5 Things I Learned from my Toddler

5 Things I Learned from my Toddler

Before having a baby, I fully expected to be my child’s teacher. Little did I know that a toddler could and would teach me a thing or two.

1. Babies inherently know how to eat and sleep. I realized this just after my child was born. The first thing they can do after being born (besides crying, I suppose) is to eat, then sleep. But what I don’t think I knew until having my own kid was that they don’t have the skill that is seemingly inherent to toddlers – playing. Before having children, I knew I would be my child’s primary teacher, but I never thought I’d have to teach her to do something as simple as play.

2. And speaking of playing, no amount of play phones are going to make up for the real thing. Sure, she now has Mommy’s old phone, Daddy’s old phone (neither of which has a memory card or battery left), and a play phone that sings talks, and makes animal sounds, but she still wants my Blackberry. Because fake conversations on a phone that don’t turn on, no matter how shiny it is, are not as fun as a touch screen and text messaging abilities.

3. Hair elastics are over-rated… at least in my child’s point of view. I’d like to see some facial features behind all that hair, but apparently my daughter doesn’t care. This explains why so many young children have nicely short-cropped bangs.

4. I now fully understand the meaning of the term “underfoot.” Sure, it sounds simple enough. Two words: “under” and “foot.” How could we not know what this truly means when these two words are so easy? Without having kids around, we understand the concept of “underfoot” as “in the way.”

But I’ve discovered that underfoot means that my child will be in the way to the point where: she will dash into the fridge the second before I go to close the door; she might just be immediately behind me when I step back to open the oven or the dishwasher; when I do laundry, there’s no doubt that she’s in the laundry basket; and if I need something from a cupboard, she’s all too happy to open the cupboard door for me so she can snatch something out of it. It’s when you trip over your own child (by accident of course), that you come to understand that “underfoot” may literally mean “under your foot.”

5. Sometimes the greatest gifts do come in the smallest packages. In spite of the trials, there are along the way, nothing compares with the unconditional love that comes so easily from your child and kindles that same love in your own heart.

Ricarda Rutter

*Ricarda Rutter is a Ten News reporter. She’s an award-winning and Walkley nominated journalist. She has worked at the SBS, ABC, and Triple R.Rutter is a mother and a wife.