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Sometimes with the challenges that can be faced when raising a toddler, combined with the fatigue and other adult life stresses, it can be hard to remember the positives and take the time to appreciate the silly little things. It’s these silly things that are my sanity savers. The things that keep me going and make my job as a stay at home mum so worth it. These silly things stop the boredom in its tracks, make my fatigue melt away and remind me to look at the world in new ways. If a toddler can teach you anything, it’s that the world is a wondrous place. These silly things make me laugh from the belly or smile until my cheeks hurt. They remind me not to take life so seriously and to stop being a grumpy bum.
Here are some of the silly things I’ve been enjoying lately.
It was my mum’s *ahem mumble mumble* big milestone birthday this week. We visited her in the afternoon, armed with some divine lemon meringue tarts (the size of your head) and the Little Mister’s rain coat. My mum pulled out his gum boots (she keeps them at her place because they have the best puddles and I’m too forgetful to pack them) and we taught him how to splash. Yes, taught him. There is nothing more special than teaching a little person how to do something absolutely silly that they’ve never done before. The kind of thing we take for granted – everyone knows how to splash right? That’s against ‘adult’ rules, right? Well, then that’s what we’re doing 🙂
The grin on his face, his little feet, in little boots moving at a rate of knots. The joyous laugh as he watched the water go everywhere – the messier the puddle, the better. I don’t know who had more fun. My mum or the Little Mister. I think it’s a good day when the highlight of it is something so simple, yet so new to a little dude.
The Little Mister became fascinated with being out in the rain. As the raindrops pattered on the hood of his rain coat, he stopped and listened with an absolutely priceless expression on his face (think beautiful, curious smile). Wow. Who knew the rain sounded like that?
That’s enough to make me stop whinging about all these annoying, rainy days…for a while.
The Little Mister loves creating his own style. I’ll find him with a fedora hat on backwards, pulled right down over his head as far as it will go (losing its fedora shape and becoming more of a flat dome), a pair of leggings stolen off the clothes horse for a scarf and sometimes he will nag me to put a zip up jumper on (just so he can unzip it of course). He will always want me to help him put on his little blue backpack, just so he can go for a ‘drive’ in his bubble car. He always looks so casual and yet proud of himself when he walks up out of nowhere wearing his latest style creation. Seeing a little person just toddling about like nothing’s different, while wearing patty pans on his head or pants around his neck is actually so hilarious and adorable that it melts me. I become a smiling, gushing mess. It’s that innocence, man. There’s no self consciousness. There’s no pretence of who he is. He hasn’t been exposed to what can be a harsh world. He’s just doing his thing. While looking fabulous. He’s not afraid to put on my shoes or wear my mum’s hats either 🙂
The way he hugs a teddy bear
It starts when he sees his teddy bear sitting on a shelf (haha who am I kidding – it’s on the floor). His eyes light up, he says with a burst of excitement (like he’s been reunited with a long lost friend), “TEDDY!” and he grabs him and pulls him close. His little hands go around him and he starts to gently pat his teddy bear reassuringly – as I’m sure I’ve absent-mindedly done with him many a time since he was born. The smile on his face becomes warm and so loving. Just when everyone’s going, “Awww – that’s so sweet…” he’ll be done and teddy will be dumped unceremoniously on the floor until he’s rediscovered later. His teddy has gone for a spin in a makeshift stroller (his old walker), sat in his booster seat and been fed imaginary food with a spoon, and taken for a spin in the bubble car. He’s also been put down for a nap, with a toddler hoodie for a blanket and a security blankie to keep him company. The obligatory goodnight pat on the tummy as he walks away to let him settle. I just cannot stay in a bad mood when I see him showing such care and nurturing. Don’t cry, Kez. Don’t cry!
