The Truth About Toddlers

By: Alex Dodge, Feb 21, 2020

The most surprising part about having a toddler is how the highs and the lows of her moods can change in an instant. My daughter is 2 1/2, and she can go from being the sweetest happiest person in the world to a wailing banshee, and back again in mere moments. We are in a constant negotiation about what’s allowed, what isn’t and why. My daily challenge is: how can I get her to school in the morning, make it to work in a timely fashion while limiting meltdowns, encouraging good manners, good listening, and maybe even have some fun along the way?

The exhaustion that comes with her mood swings has been surprising as well; I get dragged along on the emotional roller coaster too. It is just too easy to reach a breaking point. This morning she lost it because she didn’t want what I made her for breakfast when she JUST ASKED FOR IT 5 minutes before. Then she was wailing because she wanted her purple coat, not the coat I had brought. But once the meltdown was over, she was chirping away in her car seat telling me about all the characters in Cinderella, how she wanted to play with her friends at school, and how she knows that red lights mean stop and green lights mean go.

Mostly she is a very sweet, thoughtful, loving and playful girl. I love talking to her – listening to her ideas and how she sees the world. She is constantly saying things that crack me up, and I love laughing with her. I try to foster those positives rather than the challenging behaviors, because otherwise I would be driven over the edge! But those sweet conversations, and watching her become a happy, well adjusted, kind and caring little person, are the reward for all the frustrations that come along with having a toddler. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.