Despite the many sleepless nights and numerous frustrations that come with being a parent, your toddler could very well be the best friend you will ever have in your life. Here are the top reasons why you should accept this fleeting friend request and spend all the time you can bonding with your biological buddy!
Their Triumphs Are Your Triumphs
Never will you be more proud than when your toddler pees in the potty or makes it across the pool for the first time. Every single first that they have is also a first for you. These moments will matter more than the adventures you had in college or the books that you read this month. These triumphs are shared -- and they're magical.
They Transform Into a New Person Every Few Days
Toddlers are constantly soaking in their surroundings, learning, and growing into little people. If you blink you'll miss it, but if you don't like this version of your little buddy, just wait a few days and your maven of meltdowns will turn into a sweet and silly sidekick who reminds you so much of yourself or your significant other. That's kind of hard to beat!
Their Hugs Will Make You Melt
Did you know that you need eight hugs a day for mental stability and 12 hugs a day to grow into a better person? Thankfully, your toddler wants you to be the BEST person ever, so you can expect an endless supply of sweet embraces each and every day. It really doesn't get much more reassuring and reinvigorating than when you get an affectionate hug from your special little person.
Everything Is a Celebration
We picked up our toys. YAY! We ate dinner. YAY! It's bath time. YAY! Never have I heard more cheers over such simple things. Toddlers are the best at brightening spirits because they are joyful little people. It's hard to be blue when life's biggest cheerleaders are around you every day!
They Can be the Best Helpers
One of the main concepts in Montessori style teaching is giving your kids practical life lessons. This means partaking in the household chores.
Clearing the dishes, wiping up messes, feeding the dog, and putting their clothes away are not only useful things that they need to know, but these are also tasks that you no longer have to do! Put your little helper to work and make the experience a game. You might be surprised at how fun housework is when you have a toddler assisting you!
They Inspire You to Be a Better Person
Even though your little man or little lady might put you on a pedestal, he or she also helps you to be a better person. When you're about to have a fit of road rage behind the wheel, the kid in the car seat reminds you to restrain your anger. When you accompany him or her to a play date, reminding him or her that he or she needs to share is just as much a reminder to yourself to be more generous.
They Think You Are Beautiful, Inside and Out
Despite what Instagram may have you believe, being a parent is messy, especially with a toddler in tow. When you look in the mirror, it can sometimes be hard to recognize the person you have become. Thankfully, your toddler is always there to remind you that you are the perfect version of yourself and that your presence is all that matters in their eyes.
They Make It Look Like You Aren't Talking to Yourself
As someone whose child didn't start talking until almost three, most of my conversations were one-sided, but as someone who talks to themself when no one is around, it is nice to look a little less crazy! Best friends spend the most time together because they enjoy one another's company.
While you might not always enjoy having a potty partner, it is nice to always have a shopping buddy, a friend to hang out with on Friday night, and a person to talk to about your day!
They Always Have Saturday Night Fever
Crank up the volume (to a reasonable level, of course) on just about any song and you'll be amazed at the moves your little two-year-old can bust out. From throwing their wee hands up in the air to bouncing around like they just don't care, you'll never have more fun than dancing to the beat with your toddler.
They Are Willing to Try Almost Anything
To a young child, everything in the world is exciting and new. They don't know any better and it's up to you to help build their tastes in music, sports, and in all sorts of other activities.
Fascinated with flowers? Your toddler will grow a green thumb too. More interested in culinary delights? Your toddler will be your enthusiastic little sous chef.
They Tell It Like It Is
Good friends tell you what you want to hear. Great friends rip off the bandaid and share the honest truth, no matter how ugly it may be.
When a toddler says something, you can be absolutely certain that it's the truth. Not sure what to think of that new dress at the mall? Ask your three-year-old and they'll tell you if it's awful. No punches pulled.
They Are Your Number One Fan
Besides your dogs, there is no one in this world who will get more excited about seeing you than your toddler! Even if you saw them an hour prior and they took a nap, the thrill never seems to fade.
You are, without a shadow of a doubt, the very best person in the whole wide world to them. The incredible feeling of coming home after a long day only to be greeted by a toddler running with arms up in the air screaming, "Mommy!" or "Daddy!" just cannot be matched.
They Think You Are Hilarious
Tickle fights. Blowing raspberries. Making animal sounds. Hiding behind the bathroom door, only to lunge out with an expressive "boo!" Just about anything you do can elicit the most explosive case of the giggles from your little one. And there's nothing more therapeutic than hearing a two-year-old laugh uncontrollably.
They Are Pretty Funny Too
The very best comedians in the world, from Jerry Seinfeld to Amy Schumer, take years to master their craft. Yet, your toddler has a way of bringing on the belly laughs by simply being themselves.
They Help You Grow
The best friendships are ones where you learn from one another. While parents may feel like they're the ones who are teaching their children (how to crawl, walk, and talk), toddlers are just as keen to teach their parents about patience, honesty, and what it means to have fun. It's a beautiful give-and-take.
They Live Each Moment Like It's Their Last
Other friends may dwell in the past or get obsessed with the future. Not so with little children. They are more than happy to live in the here and now, focused entirely on what is in front of them at that moment.
When you're with your toddler, you can let go of your current cares and the worries of what is yet to come. Just enjoy those smiles and kisses right now.
They Are a Convenient Scapegoat
Ever get stuck at an uncomfortable or boring social gathering and wish you could just go home and put on some stretchy pants and slippers? Your toddler can help get you out of just about any situation.
It's way past Timmy's bedtime. Little Sally isn't feeling too well. Erica needs to get to her Gymboree class. I had a lovely time, but sorry, I've got to go!
They Keep You in Shape
Just as your little one will let you indulge in just one more cookie or another helping of mashed potatoes, they will also make sure you have plenty of opportunities to burn off those extra calories. The energy level of a typical toddler cannot be matched. Between chasing them down and carrying them around, you can toss your gym membership.
They Are Down to Siesta
Toddlers can be tiring, but thankfully, they love to take time for an afternoon reboot. This is great for the moms and dads who would rather rest than rally. Those two hours are the perfect midday reprieve to catch your breath. What other friend can offer you that on a daily basis?
They Help You to Conquer Your Fears
Long gone are the days when a fear of spiders existed. Hypochondria is definitely out the door. And trepidations about public speaking, poof! No more. Being a parent means taking care of all the things, despite your feelings about them.
Better yet, prepare to have lots of things presented to you that you did not expect, nor did you want to touch. My latest: a live centipede being placed in my hand while on a call. Parents are survivors for a reason. Their toddlers test them.
They Put Things in Perspective
It's said that the one thing that will irrevocably change your life far more than any other major milestone -- more than getting married, buying your first home, or getting your first job -- is becoming a parent. Your child becomes your world and your everything. The first several months go by in a blur of soiled diapers and sleepless nights, but when they become toddlers, that's when the magic really comes.
Nothing else matters. They give you meaning, purpose, and direction. They help you to better see what matters most and allow you to let go of the small stuff. And that's the greatest gift your best friend can give you.
Our Toddlers Teach Us to Live Our Best Life
Before kids, it's easy to pass the time swiping through social media feeds. With toddlers, there is no time for technology. Our kids force us to live in the moment and that matters. It's how memories are made and how bonds are built.
Just make sure to soak in every moment while you can; before you know it, your built-in best friend will become a big kid and might not think you're quite as cool.