When he copies me but has no idea why
This could backfire so badly (I feel the time is coming – soon), but I am constantly amazed by how the Little Mister picks up so much of what the adults in his life do. Those little things we think nothing of, but are so interesting and important to the Little Mister. He is watching and learning. Today I was on the phone with my mum when an awful tickle got into my throat. You know the kind – ugh! I started having a big coughing fit (while my mum listened on bemused), scrambled around the kitchen and tried to find the closest cup/glass. As I was recovering, I heard a little sound from across the room. The Little Mister was sucking on his water and then pausing dramatically to cough really loudly. My mum could hear him and was laughing (before telling me I’d better watch my language from now on – he’s clearly in parrot mode)! The funniest thing was that he wasn’t even doing it for my benefit or attention. He was just trying it out. I find it oddly flattering.
Singing when he’s in a good mood
The Little Mister loves to sing. None of the songs are on the charts right now, or playing on a children’s television channel. They’re one of a kind originals. This kid is going places with hits like the “bee-bee-bee” song, the “na-na-naaaa” song and the “gaga gaga” song. Sure, they all have the same melody, but are all very charming and catchy. If I play him back a video of himself singing one of his songs, he’ll memorise his own video and recreate the dance moves (yes – there are dance moves), dramatic pauses – I assume so the audience can cheer – and nuances that were filmed. He’s totally his biggest fan haha. I’m fine with that as long as he grows out of it! I can be driving into town and often will hear a new song being worked on from the back seat. I know some people would find that annoying, and perhaps some might say he’d better have a good day job, but it warms my heart. I hope it never makes me grumpy. The day it does, I’m going to need help!
Sometimes it can be annoying (and even infuriating for some) when your child only selectively hears an instruction you’ve given. It can seem stupid when they have a tantrum over the silliest thing. It can feel frustrating when your toddler makes noise all day, every day (unless they’re up to something naughty/dangerous). You can crave peace, quiet and sleep.
But I’m on a mission. To cherish every moment. To find humour in what can seem quite unfunny at first. Come on, toddlers can be hilarious when they’re grumpy (sometimes). That messy thing they just did? If it wasn’t you cleaning it up, would you laugh?
For me, it’s the way the Little Mister wants to read three books at once when I ask him which one he wants first. The way he won’t put any down but then has no hands left to turn the pages of any. It’s the way he follows me into the toilet and starts shredding the toilet paper, thinking he’s helping. It’s the way he stands poised at the bath, all nudie like, with his arms out like he’s going to dive in – the right position for his dad to lift him in. The way he laughs like a dirty old man, all gruff, loud and exaggerated when he’s trying to laugh along with a funny adult conversation he doesn’t understand. It’s the way he spills his milk and says, “uh-oh” repeatedly, without actually trying to do anything about it. It’s the times he finds joy in standing on the back seat of the car, staring into the cargo area with wonder and joy, instead of climbing into his seat. Every time. It’s the way he looks for loopholes in my rules and instructions. Not allowed to pull his little fold up couch right up to the television and sit in it getting square eyes? Pull the little couch up and sit behind it, head resting on the back. Technically he’s a couple inches more away from the screen. When I say “no” and he puts his head dramatically down on the nearest surface and gives puppy dog eyes, silently watching for my reaction. It’s adorable. And funny that he hopes it will change my mind.
All of these things can seem frustrating at times. When we’re in a rush, when I’m tired, when I haven’t had a break for a while. But there’s always something to stop and notice. This time won’t last forever and my fellow mums tell me all of this crazy parenthood stuff has only just started (I believe them). I think there’s always something to laugh about. A new funny memory to store away for when they’re older. Sure, we don’t need to let them know that we think their latest rule breaking foray is hilarious to us, but as long as we think it is – that’s what matters.
Parenting with a sense of humour makes it all so much more fun, don’t you think? I challenge you (and myself). Let’s find something funny in each day. When something (or someone little) challenges us, let’s look for the humour even harder. It’s character building, right? 😉
It’s all good blog material, anyhow, right?
I asked this on Facebook already, but what’s the most unintentionally cutest/most hilarious thing your child has done lately? I love these kinds of stories x