Toddlers aren’t terrible at all

Published 9:29 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dear Readers,

I hope you will indulge me with a strictly personal column this week. When my daughter was born two years ago, I vowed to write her a letter each year on her birthday, with the hopes she can one day look back on these and smile. Thanks for understanding.

Dear Sutton,

Two years old. It’s hard to believe that you’re now an official toddler, though anyone who has seen you flop on the floor of a restaurant while screaming would not have trouble accepting you’re now in your “terrible twos.”

You’ve had quite a year. In the past 12 months, you’ve blossomed from a baby to a little girl. Suddenly, you’re able to get where you want to go, say what you want to say and, sometimes to the dismay of your dad and I, do what you want to do.

Last year at this time, we were thrilled you could say “mommy,” “daddy” and “dog.” These words have become commonplace now, and other words — such as “no!,” “mine!” and “Sutton do it!” have joined their ranks.

If independence is a positive attribute, then you’re doing fine. Dad and I still walk away in amazement each Sunday when we drop you off at the church nursery and you wave at us without a backwards glance.

There are times, though, when you’re not so independent and still need us around. There are those times in the morning when you’re ready to get out of your bed and you shout “Mom!” at the top of your lungs until I come rescue you. Or, when you’re sleepy, and you crawl onto the sofa and pat the spot next to you and tell your dad and I you want us to sit “right here.”

We’ve enjoyed getting to know more about you this year. We’ve learned all sorts of new things, like you love “momatoes,” and noodles but aren’t so fond of peaches. We’ve discovered you’ve taken to numbers easily, able to count to 20 on your own, though colors are a more of a challenge. You call everything “blue.” We’ve learned you love to swim, ride merry-go-rounds and blow soap bubbles. You don’t like wearing hats, shoes or, frankly, clothes. We hope you grow out of the last one, at least by the time you’re 16 or so.

There are plenty of exciting times ahead, plenty more things to learn and plenty more things to discover. Your dad and I are looking forward to getting to know you even better, and you us.

It turns out toddlers aren’t terrible at all. In fact, they are pretty great.

Love, Mom