The afternoon nap time I had scheduled to sit down and write this, my first post for Life of a Homeschool Mom, I was interrupted only 10 minutes later by my toddler. That’s right, a 10 minute nap. When I went in to find out what was wrong and why her exhausted little body wouldn’t sleep, I found out all she wanted was me. So, instead of writing a post that afternoon, I snuggled my little girl through her nap. After all, our children do come first.
While sitting in this dark room only 2 days after her 2nd birthday, all I could think about were these precious moments that I have had silently holding her and rocking her while she slept. I held her for almost every nap when she was an infant to soak in that new baby, and I held her quite frequently during toddler aged naps when she wanted me to. But then I realized the real reason that I do this and so many other things – she won’t be this small for long and It won’t be this way for much longer.
So parents of toddlers, pay attention, because these are the moments we will cherish forever.
- Hold them while they sleep. This is obviously the catalyst for this particular post, but this is one of the moments I will hold dearest. Hold them during a nap or in your bed to sleep. Hold their hand when they are sleeping, lay down in bed with them and hold them close or let them sleep with you and have their little toe reach out to find you. They will sleep better knowing you are there and these are wonderful memories for you to cherish.
- Give them moments of wonder. I love to watch my daughter’s face when she is amazed with something. Whether it is seeing a play for the first time, meeting princesses in Disney or watching a magic show, the look of wonder on her face makes all of the money, time, and sometimes aggravation, all worth it. Take a photo if you can of these moments. They will be the pictures you look back on to see their innocence.
- Hold their Hand. Sometimes, they don’t want to cuddle now that they are getting older. But they will probably still want to hold your hand. And often. Hold their hand at the dinner table, when out walking or just sitting together watching a movie. When you are holding their hand, take a moment to remember what their tiny hand feels like inside of yours.
- Let them play and learn. Some of my favorite moments from this summer and fall was taking my daughter to the baseball fields near our home and letting her explore. She loved being able to go up the steps of the playground by herself, playing in the dirt, exploring leaves, picking flowers and blowing on the older dandelions. Watching her do all of these things herself and learning about the world around her is so good for her confidence, but also allows you the chance to watch the learning and growing right in front of you.
I am finding this toddler ago to be so much fun and there is so much changing. There are so many other small moments that you will find you want to freeze in time. I encourage you to keep a journal. Find a way to write down all of the moments with your toddler that melt your heart and accomplishments your child, and you as a parent, have achieved along the way. This will be a wonderful reminder for you to look back on when you're having a rough day or when your child has a difficult time. Enjoy these moments with your toddler because we don't have them this little for too long.
What are your favorite moments with your toddler?