by Beverly Smith, Kindermusik mom
It’s funny how entertaining the toddler years can be. Some days as mom you are worn thin from the blooming personality of the toddler that once filled your time with cuddles and cooing. Now the cuddles have turned into other forms of love, such as the sweet gesture of giving you their favorite stuffed animal to sleep with or when they give you one of those wet toddler kisses. I spend my days chasing, playing, cleaning messes, entertaining, and sometimes calming her frustrations. Those days can be long and tiring, but they are so, so worth it. Why? Because I know that, to her, these moments matter and will eventually be what she defines as her childhood. She’ll remember how we played, how her mom could make funny faces and characters, how I taught her to be organized and clean, and I had the patience and tenderness to help her calm down from frustration.
Sometimes when I think of how busy our days get I want to slow them down or take something away. Usually, I cut out some of the unnecessary errands or decide to leave some cleaning for later. When I think of our play dates, library outings, museum visits, and especially our time spent at Kindermusik, those activities never get axed. To me they are our most important activities. My daughter won’t remember going to the store to buy carrots or how I had to mop the floors so they’ll shine. She will remember the moments and activities that made her feel and experience quality “together” time with me. She will remember how she felt when I swang her for the fourth time in class while we did the hello song because all the kids chose that as their way to say hello. She will remember “driving” around the room to a song as we used paper plate steering wheels in class. She will remember how the cold, gooey paint felt on her hands as she smeared it on the glass wall at the museum and how mom could paint the best stick figure families.
Life with toddlers is hard. Some days you just want to sleep or get away from the craziness, until that little hand reaches for yours and says, “Mom will you play with me?” Then you realize, these days are how we make timeless memories. These days are what your little one will one day call her childhood, and those rituals will be passed on to her children. So, take some of the everyday tasks off your list, lighten your load, and go sing and play!