• Aisha Iqbal

20 Reasons Toddlers are the Best!

Two-year olds get a bad rep sometimes and yes, we all know the meltdowns over the wrong-coloured shoe or not being allowed to eat candle wicks aren't fun, and that they STILL aren't sleeping all that great at night ... HOWEVER - they also happen to be ridiculous and hilarious and amazing. Here are 20 reasons why:

1. They are incredibly curious and observe everything - making you notice things you've been taking for granted for years. "What's that sound? Plane! A bike! Another bike. What's that!? The flowers are beeee-yooo-tiful!"

2. They state the obvious in the cutest possible way: "Mama is sitting on sofa. Baba is sitting on sofa. Zain is sitting on mat."

3. They can actually understand a LOT of what you're saying, which means you can bribe - I mean reward! - them into doing many things ("if you brush your teeth, I'll give you a biscuit!")

4. The look on their face when they wake up and the silly sleepy grin they give you when you look at them. They are READY for another day in two seconds!

5. You can say weird things like BOIINKkkkkk and make them laugh.

6. Even without watching Tom and Jerry, they find it hilarious when you pretend to bump into the wall or mock fall down or do anything that looks like it might hurt.

7. They love being tickled and their laughter is the most beautiful sound in your world

8. Their love for chocolate and biscuits - "awhhh! I love you chock-it!!" Z said hugging a box of mini chocolates to his chubby face.

9. Their expression when they spot a biscuit unexpectedly.

10. The way they sleep (when it happens - it does happen!) with their tiny mouths open, squirrel teeth showing, cheeks smushed against the pillow, lashes long, breath even.

11. Their cheeks - just round enough to remind you they're still quite small.

12. The questions they ask are still (generally) easy enough to answer ('what's this?' while holding out a toy steam roller vs. why does God let people die?).

13. How they let you cuddle them - via books and cartoons but that snuggly warmth of a toddler in your lap, back against your heart, settling all your aches and slowly filling you up with content like an empty car getting gas at the station.

14. How much they love puddles and balloons and bubbles.

15.. How they give you an excuse to enjoy balloons and bubbles (puddles not so much).

16. How cheeky and clever they can be, not old enough to be called manipulative and young enough to get away with the cheek - "ohhhh thankkk youuuuu!!!" Zain says with eyes scrunched in loving gratitude and head tilted to one side in the I'm the world's sweetest boy look while he steals a quiet boy's train and refuses to share his own little dinkies.

17. How deadpan and solemn they can be when mama is being just a tad extra - "nai" he will shake his head, shutting me up just before I really start belting out a hip hop rendition of 'You are my sunshine'.

18. They're slowly starting to build empathy and can show they care about you. 'You okay?' Zain turned over his shoulder and asked after I emitted pained shrieks as he jumped up and down on my ribs. "Yes, can you give mama a kiss?" "Ummmaaah!" He kisses me and then starts jumping again.

19. They actually play with toys now and can be fairly independent for 15+ minutes. Unlike those months when they *really* start crawling and then walking - now you can actually go into the kitchen and do some dishes, or go pee before your bladder bursts and they'll (mostly, usually) be fine!

20. They are still small and adorable and need you - they make you feel wanted and loved and that is an irreplaceable feeling.

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