How to make a toddler smile. My last post focused mainly on the honest, daily challenges of getting the hang of this toddler thing. Whether you know me through the blog only or we’re close in real life, you know I don’t sugar coat things…especially when it comes to stories from the parenting trenches. I do not believe that it helps anyone to lie and say everything is perfect. It’s simply untrue and puts Pinterest-style pressure on the rest of us who are hanging by a proverbial thread many days.
Yet at the same time, being the mama to a vibrant and healthy toddler boy is awesome. I can’t compare it to having a girl but my little man is the coolest. I cannot get enough of how he’ll hold my finger when we walk places or his snuggles when I request, “put your head down on mama” when I am holding him. My heart bursts!
So beyond the tantrums, how do you make a toddler smile? What’s the secret? Even though this post is all about how I make MY toddler smile, I do hope one or two of our secrets work for you as well…
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
Straw sippy cups with pictures of pirates or space ships
Truck books in the backseat for reading while driving (my mom found some awesome mini ones with wheels in the Target dollar bin!)
Backseat sing alongs
Kitchen and living room dance parties
Hiding in the closet to scare mom and dad
Trying on dad’s work and tennis shoes every night
Feeding the dog
Hugging the dog before leaving for daycare
Holding a battery-less remote control
Playing with the monitor while mommy lays in bed for a few extra minutes
Kitchen drawers, especially if they are filled with tupperware, blenders or turkey basters
Facetime with grandma and grandpa
Sledding and snowballs
Chopsticks at a sushi dinner
“Dip dipping” grilled cheese into tomato soup
Here’s to toddler smiles and belly laughs…and a billion dollars to whoever can figure out a way to bottle up the magical sounds of those unstoppable giggles for the rest of time.