Today Joey turned two. TWO! I couldn’t believe I had become a Mom when he was born, and now I’m in shock that I am parenting a two-year-old. A toddler. SHRIEK! When I look back on the past two years of his life there’s plenty I have taught him. But being the emotional, sappy Mom that I am, I can’t stop thinking about all the good he has taught me. So here you have it… straight the book of Joey: 7 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Toddlers.
Toddler Life Lesson #1: Be honest. Toddlers aren’t afraid of not fitting in or hurting someone’s feelings with their words. They say the truth. And if that means dinner stinks, we’ll Joey will let me know in one way shape or form. Now I’m not suggesting this is always a good thing, but I admire their little spirits for putting it all out there!
Toddler Life Lesson #2: Love unconditionally. Joey doesn’t care if I wear the same thing two days in a row, if I don’t blow-dry my hair or if I’m not wearing makeup. Instead he lets me know he loves me often— in the form of smiles, laughs, and hugs—despite my sweat pants shaggy hair look. I might forget a deadline, give a dirty look to the driver who cut me off on the road, or swear during a sporting event. But again, does Joey care? Nope! He loves Mom anyways!
Toddler Life Lesson #3: Be positive. I know, I know, you’re thinking “umm what about the classic toddler tantrum? Clearly that’s not positive!” That happens in this house too! But I’m referring to those moments when I’m feeling like I need a break, or just want to throw in the towel. That’s when Joey will run up to me and give me the biggest hug and kiss. It’s like he knows Mom needs a cheerleader too and his instant positivity can lighten the mood right then and there.
Toddler Life Lesson #4: “Things” don’t matter. We may buy Joey the latest and greatest toy car or soccer gear, but guess what he likes playing with the most? A rock. Outside. Oh yes and sticks too. He’d rather go on a walk and pick up rocks, sticks, and leaves than anything else. Perhaps I should take a note from his book when it comes to buying fall boots or a new pair of yoga pants [seriously though I need some new ones].
Toddler Life Lesson #5: Forgive and forget. Time out at 5pm means at 6pm he’s asking me to read stories or play with trains. A fight over a truck in the sandbox at the park with another toddler? Oh that lasts about 20 seconds then the kids are playing again with shovels and sticks vs. the trucks. Toddlers just know how to hash it out and then move on. Honesty? Yes. Forgiveness? You bet.
Toddler Life Lesson #6: Never give up. Joey’s goal in life right now might be watching as much Paw Patrol as possible in one day, but you know what, he never stops trying to reach that goal. He shoots high almost every day and gets about 1-2 episodes. Toddlers can teach us determination and dedication, especially when it comes to reaching a goal!
Toddler Life Lesson #7: Be yourself. I remember when Joey was born our doctor told us there would never be another Theodore Joseph Serbinski. He is his own person, an original; so never try to make him be someone he’s not. I love my cheeky boy and never want him to be anything that he’s not [even though I secretly want him to play basketball at Michigan State University under Tom Izzo]. He’s the most observant, kindest and loving person in my life, the reason I do what I do everyday. And yes, that includes not showering and drinking lots of wine. But really, he’s a blessing and I wouldn’t have him or this journey called motherhood any other way.
So happy birthday my sweet toddler. Here’s to learning a thing or two from one another this next year!