Rowdy. 

Stubborn.

Moody.

Unpredictable.

Independent.

Messy.

These are the words we use to describe toddlers. Heck, these are words I’ve used to describe my own on more than one occasion.

And it’s true—toddlers are the wildest kind of rollercoaster.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend to love the tornado of stuff they scatter through the house or the surprises they leave in the bathroom. 

There are times I feel my patience wear thin as I wait for my impossibly independent son to put his shoes on his own feet (backward), all the while knowing we’re already so late to wherever we’re going. 

I get burnt out from the sheer volume that comes out of their little mouths—the ones that haven’t quite mastered the inside-voice. And those shrieky play-screams? Don’t even get me started on the level of grimace those cause me.

Some evenings the bedtime routine absolutely breaks me as I plea with a stubborn toddler to get in bed, lie down, and stay.

RELATED: The Toddler Years Will Break You

And I will never, ever, understand why milk in a red cup is perfectly acceptable, but milk in a blue cup is grounds for a knockdown, drag-out tantrum.

Raising toddlers is hard, no doubt about it. There’s a reason the terms “terrible twos” and “threenagers” exist, after all.

But can I just say this?

For every difficult characteristic of a toddler, there are at least 10 magnificent ones.

Toddlers are sweet.

Adorable.

Forgiving.

Curious.

Helpful.

HILARIOUS.

Lovable.

They’ll bring you to your knees in a fit of belly laughter one moment, then melt your heart the next with an unprompted, “I wuv you.”

You can be grumpy from sunup to sundown, but when you tuck them in at night they’ll still wrap their sweet little arms around your neck and tell you you’re the best mommy in the world. 

RELATED: The Secret No One Told Me About the Toddler Years is How Much I Could Absolutely Love Them

And cute—oh my gosh, are they ever cute. Those crooked grins, bright, sparkling eyes, and tiny voices that adorably mispronounce half the words they say. Be still, my heart. 

Toddlers remind us all that really matters is spending time with the ones we love.

They have the uncanny ability to distract us from the demands of this world with a tea party or round of hide-and-seek—you know, the kind where they think they’re hidden perfectly behind the curtain, but you can see their cute little toes sticking out from a mile away.

The curiosity of toddlers is unparalleled. They’re full of questions and so obviously interested in everything that it reminds us to slow down and take it all in a little bit more, too.

They forgive our mess-ups.

They wipe our tears.

They make us smile.

They amaze us with their innocent but deep insights.

They tell the truth no matter what.

They remind us of everything good.

They fill our hearts.

RELATED: So God Made a Toddler

Toddlers can be challenging—you won’t get any argument from me there. But they are so much more than that and deserve to be celebrated for all they are.

I’m convinced they are some of the sweetest humans on Earth . . . and just like babies, toddlers don’t keep.

P.S. How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen has been a go-to for us while parenting toddlers. Don’t have time to sit and read? You can listen here, on Audible.

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the journey of a young wife and mom; the good, the bad, and always the real. When she's not writing, Casey is likely to be yelling COME DOWN FROM THERE! or DON'T LICK YOUR BROTHER!, and procrastinating on the housework.  To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward