I love my toddler.
Of course I love my little girl.
I wouldn’t be a very good Mummy if I didn’t would I? From the second Mads was born I loved her unconditionally and with every single bone in my body. Each stage is amazing. There’s that tiny, newborn scrunched up stage where they don’t do an awful lot, but you have every excuse in the world to just cuddle them all day. Then as they start to grow up there is all those very fun milestones to experience- smiling for the first time, hearing that precious first giggle, crawling, recognizing you as their mama….these are all incredible and such proud Mummy moments.
But to me, the toddler stage is just the best stage of them all. When Mads was 6 months, the thought of her being 18 months would have me breaking out into cold sweats and wailing ‘Noooo.’ I didn’t want her to be classed as a toddler- I wanted to keep her a baby forever.
However no one told me just how much fun having a toddler is. At 18 months Mads is a proper little character. She is still a baby- she fits in 9-12 month clothes, clings to her Mummy and holds her hands out for cuddles when she is sad, babbles in her own secret language that no one else can understand, and plays with Mummys ear when she is tired.
Yet at the same time she is a little person. She learns new words every day and copies things you say. You can now have a conversation with her, albeit sometimes it’s a little one way. She knows what she wants and what she doesn’t. The other day I said to her ‘Do you want a little sleep?’ The answer was ‘No.’ I then asked her if she would like a biscuit. The answer was ‘Yes.’ You now can’t say anything for fear of her copying you.
She loves to run around and her favourite thing is to walk. She doesn’t always want to hold your hand but if you tell her she isn’t allowed to walk unless she holds your hand then she quickly sticks her little arm out as she doesn’t want to be picked up. She loves to be chased and she squeals in delight if you get on your hands and knees and pretend to creep towards her.
She can do the most awesome animal noises. Sometimes I think there is an actual lion in the room with me. And a duck. She plays with her new play kitchen in the cutest way, bringing you a cup of tea and stirring the spoon for you. Although she does bring you more and more until eventually you couldn’t possibly stomach any more tea.
She makes me laugh. Not just a pretend laugh but a full on giggle. And that sets her off too so we giggle together frequently. She has the funniest facial expressions, and says the funniest things. She makes me proud every day with the way she absorbs everything- I like to call her my little sponge as she is really intelligent and knowing. The other day I was upset about something silly and I got tears in my eyes…she came up to me and gave me a cuddle and said ‘Ahhh.’ She is affectionate, cuddly and kind, yet independent, cheeky and lively.
I can see glimpses into the future. Of what kind of little girl she is going to be. Of the fun we are going to have. And of the fact that one of my lifelong wishes has come true- to have a daughter that can be my best friend- just like my Mum is to me.
Of course I loved the newborn stage, and the baby stage and I am sure I will love all the stages that are to come. Except having a teenager, that doesn’t need to roll around too quickly.
But the toddler stage. That is pretty damn incredible. I can safely say that I love every single part of my 18 month old little person.