Toddlers without Tiaras

Posted on | May 9, 2012 | 16 Comments

Mothering a toddler might be the most fun I’ve ever had.


There is no other job in the world that comes with these perks. No other job where your boss asks you out of the blue, with a tilted head, if you like lions and if green ones are your favorite.  When I told J that we would see his Gabby and Pop on Saturday, he nodded and then added “And their helicopter. I’m going to play with Gabby’s helicopter.”

I can assure you that my parents do NOT have a helicopter.

The imagination of a toddler is a powerful thing.

There’s an area of Pampas grass in the front of my house and when we pass it on our daily walk, J says “Shhh, Mommy.  Be really quiet.  The elephant is sleeping.” Because apparently there’s an elephant living there, in that broad circle of grass.  He sings to the moon, he asks asks questions about everything, he believes anything I tell him.

Being the mother to a toddler is a perfect and powerful thing.

When we are out on an adventure and he starts to get tired, his hand always finds it’s way into mine, his head always tilts in to rest against my leg.  When he is excited, he runs ahead… but always looks for me just over his shoulder.  Nothing is perfect or exciting until he gauges my reaction… “Look at this Mommy!” he will yell, then wait for me to say “WOW” before he nods and says “That’s cool.”  If I say “No” he stops and wonders for a moment before trying again… testing, always testing his limits.

Being the mother of a toddler is a trying and tenuous thing.

One moment he is sweet, the next sour.  He can hug and kick all in one motion, scream and smile with only the slightest pause between.  He finds my expensive make up and dumps it in the toilet or down the sink drain.  He opens the refrigerator and takes out everything he can reach then says “But I didn’t!” when I say he shouldn’t have done that.  There are time outs and “No, sir’s” and “Absolutely nots” until the words seem to bleed down my chin and puddle meaninglessly at my feet.  There are so many words… for both of us.

He lisps… running certain “r’s” and “l’s” into “w’s” and though I used to say a lisping child was annoying… that was before.  He corrects himself sometimes and my heart shatters and rebuilds, knowing that one day his words will be perfect… one day his wrinkled nose and unruly curls will be tamed and contained. 

I am exhausted and exhilarated every day.  I am constantly amazed by his capacity to love, his sense of direction, his unabashed joy for life.  Being a mother to a toddler reminds me every day that I should throw my arms wide and breathe in what is good and right and fun in this world and shut my eyes against the dark, as he does.

“But I want the light on,” he will say, every night as I switch off his lamp.  Though I assure him, every day, that there is nothing to be scared of in the dark, I also turn his light back on.  Because being the mother of a toddler means always wanting your child to bask in nothing but the sweet airy lilt of light. Because being the mother of a toddler means anything is possible.  It means everything is possible.   

Even monsters in the closet.

Even fairies in the moonlight. 

So I leave the soft light glowing and tiptoe away, sneaking in again to watch the rise and fall of sleep as it courses over him.  And even though he tries my patience, tries on my shoes, tries to drive me absolutely bat shit crazy every waking moment… I wouldn’t change one single thing.

Because being the mother of a toddler is the most fun I’ve ever had.


16 Responses to “Toddlers without Tiaras”

  1. Mama T
    May 9th, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    I absolutely love this and relate on so many levels! You are such an amazing writer!

  2. lawmomma
    May 9th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Aw, thanks!!!

  3. Jana A (@jana0926)
    May 9th, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    This is fantastic! He’s such a little ball of love, I can’t stand it. Also, love the pictures in your posts 🙂

  4. lawmomma
    May 9th, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    LOL thanks, lady! I told him we were going to Atlanta tomorrow to have dinner with his Uncle and he said “Yeah. And Miss Jana.”

  5. Alexmommy626
    May 9th, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    Bat shit crazy totally describes certain moments but it is absolutely worth it. Who would have thunk huh?

  6. lawmomma
    May 9th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    hahahaha I know, right? Parenting is like being on a zero gravity machine or something.

  7. Karah Spahn
    May 9th, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    I am in the same boat as you and totally 100% agree with these words. Best phase ever. So far. 🙂

  8. lawmomma
    May 9th, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    So far… right. 🙂 I hope it stays awesome!

  9. Magcoker
    May 9th, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    Omg you are making me cry right here in the drive thru. I want to say screw the salad and go get Chase right now and give him the biggest hug I’ve ever given him..

  10. lawmomma
    May 9th, 2012 @ 1:35 pm


  11. Noelle HettlingerTil
    May 9th, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    Adorable. And all so true.

  12. lawmomma
    May 9th, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    🙂 They are fun!!

  13. Kate Sluiter
    May 9th, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

    YES! I could have written ever word of this right down to the blond curls.

    Happy sighs.

  14. Law Momma
    May 9th, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    One day, our twin boys will meet!!!!!

  15. Cvvickers
    May 9th, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    My “toddler” is now six and he still has it. He still makes helicopters with rescue baskets out of sticks and electrical tape. He still wants me to tickle his back while he unwinds before stories. It’s an effort, but my goal is to keep him in this joyful, peaceful place as long as it’s humanly possible. Because you can’t undo it once it’s gone.

  16. Melissa
    May 9th, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    Another great post that i just shook my head yes the whole time…bat shit crazy may just become my new favorite phase.

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