This past month, something happened — my sweet, cuddly baby boy turned into a wild ball of toddler energy.

I knew it was only a matter of time, but I wasn’t quite prepared for him to be this precocious at 15 months old. A couple days ago, I watched in disbelief as he tried to take down our three-year-old for stealing his toy. He didn’t accomplish much more than annoying his brother, but the action surprised me nonetheless.

Besides becoming so fearless, he’s also become very adamant about what he wants. When he’s ready to nurse, he comes up to me and attempts to lift up my shirt himself. Keeping him from playing in the bathroom sink has become a daily struggle now that he can reach the lock on the door and climb on his brother’s step stool.

And the tantrums…oh, the tantrums. Let’s just say, if you dare take away the contraband he somehow found, be prepared.

As challenging as he can be, this time in his life is so special. He’s learning and developing so quickly and it’s absolutely amazing to watch. Apart from his attempt to tackle his older brother, they are starting to play together more often and really become buddies. And he is such an entertainer sometimes; making us laugh brings him so much happiness.

I may not have been quite ready for my baby to turn into such a toddler, but I’ve come to learn that’s the way parenting is — a “ready or not” sort of thing. That’s why it’s so important to cherish each moment (okay, maybe not EVERY moment…let’s be real!) and take the time to look for the joy amongst the challenges.

Because ready or not, our children are growing up. Ready or not, they’re learning new things and becoming more independent. Ready or not, they’re toddlers…adolescents…adults. It’s terrifying and wonderful all at once.

Are you ready?

Heather Shotkoski My name is Heather, and I am lucky to be surrounded by handsome men! I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over ten years, and together we have three lovably wild little boys. I grew up in a tiny town near the middle of Nebraska, and after living in the "big city" of Kearney for six years, my husband and I found our way back to the small town life. I am a stay-at-home mom, and each day is definitely a new adventure with three rapidly growing boys. I absolutely love it!