If you think you have seen it all, a toddler will probably prove you wrong. If you already parent a toddler, you’ll know what we’re talking about!
Here are just a few things that you can expect from your child during the toddler years:
- She will leave you exhausted. This is because 2 is the most active age in a person’s life. One study found that 2-year-olds take an average of 175 steps in a minute.
- Your child will become an avid naturalist and rip off her clothes at any opportunity; often in public and while taking 175 steps a minute. Don’t worry, she will grow out of this.
- Most toddlers are ambidextrous, but by about 2 or 3 years old they will have chosen a dominant hand. 90 % of the time, this will be the right hand. Until then, she will be able to remove clothes with both hands equally well.
- She will favour words like “No” and “Why?”, because toddlers like to push the boundaries and challenge everything. This is a good thing, really! It shows she is learning about herself, the world, and her own power within it.
- You might also be the parent of the 1 out of 5 toddlers who can open child-proof lids. Luckily toddlers come with an alarm system – it’s called silence. If you cannot hear them, they are getting into trouble.
- Your carefully established sleep routine could go out the window as your little one starts to fear that there are monsters under her bed, has nightmares, or becomes aware that there are other things happening while she is meant to be sleeping (basically she will have a bad case of FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out). This means she will rebel against bedtime, and even sneak out of bed during the night. What can you do? Be alert, at all times.
- Fussy eating is as popular for toddlers as fine dining is for adults. This means that at some point you will struggle to get her to eat anything, never mind a balanced diet. You will become very accomplished at disguising foods and making up white lies – including to yourself – such as: tomato sauce is made with real tomatoes and therefore it is basically the same thing.
- Despite being picky about what goes in her mouth, she could decide to go through a biting phase. Suddenly your arm, or bits of other children, will be what she wants to sink her teeth into. This is likely to be her way of expressing anger or frustration. Stay calm, but remain firm about the no-biting-humans policy.
- One day, your child will decide she hates things that she normally loves. And this hate will be deep-seated and vocal. There are lots of reasons why this could happen, including from one bad experience, so you will need to draw on your patience (again) to stay calm and be supportive.
- And last but certainly not least, she will love you with exuberance and without inhibition. From sloppy kisses, to weird gifts and poetic declarations, she will make your heart melt and you will know that she is worth it all!