Monday, September 12, 2016

Parenthood: Week 169 – The Extremely Cute Moments Of Toddlerhood

Loving a three year-old is enjoying the extremes of human expression. Ollie as an older toddler will do things like give me unsolicited hugs and say “I love you.” On the flip side the tantrums and meltdowns are incredibly epic. The bad gets worse at this age, but the good stuff gets even better. As a parent of a older toddler, you can’t let the bad stuff overshadow the great stuff. When you take a step back the good stuff outweighs the bad, but in the moment of a crying child who seems completely irrational, it’s easy to forget the good stuff. In that spirit, this post will feature some of the great stuff that makes parenting a three year-old awesome.

Ollie’s awareness of Buffy and his desire to interact with her has continued to grow as he gets older. When we are in the basement, he will often get out one of Buffy’s toys and try to play with her. Ollie will softly pet Buffy when he’s watching television and when we call Buffy in from the back yard, Ollie will join us and help us by calling her name.

A couple days ago, Ollie was counting things around the house. He started by counting chairs and then he started counting the people in our family. Ollie proudly stated that there were four people in our family. When I asked him to show me, he pointed and spoke, “mommy, daddy, Ollie and Buffy!”

Over the past thee years, we’ve done a lot to help Ollie go to bed. There’s been swaddling, rocking, singing, talking, begging, and lately, telling stories in the dark and giving massages. I know giving a toddler a full body massage seems weird, but it works.

After going through all of these things and lying in bed with Ollie, I asked him if he could help me go to sleep. He attempted to tell me a story, gave me a short foot massage and then sang me a lullaby. Sometimes the effort is the most meaningful part of a gesture.

Ollie wants me to pay attention to him. He wants me to watch him, and he constantly asks me to follow him on playground and play with him around the house. He tells me about things that he sees and what he is thinking about. Ollie wants me to understand his thoughts and I love that he wants to share his world with me.

In addition to the present, Ollie now shares the past with me.  He told me a couple days ago, that he remembers enjoying riding a horse with him and that I was there with him.  We expect as a parent of a young child that most of his memories will fade which makes it even more powerful when some resonate and stay with our special little guy.

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