Andrea Loewen Nair: Connect-Four Parenting


Parents of Toddlers: Here's What You'll Eventually Miss

It may be hard to imagine missing these years, but you will!


When my boys were one and three, people would often smile at me and say, "Oh, I miss those years." I'd remember looking up through exhausted eyes and cursing them under my breath, as they lazily sat on the their chair sipping wine while their older children ran around unsupervised.

But yesterday, I really understood what they meant (and I'm sorry for cursing!) and wanted to share my revelation.

Parents of one to four year-olds, I know you might feel like you are in a daily marathon of unfun things, so in hopes this helps you feel better today, this is what I miss from toddlers/ preschoolers:

The feeling of having my child fall asleep in my arms.

The way, "I wuv you, mommy" sounds coming out of a little person.

How a toddler hugs like he's hanging on for dear life.

The feeling of being the most important person alive to that little person (now friends are starting to get a piece of that pie).

Afternoon nap-time, when I'd sometimes snuggle in beside my child and feel him breathe on my face.

The random, crazy things they would say, like "Mommy, your face looks upside down."

Great, now I made myself cry... see... you will likely look back on the early years and remember these things, not all the struggles you faced. And could you please let your little one drape his body on yours for me - that's what I miss the most.

My colleagues here at also had lovely memories and some honesty about the toddler time to share:

I miss the greetings at the end of the day...the way they'd throw their entire bodies into their running hugs when they sprinted to me as if they weren't entirely sure they'd ever see me again. Today's greetings run more towards grunts and the, "what's for dinner" variety. – Jennifer Sherwood Hicks

I miss how the whole world was new and exciting in their eyes, how we could go for a walk through the neighbourhood and there would be so many neat things to look at - an old car, a new car, someone's dog, a rock, a bird, a tree... – Nicole MacPherson

Being able to see the world through their eyes and how they would marvel at the simplest things I take for granted. It was a lesson in being able to enjoy splashing in the puddles instead of worried about being in the rain. – Sharon DeVellis

I miss early morning snuggles in bed, when their sleep-tousled hair was so cute and they were warm and huggy and kissable. Plus they started each day with such optimism and eagerness. One of the most memorable was my son crawling in beside me the day before his 5th birthday. "Tomorrow, mommy," he said, pointing to his face above his eyes, "I'm going to have a fivehead," right? Sigh for those oh-so-sweet days! – Paula Roy

Pudgy fingers and little thumbs that looked like fat garden grubs. - Jeni Marinucci

Is it wrong if I say, I don't? My son really struggled in the toddler phase due to his autism. So six has been a more magical and manageable age. – Julie Green

I miss little feet that didn't smell like stinky feet. – Alexandria Thom Durrell

I'm still in the midst of it all. I will let you know when I miss it! – Alanna McGinn

I miss the little kid words. Moon was "ayoomee", water was "ladala", bath was "hap.” – Andrea Mulder-Slater

I miss cuddling up and reading books at night. That was one of my favourite activities to do with my kids - acting out the stories, making games out the rhythm of the words, and discovering new books that connected with each of my kids differently. Today my kids are avid readers, but now it's a solo activity that doesn't include me. I really miss that. It's also a metaphor for all the activities my kids needed to do with me that now we do on their own. Watching your kids grow and and become independent is bittersweet. – YMC Founder, Erica Ehm

Is there anything you’d like to add? Please do pop over to my Facebook page and let us know what you miss about the early years.

Sending you best wishes and energy!

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