It’s OK to Cry and Other Life Lessons from My Toddler

My baby girl is turning two. Yep, the big 0-2. It’s insane how fast the time is going by and looking at all her pictures bring back so many memories. As I reflect on the past two years, I realize how much I’ve learned from her. How she taught me how amazing life can be when you see it though the eyes of a child. Plus, how a few tears can get you some sweet treats on demand.

It's OK to Cry and Other Life Lessons from My Toddler

1. There’s never a place too public to stop, drop and dance.

Yep, we’ve got a booty shaker in our hands and without hesitation she will get her groove on while yelling “Mami, dance! Mami, dance!”. Just this past month we shook our hips outside a Margaritaville in an airport because the music was just too irresistible.

2. Eat more fruits and veggies.

Whenever it’s Olivia’s snack time, I offer fruit first and healthy produce always has a space on her plate in every meal. Why should my diet be any different? I’m conscious about her food choices and in turn have looked into mine.

It's OK to Cry and Other Life Lessons from My Toddler

3. Life is better when your belly is full.

Let’s face it, being hangry is a thing and it can lead to some of the hardest tests in patience. Eat well, snack often and all will be good.

4. Trust your instincts.

One thing is for sure, toddlers are very in tune with their wants and needs. They’ll let you know exactly how they feel. I’ve learned to listen to my body; rest when I need to, move when I need to, and not force myself past my limits.

5. Donuts are best eaten deconstructed.

Sprinkles first, then the icing and then the donut. Might as well have some fun while eating your calories! Same goes for cookies, cakes and cupcakes.

It's OK to Cry and Other Life Lessons from My Toddler

6. Hugs make everything better and we should hug people more often.

The very first thing Olivia does when she’s upset or gets hurt is seek comfort. There’s nothing more soothing than a protective embrace to lift up the spirits.

7. The world will keep on spinning even if we take out time, rest, and recover from an illness.

My toddler doesn’t get sick often, but when she’s not feeling well she doesn’t hesitate to lay down, sleep more, and get as many cuddles as possible. Her toys will wait for her, she’ll compensate by eating more later, she waits until she’s feeling better to tackle on the day once more. We might have responsibilities as parents, but we should also take the time to rest and recover to heal properly.

8. Water is truly magical.

Have you ever seen a toddler play with water? It’s one of the most entertaining experiences. They are amazed at everything water can do and how good it feels to be in it. Losing all inhibitions when it comes to water play has been a top priority of mine whenever I’m around this little girl.  

It's OK to Cry and Other Life Lessons from My Toddler

9. Singing is the best.

We sing in the car, while waiting for food to cook, during playtime, during bath time, to bond. It’s great!

10. The world is full of wonderful and exciting things.

Just the other morning at daycare drop-off, she yelped with excitement and said “hi, píos!” waving at a group of birds perched atop a tree. Píos being the spanish form of ‘chirp’ or ‘tweet’ and what she calls birds. Noticing the small details, how beautiful life is, how inspiring nature is, that’s what makes me smile every day.

It's OK to Cry and Other Life Lessons from My Toddler

11. Try to learn something new everyday.

We’re not on the “Why?” stage yet, but we’re definitely in the middle of the “What’s this?” stage. She wants to know what every single thing around her is. Why wouldn’t she? Now, I don’t hesitate to ask or google if I’m unsure of something or need to understand the world around me.

12. Crying is ok.

When my baby is frustrated because she can’t quite communicate clearly, she cries. My frustration might come from a failed recipe or running out of time, but a good cry hits the reset button, clears the mind and gives you the ability to restart.

It's OK to Cry and Other Life Lessons from My Toddler

Life is an adventure with kids and I love every single minute of it. I’m sure she’s not done teaching me the purity of love, the innocence of childhood and the joy in the everyday.

What life lessons have your kids taught you?

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Paola, originally from Puerto Rico, came to Iowa to study at Iowa state University where Ryan, an Iowa native, won her heart and they’ve been married for five years. They now call Cedar Rapids home and work as landscape designers in North Liberty. They love watching their toddler, Olivia, grow and are excited to see her as a big sister in the Fall of 2019. Paola's hobbies include crafting, running, yoga, baking and anything handmade. She recently opened Pikosa Creations to share her creativity with the world. Her passions include family, kindness, desserts and vacations to the beach.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Olivia has indirectly taught me selflessness and mindfulness. She is more entertaining that anything on tv or phone and deserves our full attention!

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