the tough life of a toddler

My son is definitely more of a 'little boy' these days.
More of a 'proper toddler'
with some of the associated craziness
that being a toddler brings.
He has these things called 'opinions' now,
and he likes to share his opinions. . . a lot.
But he hasn't worked out that everyone else has an opinion too
and that they might differ from his.

He's still a long way from being a terrible two,
even at his worst I still wouldn't and couldn't call him terrible,
but this new phase does make me a little sad.
As a first time mum, I just don't see this coming,
and he has always been such a chilled out little guy.
The moods and the arguments are tough,
and they make me really worry about my abilities as a mama of a teen.

He's genuinely always been the easiest kid on the planet.
He honestly barely cried as a baby.
He has always entertained himself happily.
He is so far away from being needy.
And as a result I figured that I must be doing a brilliant job at being a mummy.

Now, I second guess myself so much more,
because surely it isn't okay that my child is unhappy.
And I'm sure he's spent more time crying since he was two
than he did the entire time between his first and second birthdays.
Random things scare him now,
and because he has the vocabulary to say "Mummy, I'm a bit scared"
it just about breaks my heart.

In reality, to most people he's still an angel child
and he is generally good as gold when we take him out
and in new situations with new people, he's a real charmer.
But he's certainly a little more trying for us
and he's very different from the easy-to-please baby he once was.

It would appear that life as a toddler is really tough.
You spend your whole time trying to be like the grown ups,
trying to be independent,
trying to assert your authority.
But the grown ups just won't let you do it.
They say "No" and "Not now" and "Stop that"
when up to this point they have encouraged every single new thing you've learned.

And as a parent the days are a completely rollercoaster.
Some days have more highs
and some definitely have more lows.
Some days leave me a drained, jibbering mess
where I wonder if I'm getting it all wrong.
But others leave me feeling like a rock star
and proclaiming my son the biggest genius to ever walk the earth.

I guess life with a toddler isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
but learning to dance in the rain.
Because for all the difficulties and downsides,
oh my goodness, the pay offs of raising a toddler are amazing.
There genuinely isn't a day that goes by
where I don't marvel at what an incredible human being we're raising,
and how far he has come from that little newborn we brought home from hospital.

He talks: in full sentences
and you can have real conversations with him now.
He walks: and runs, and climbs,
negotiating the world around him with such confidence,
using and testing his body and finding he can do new things.
He learns: all the time.
Seriously? So much just since Christmas;
potty training, letters, colours, numbers.
Sometimes the rate at which he is learning and growing up
is enough to completely knock me sideways.
And he just wants to see how far this new intelligence can take him.

I guess I just have to remind myself
that his newly found sensitivity is a good thing.
He's always had a big heart
and been a really gentle and careful little boy,
and while that seems to make him rather emotional at times,
it also means he's very caring.
He loves to cuddle,
especially with Mummy
and probably far more than I deserve.
He is such a kind big brother,
and never likes to see his sister sad
or without a toy to play with.

And then sometimes, 
right when I'm about to pull my hair our,
he's my baby again.
He'll climb up for a cuddle with his sister and me
and proclaim "Mummy's two babies".
And I'll squeeze him tight,
sniffing his hair in that mummy way that we all do,
and breathing in his babyhood,
to lock it away somewhere in my memory.
Because those days are fleeting and slipping through my fingers so fast.

But fortunately the little boy he's becoming,
and hopefully the gentleman we'll raise him to be,
make the crazy moments worthwhile.
As do those cuddles and "I love you Mummy" proclamations,
because heaven knows those are more than payment
for the occasional monster who lives in our home.

I've been thinking for a little while now
of starting a really easy and informal linky
for all those "mama love" posts.
I write a lot about my love for my kids,
my worries about getting it right,
my thoughts on raising them right,
and the general joy I get from being their mama.
And I know that I read a lot of blogs that like to do the same.

So today I introduce "a mama's love".
Where you can share what's in your head and your heart
when it comes to being a parent.
A place for you to share all those soppy and emotional posts,
those ones about the good and the bad, 
the ugly and the downright beautiful
that life is when you are a mama.
I hope you'll come along for the ride.

dear beautiful


  1. it is hard when your easy going child suddenly goes through the terrible twos and tiresome threes - all that crying, shouting, screaming and having mini meltdowns and half the time no one really knows why!!
    you do find yourself questioning yourself as a parent but then when you ask around , speak to other parents and read other blog posts you get some comfort in knowing that you are not alone and it is normal behaviour fore their age. and as you say, they still love us the same (once they have calmed down!!)
    beautiful photos of your boy x x

    1. Yes, we definitely are not alone. He's definitely not terrible but any stretch, but he's just so different. He wouldn't be normal if he didn't decide to be a bit more difficult as a toddler though. x

  2. It is so difficult, and more so because you only have your instincts to rely on when trying to understand how to best support and parent. In my head I know it is about testing boundaries but it's keeping your head at times. And then, as you say, everything falls into place.
    Thank you for the linky, have added a post x

    1. I think exactly the same thing; he's just testing his boundaries. And that's natural, but those days when they test them from the moment they get up until the moment they go to bed can be pretty tough. x

  3. When I read your posts Lucy I'm reminded of Alice Harold's recent story on 'perfect world' blogs.

    1. I read, and loved, that post. I agree with everything she said. I'm really sorry if you find mine a "perfect world blog", I kind of think this post demonstrates that I show the rough and the smooth, and that it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. But I do try to look at the positives and remind myself of the good things, both on my blog and in life, so I guess that comes across in how I write. x

  4. I have found this toddler journey up and down. He is pushing every boundary he can think of as everything is "mine" and everything else is "I want". I just try to support the best I can and unfortunately I can't say yes to everything. They grow and learn so fast and it's hard to keep up sometimes! You sound like the most amazing mummy with the most amazing toddler.

    1. Awww, thank-you, I feel far from an amazing mummy some days, but that's lovely to hear. I guess that's the thing, isn't it! They have to learn we can't always say yes. Much as they may dislike it. x

  5. It breaks my heart to see Bob sad too. To them the littlest thing is the biggest deal. I'm sure we'll look back on these toddler tantrums fondly when we are dealing with stroppy teenagers. :0) x

    1. I know, it's so sad. And at the same time you feel like saying "You have no idea how good you're got it, why are you complaining?" x

  6. We are just hitting the terrible 2's now with my 4th child and its no easier the 4th time round either! But we too still get plenty of lovely moments when he is my cuddly little boy again.
    Thanks for the linky have added my post

    1. I have a feeling I'll have it even harder second time around. The little man had a chilled starting point, whereas my little girl is already quite emotional as a bubba. x

  7. Lovely idea for a photo linky and my! How big he's getting! Ozzy is 4 this weekend and I am a bit in shock about it!

  8. beautiful. Ty is so similar. i love love this post. i need to remember how sensitive toddlers can be. i am also excited for this linky!! pretty sure ill always be able to link up!

  9. Firstly, beautiful photos of your boy.
    I think two is a funny age for them. They suddenly realise they're not a baby anymore and I, personally, think they're not sure quite what the next step is. I blame a lot of things on growth spurts and hormone surges, at the moment I'm experiencing this with both boys. Let me tell you, three is a very interesting age when it comes to independence. Charles is also very emotional whereas Harry is quite tough and just gets grumpy.
    I really quite like the emotional, sensitive side to Charles and hope it continues (although also calms fown somewhat)
    I'm glad you mentioned being worried about being a mama to a teen. This has been playing on my mind a bit recently, trying to control two teenage boys who will no doubt be towering over me!

    Great idea for a linky. I will be joining in every week xx


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