Toddler Life Lessons

by Tyler Carris

Although my daughter has only been around (on the outside) for a year, she already has so much wisdom to offer. Here’s what she’s shown me:

1. Be proud of your accomplishments. Clap after each bite of food you take. Make other people clap too. You’re awesome at eating!

2. Wave at a stranger. No, wave at every stranger. Wave at your reflection in the mirror. Wave at the Brawny Man on that package of paper towels. Wave at that painting of a flower. Really make everyone feel welcome.

3. Look at your fingers. I mean, seriously look at them. They’re amazing! Wait—oh, my gosh—toes. Look at your toes! Offer a nibble of them to the person sitting nearest you. Trust me.

4. Kiss with your mouth open. The more slobber, the better.

5. Whenever you hear music, dance. No matter where you are. Heck, even if you don’t hear music, feel free to dance it up. They say “dance like no one’s watching,” but it’s better to dance until everyone is watching.

6. Get excited when you see a dog! Point and laugh! Dogs are so funny! Have you seen one lately?!

7. Smile big! Even if you have food in your mouth. Even if you only have seven teeth.

8. If you like a book, read it again! And again. And again. And again…until you have it memorized. And then, after you know every word by heart, keep reading it. It’s a really good book.

9. Don’t like the taste of a certain food? Spit it out. Life is too short to be eating yucky things.

10. Take people by surprise with hugs. You never know when someone might really need one.

11. Redecorate often. Those couch pillows are nice, but wouldn’t they look better on the floor? That kitchen towel hanging on the stove handle…floor. This beautifully folded stack of clean laundry on the coffee table…oh, most definitely floor. Flo’ fo’ sho’.

12. Life is a game. And that game is peek-a-boo. I see you!

13. You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. And you can pick your friend’s nose. Don’t let people set arbitrary limitations for you.

14. Embrace your curves. Proudly stick that belly out. Wear a skirt that shows off your thigh rolls.

15. No matter how many times people pull you kicking and screaming away from that bowl of dog food, crawl right back to it as soon as they’re not looking. Never ever, ever give up.

So, there you have it. The next time life hands you lemons, why not try throwing them on the floor? That’s what a toddler would tell you to do. They can be so wise sometimes.