Parenting

To Be a Toddler at Christmas

Ah, to be a toddler on Christmas day.  I know what I’m about to say is not terribly original, but I find it’s always nice to be reminded of the simple things.  For better or for worse, the life of a toddler is pretty black and white.  They are generally content or furious, happy or screaming, awake or dead-to-the-world asleep.  As a parent, this strict dichotomy is very frustrating, especially when things fall into “the gray area.”  Examples of “the gray area:”

I say… “Yes you can have a snack, after we change your diaper.”
Dylan hears… “NO snack, horrible diaper torture begins NOW.”

I say… “We can’t go outside because it’s pouring rain.”
Dylan hears…”NO, your dreams mean nothing to me.”

I say… “Sit in timeout because we don’t hit.”
Dylan hears… “NO hitting, sit here for reasons that make no logical sense.”

I say… “It’s time for bed.”
Dylan hears…”NO more fun today!”

Anyway, these frustrating mis-communications aside, sometimes it’s nice when toddlers only have a one-dimensional grasp of things, especially at Christmas-time. Presents are just fun. Relatives are just new people to play with. Family dinner means lots of cookies for dessert. Long car rides mean extra napping. A blizzard means more snowmen to build. And that’s it. No family baggage, no complaining, no stressing about money or about who to buy what for. No worrying that the ham will be dry.  No playing politics at family gatherings… just fun.  Toddlers just look at the world as one giant plaything and nothing else matters.  And they take this idea of play very seriously. Toddlers are able to pack so much energy, excitement, and passion into every moment, it’s no wonder they sleep like rocks and fall asleep in positions that would make even a yoga master cringe. No wasted time in toddler world!

Certainly adults must do adult things and occasionally worry about adult issues, but if I could just remember to get a little more toddler back into my mindset then things would be a little less stressful and a lot more fun!

Wondering where to start? Here are some things that rock Dylan’s world:


1. Riding a bike while saying “vroom, vroom, VROOM!” all the while.
2. Playing peek-a-boo anywhere with anything.

3. Laying on the floor next to the dog so that when his tail wags it tickles his face.
4. Pulling up his shirt to expose his belly and then demanding a raspberry kiss.
5. Jumping: off of things, on to things, over things, etc
6. Tickling and being tickled.
7. Draping a blanket over his head and then spinning around.
8. Spinning around in general.
9. Hiding underneath pillows
10. Licking his finger and then “drawing” on the window.
11. Licking his arm.
12. Licking in general (we’re really into saliva these days)
13. Farting
14. Stirring a little bit of flour in a large mixing bowl using a whisk.
15. Batting ornaments off the tree.
16. Lining up a series of toys on the dog’s back, while the poor dog is sleeping.
17. Running about in fits of hyperactive hysteria.
18. Screaming, screeching, barking, yipping, you get the idea.
19. Building towers then battering them down with a hand, another object, or a bike.
15. Asking often for hugs and kisses.

the aftermath
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