7 Life Lessons My 2-Year-Old Taught Me

two-year-old

1. Ask consistently and LOUDLY for what you want. When my daughter, the joy and light of my life, wants something, she wants it now and will continue to ask for that toy, snack or whatever it is until she either gets it or I distract her with something else. Sometimes, if she doesn’t like my answer, she will find her dad and ask him for the same thing. Annoying, but how else do you get more crackers in life unless you ask for them?

2. Take pleasure in small, simple activities. I am amazed by the pleasure and sheer joy my child can get from simple activities like Play-Doh and picking up sticks in the yard. Isn’t Play-Doh boring for the third straight day in a row? Why are sticks so fascinating? While sometimes there seems to be no reasoning as to why my daughter wants to do a certain activity again and again and again, I cannot help but be astonished by the happiness she gets from it.

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3. Take your time, and after that, take even more time if you need it. When we need to leave the house by a certain time, I build in an extra twenty or thirty minutes just to get shoes, coats, hats, gloves, and bags together because my daughter likes.to.take.her.time. Pet the cat, talk to her baby doll, get one shoe on, get her other baby doll, get one arm in her coat, use the bathroom one more time, get her other shoe on, play with the magnets on the refrigerator—sometimes, taking our time is not an option, but most days we don’t have anywhere we have to be, so I’ve learned to slow down.

4. Sometimes having a meltdown is the best thing that can happen. It was one of those day; I was bone-deep tired. My daughter was cranky, uncooperative, and on a mission to destroy every room in our house and my husband called to say he was going to be late from work. By 10am, I knew I was going to lose it. I put my daughter in her high chair and for a few minutes had a quiet meltdown of my own in the bathroom. Crying, swearing, throwing tissues on the floor. You know what? It was just enough to get my frustration out.

5. Having a messy house does not make you a bad mother. For a long time, I would clean around my daughter as she played, hovering like a helicopter ready to swoop in at the first sign of a crumb. Don’t even get me started if we were having company over. Eventually, I realized there was no point. A crumb never killed anyone.

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6. Life is not predictable or controllable. Today, my daughter woke up at 6:30 a.m. The day before, it was 8:00am. Today she has to wear her pink sneakers, but yesterday she tossed them aside in a huff when I suggested she wear them. Life with a toddler, and with this particular toddler, is completely and utterly unpredictable.

7. Love fully and fiercely. My daughter loves to snuggle, to wrap her arms around me and cling to me like a monkey. Even times when it is really not convenient, like in the middle of making dinner or when I know it’s a stall tactic to avoid going to bed, it’s amazing to be loved so fully and so fiercely.

About the writer

Jamie is the lucky mother to a beautiful, headstrong, very talkative, and inquisitive two year old daughter. She currently works part time as an Academic Advisor at a local community college in Massachusetts.

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kris 10 months ago

It is so refreshing to know that ( and laugh about) other parents experience what I do, on a daily basis. I Love that my daughter is very much her own person and very independent but some days, I wish I was in charge,which I am clearly not. Lol

Christian M 10 months ago

We only get my husband’s little girl for such small, precious amounts of time that I try to live by these. Last winter she was dawdling outside of church after services and my husband was trying to hurry her along. (She was 3) When I asked what the big hurry was he said she needed to develop a “sense of urgency”. Seriously dude? WTF-she’s THREE. So we had a long talk and that’s when we decided to slow down and cherish our precious girl.

Alaska 2 years ago

I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?

Superb work!

Kim 2 years ago

This is my almost three year old daughter to a T! I’ve never known anyone who could dawdle and get side tracked so much…besides myself, that is. 😉

Tammy 2 years ago

My daughter taught me a valuable lesson. She was a little older then 2, she was actually 6 at the time and presented a fund raising idea at school to build a well for children in third world countries because she had seen a commercial on TV about the need for water. Her teacher took the idea to the principal and they had a pyjama day at school to raise funds. I was so proud of her she reminded me how important it is to care about others in need. Little people can teach BIG lessons!

Tammy Dianocky 2 years ago

I luv #4 so very true!!!

Angela Tuglu Dudok 2 years ago

My daughtet turned 2 today and I already recognize a lot

Bill Reiber 2 years ago

Wise & sage advice; Grandpa approved!

Lydia Quinones 2 years ago

I love this. Good reminder as I head into this stage with my youngest.

Jackie Kehr Prosser 2 years ago

All new mommies-don’t stress about your house being messy because it’s stressful to your family too. Sometimes you need to just take a mental health day yourself to stay home and clean with no one around. You will then have time to play and cherish your children! They will be gone so soon!! Written by Mom of 4 grown boys!

Viridiana Torres 2 years ago

Love this thank you for the reminder

Julia Byrne Anthony 2 years ago

For a moment, I thought you wrote this exclusively about my son, Benjamin. It’s good to know I’m not alone. #3 hits hard- I need to sloooooooow down!!

Sabrina Sultana Badri 2 years ago

Tell me about it!

leslie 2 years ago

My daughter will turn 2 in June and I love all these things about here. Sometimes it’s so frustrating, but I’m learning to stand back, watch her absorb and learn and enjoy, and I find it helps me accept. I try to see her perspective. There’s so much to learn and see and do and it’s hard when no one understands! Most of the times, it’s a blast. Maybe not most, but I like to think it’s over 50% of the time. I love that baby.

Valentina Marino 2 years ago

SO GREAT and on my middle daughter’s 17th birthday….. Enjoy every second!!!

Morgann Johnson 2 years ago

So completely true and my son isnt even 2 yet. Here we go!

Jen 2 years ago

Many of these also apply to teenage girls!

Rita W. Neher 2 years ago

And guess what folks…they grow up and go to college without their blankets, super hero underware and their binkis….and you would want it all back just for 5 minutes when they get married!

Clarisa Lebron 2 years ago

Omg I can relate to everything on here. Wow

Sarah Fritz-Maldonado 2 years ago

Don’t forget that diapers belong on heads not butts that’ my favorite lesson

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