National Toddler Month
Though not an official holiday, August is unofficial National Toddler Month. As a mom of a four and a six-year-old, the idea of celebrating the joy of toddlers for a full month is not only a fun idea, but one that makes me tear up just a bit. For all of the talk of "Terrible Two's", the lack of sleep, irrational behavior, and temper tantrums, the toddler phase of parenting can also be one of the most magical times in a mom or dad's life.
Parenting my first child through her toddler years was often an emotional struggle. My daughter was born two months premature and her early years, while joyful, were also filled with concern over missed milestones and trips to various doctors. When she finally began walking at eighteen months, we felt as though we had won some secret parent lottery. The smile on her face as she walked across the room was all the reward we could have ever hoped for as we fought through the trials and tribulations of parenting a preemie.
My son's toddler days were as different from my daughter's as night is from day. At five months he managed to shimmy to the bottom step and quickly climbed the steps, all before he could crawl forward. It wasn't long before he was walking and then running before a year, and I was sure that he would never sit in my lap and enjoy a book the way my daughter had for hours on end. While my husband and I took great joy in watching my daughter walk, our greatest gift was when our son finally chose to slow down!
Every stage of parenting is precious, despite the difficulties that come with each. Regardless of whether or not there is a special month set aside to do so, it is important that we celebrate each one and love our children for who they are in those magical, fleeting moments.