic obstacle course you are destined to lose, as well as the game of, "What did I just put my hand in?" If you were finding yourself distracted, even momentarily, you have your toddler to thank for bringing you back to the present.
2. A screaming child who is incapable of coherently expressing opinions and general reservations will terminate any undesirable phone call or in person conversation.
As long as your toddler is in tow or just milling around in the background, never again should you fear speaking with or walking into someone you've spent months avoiding. Two sentences into forced small talk or an unwelcome phone conversation will undoubtedly be interrupted by an impatient and generally unhappy toddler. Sometimes you might avoid the encounter altogether provided you've deprived your child of something particularly delightful...like random particles from the floor of a public bathroom or anything belonging to someone else sitting close by and minding their own business.
3. You no longer are ordained the official slob of the family; angry/overtired toddler wins every time.
It doesn't matter how closely your habits resemble an episode of a hording reality show or your aversion to folding and stowing three weeks of clean laundry; an angry, overtired toddler will surpass your most prized efforts of destroying any possible home organizational system. An additional bonus are the artistic efforts on your walls should a tantrum occur during meal time, and your child insists on the "big person spoon," but continues to scream even when clutching it. Don't bother to clean the wall. Buy some frames and affix them around the splatter; they could be gold some day because it must be a sign of future greatness to be that passionate about an inanimate object.
4. Poor table manners are a desirable and necessary quality.
With a small person's schedule to mind, you never will have to worry about graciously waiting until all adults at the dinner table are served. During this stage in development, best practice is scarf everything immediately before something happens and your toddler decides that the meal is over by climbing on the dinner table and making rounds dunking small fists into barely enjoyed drinking glasses. This proclamation that the meal officially ended is a moment for parental awe; how can someone so small with limited motor functioning have such deft maneuvering capability?
5. Forget your collection of exercise videos and miscellaneous late night infomercial bric-a-brac, unhappy toddler is the most efficient exercise program available...and it's free...sort of.
Toddlers are curious beings, especially for anything in your possession, and they present with the fine tuned skills of the most seasoned and stealthy kleptomaniac. After managing to lift the object from your grasp or from right under your nose when you aren't paying attention, your toddler will wave it around taunting you while outpacing your sprint around the room. Toddlers innately understand their parents' need for ongoing physical activity motivation; if you lag too far behind, the object they are clutching will be dumped down a vent, out a window, or in a toilet. In some cases the object will join the dryer socks that disappear mysteriously, never to be seen again.
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