At some point along my motherhood journey I must have signed up for daily newsletters from one of those baby websites. More likely, my mom signed me up. Either way, I get daily emails that I occasionally read because
a) I can use all the help and advice I can get
b) I am too lazy to look for the unsubscribe button.
A few days ago the subject of the emails was “Signs that your toddler loves you”. I’m sure a bunch of baby scientists and child psychologists spent years researching the ways toddlers show they love you and I’m sure these are very valid expressions of toddler love. I’ve just added Dr. Crazy Mama Drama’s take…
He mirrors your face:
Your facial expressions are more contagious to your child than the freshest virus at daycare. This is why he’ll often smile when you smile or look anxious when you’re afraid.
I would be ecstatic if mirroring were the only thing my toddler did to my face. He also: pokes your face, wipes unknown goo on your face, shoves toys in your face, shoves his dirty hands into your face.
She takes her cues from you:
How would your 1-year-old react to an elephant frying an egg in the kitchen? Chances are, she’d look to you. The world can be a confusing and surprising place for your little one, and she uses your reactions to make sense of it.
Perhaps I’m a little weak in the cue giving department or maybe my daughter is a little behind in her cue receiving. Cues she picks up on: I think it’s time to eat/ sleep/play. Cues she does not pick up on: It’s time to clean up your mess/it’s not funny to pull down my shirt in public/food is for eating not for throwing on the floor.
He copies your behavior:
Does your little guy try to open the door with your keys? Does he “fix” his hair in the mirror, just like you? “They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – but for toddlers, it’s also a sincere form of respect and love”.
It sure is cute when my daughter pretends to cook next to me in her play kitchen while I am cooking (microwaving is cooking, right?) dinner. You know what’s not so cute? Screaming the word she heard you shriek when you stubbed your toe. In front of your mother in law. In church.
She engages with you:
The back-and-forth that started during babyhood is much more sophisticated now. Your toddler wants to answer your questions, witness your reaction to what she’s doing, and tell you (in her own way) about her ideas.
Let me tell you, my toddler is a great engager. She engages me and others all. of. the. time. Like this morning when she engaged me by yanking out a clump of my hair(maybe I should stop watching Real Housewives of Atlanta in front of her) when she didn’t want to be taken from daddy. Or last weekend when we were at breakfast and she engaged fellow diners by throwing eggs at the back of their heads. Or even this morning at Target when she engaged the other shoppers with a full blown, Drama Queen Meltdown when I wouldn’t let her stop in the “Dora Rocks” toy section. In case you were wondering, the engaging continued for the next 20 minutes when she cried and yelled “Dooowwwwaaaa” on the whole car ride home.
He turns to you for rescue:
You’re walking through the park when a big dog runs up to your toddler. She raises her arms for you to pick her up and hold her close. She trusts you to help her.
Duh. I’m pretty sure if a dog is running full speed at your toddler and he reaches up to you it means more “I don’t want to be mauled” than an expression of his love.
*I know all of this contest voting stuff has been super annoying, but the good news is that it’s almost over. BUT, from now until Sunday you can vote once a day for Crazy Mama Drama in Parents Magazine Best Blog award in the “Most Likely To Make You Laugh”. Click HERE to vote! Thank you:):)