In an earlier blog, I shared 7 reasons that having a toddler makes me look forward to having an infant again. It’s only fair that I look at the other side, too.
So here they are: 7 reasons that having a toddler makes me dread the infant stage.
Note: I wrote this two months ago, and now, in late April, I’m stunned at how much Peanut has advanced. Her language explosion is definitely in full swing! I feel the need to add that because I don’t want any trained experts thinking my Peanut is behind. Yep, I’m paranoid. 🙂
Squeak won’t speak his first words for nearly a year, and I’m a little bummed by that thought. Peanut’s vocabulary, while not huge, is big enough for her to tell us what she loves (“Doggy!”) and what she wants (“Ama ama ama” means “I want, I want, I want”). She’s learning new words every week, and I love watching her little tongue try out different sounds, mimicking how my mouth moves as I say something. I adore that she can communicate, and she’s getting better every day. (This week alone she’s picked up two animal sounds: MOO and a decent attempt at QUACK.) Poor Squeak will be communicating through one medium: crying. 🙁
When Peanut closed the bedroom door with the cat inside, I didn’t notice at first. A few minutes later, I heard the cat mewling pitifully over his entrapment. “Peanut, do you hear the cat? He’s sad. Come in here and open the door so Simon can get out,” I asked her. Amazingly, she trotted right down the hall to open the bedroom door. “Peanut, let’s go get a new diaper,” results in her toddling toward her bedroom for a diaper change. Tonight, when I asked her if she was ready for bed, she beelined it for her bedroom and tried to climb into her crib. It was lovely. And sadly, infants don’t do anything of the sort.
Making me laugh hysterically
Some of you know that I am married to a stand-up comedian. Honest to blog, that’s his real job. But sometimes the funniest person in the house is my toddler. A few days ago, Peanut and I were sharing a piece of toast with butter, sugar, and cinnamon (yes, sugar… sue me) while sitting on the kitchen floor. It’s our “after school snack.” She’s recently learned the baby sign for ‘please’ (rubbing your hand in a circle on your chest) and uses it liberally when asking for bites of my toast. She was furiously rubbing her chest the other day during Toast Time, and when I didn’t hand over a bite fast enough, she took a step toward me, leaned in and instead rubbed MY chest. I couldn’t stop laughing. Apparently she thought since I had the toast, maybe a modification was in order.
There’s little in life better than a toddler’s belly laughter. When we’re playing around on the bed and I deliver some well-placed side pokes or armpit tickles, she lets loose a musical laugh that warms my heart. I want to tickle her forever. Babies eventually learn to laugh, but it took Peanut a long time. I’m not looking forward to the wait.
Peanut gives kisses when requested. She’ll sprint across the room and deliver one of her signature kisses to me, Daddy, Grandma, or Grandpa. It’s the best thing ever. It took her 18 months to learn it. Newborns don’t give kisses on purpose. They just spit up a lot. 🙁
Snuggles on my shoulder
Just before bedtime, right after nap, and first thing in the morning, I lift Peanut from her crib. The next thing she does makes me melt a little: she nuzzles her head into the little nook above my collarbone. She usually sticks a thumb in her mouth at the same time. It’s adorable and reminds me that I’m Mommy, The Giver of Supreme Comfort (first runner up: Daddy). It is a very important job, and one that Squeak won’t appreciate for quite a while after he’s born. It’ll be some time before I get neck-nook snuggles from Squeak.
There’s nothing better than watching Peanut learn something. Right now, at 18 months, she’s learning constantly. One example: Peanut and I play with her shape sorter often, but when my mother-in-law visited recently, she did it much better. The two of them played with the shape sorter for 10 minutes, and the MIL repeated each shape’s name over and over. “Triangle, and it goes in the triangle hole. Circle goes in the circle hole.” The next morning, Peanut pulled out the shape sorter and to my amazement, proceeded to put the square in the square hole and the circle neatly in the round one. She didn’t attempt any other holes first; she just nailed it on the first try. She’s never done that before. And suddenly, she gets it. Her little brain has learned!
The tantrums that come with toddlers completely suck. But they’re tiny human sponges, and I absolutely love watching her brain grow almost by the minute. While I will certainly wish Squeak was more grown up, I’ll love him (or her!) all the same, through his blobby baby stage, all the way to the baby-signing-and-cow-mooing stage.
I’m looking forward to it.