parent opinion

Parenting a 2-year-old can be… challenging, but it can also be the best age for precisely 10 reasons.

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We all know that parenting a 2-year-old can be hard work.

The word challenging (or ffs) comes to mind when we are around those strong-willed, strong-headed (literally), biting, chaotic cutie pies. 

They throw themselves on the floor in the most theatrical ways, run headfirst into... everything, and have no sense of safety or spacial awareness. 

But they're actually the best. 

They are seriously stubborn, but that is just some of the reasons we love them so much. 

So, why is this age is one of the most rewarding and joyous times in our parenting season? Let me tell you exactly 10 reasons why. 

1. They are ridiculously cute. Obv.

Okay, I know this is so obvious, but it would be remiss not to mention their cuteness. 

Their beautiful bright big eyes, little cheeks, tiny noses and cute pouts cover their barely-there toothy grins. 

They have all the baby cuteness with some grown-up features starting to sprout out. It is hard not to look at them and suddenly forget the texta they used on the walls, am I right? 

Image: Supplied.

2. Their unique little language.

Watching your baby grow up before your eyes into a magical 2-year-old is many emotions that nothing can prepare you for. 

Sure, it's bittersweet, but it's also a major sense of pride because you are watching them grow into these little people with so much personality. 

Not only are they learning how to speak, saying at least (give or take) 50 words, but they're doing it in their own little adorable way that is just too unbearably cute. 

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Having a conversation with my two-year-old at the farm and listening to him calling something "tute" (cute) literally made me squeal louder than the pigs in the paddock. 

He also called guinea pigs "pinny gigs"  – which they will now forever be known as. At 2, you can basically have a conversation with them, ask them to help you get things, and they can point or verbalise what they want. 

Image: Supplied.

3. They love unconditionally.

Nothing is better than waking up with bags under your eyes, hair that looks like a tidal wave and skin so dull it could be junk mail. 

But that 2-year-old will look you in the eye, hold your face and tell you, "You're so BEWDIFUL MAMA" – and gosh, isn't it magic? To be so loving unconditionally like a 2-year-old does? 

You could have the most awful day, and you break down and cry, and they will hug you and comfort you with all their love. They love fiercely and loyally, and they have never-ending affection to give.

Image: Supplied.

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4. They make you feel like a kid again.

I don't know about you, but if I wanted to go on the sea-saw by myself as an adult at a kid's park, I'd look like a giant weirdo. 

But have a 2-year-old with me? Have a 2-year-old who INSISTS I go on too? Suddenly I look like a doting parent. 

You can be a kid with your kid. Jumping in ball pits with them, throwing balls up in the air, riding down the slide with them on your lap, on the swings, laughing and giggling while screaming at the top of your lungs – you can do all of that again! And what a great feeling it is. 

Have you ever laughed at something totally nonsensical as the word 'poop', for hours and hours? 

Hearing their laugh at something so basic sets off your laugh, which makes them laugh harder, which makes you laugh harder, and what's better than laughing until you cry because you're overcome with love and happiness? 

Absolutely nothing, and definitely not a solo sea-saw experience.   

5. They still take naps. 

Does this need more of an explanation? 

The most incredible memories are exploring with an inquisitive toddler all morning, coming home, feeling exhausted, and then snuggling with said toddler. 

I'm closing my eyes to pretend to nap, too, to encourage my little guy to shut his eyes, only to fall asleep and have a perfect nap together.

6. Their enthusiasm for the simple life.

A 2-year-old will see a dandelion, and it'll be like a dozen roses to them. 

They'll step on a crunchy leaf, and Beethoven wouldn't sound as sweet. A yellow truck will drive by, and it is a more wondrous sight than the Taj Mahal. These 2-year old's look at the world with wonder. 

They are excited for the littlest things that we as adults often overlook. You can literally give them a bucket full of rocks, and they will find hours of imaginative play to keep them entertained. 

In fact, have you ever bought a toy and given it to your toddler, only for them to play with the box? See? Enthusiasm for the little things.

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Image: Supplied.

7. They are determined.

When they want something, then nothing and no one can stop them from getting it. They will ask you repeatedly until they get what they want, making them master negotiators. 

They also give you valid reasons why they need something, like "because I need it." – who can argue with that? 

8. They're unapologetic about being exactly themselves. 

Toddlers live their lives on natural instinct, which means their actions represent precisely how they are feeling at that moment. 

The same goes with how they think. If they don't like something, they will be honest about it. Wouldn't it be amazing to act like a toddler and just do and say exactly what you feel?  

9. They are still your baby, no matter how much they have changed in the last two years. 

You are their world, and they still need you. They need you when they fall down and scrape their knee and need someone to kiss their boo-boos. 

When they are exhausted and come snuggling up to you, falling asleep on your shoulder without a care because they have you.        

10: Why is 2 the best age? Ask yourself that question 100 times over, and there's your answer in toddler language. 

They question everything! 

They are strong-willed, determined, enthusiastic, and super fast. And even though you think you have to hold on to every moment because they are growing so quickly, you know that you still have the best of both worlds right now, a baby and a tiny little human with a strong personality that you helped nurture. 

You did that. And you should absolutely pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Feature Image: Mamamia/Supplied.

HAPPi
HAPPi offers Australia's first Day & Night Toddler Milk Drink system, designed to reflect a child’s changing nutritional needs as they grow and between day and night. Together, HAPPi Day and Night Growing Up Milk Drinks provide advanced nutrition at the right time to help your child develop to their full potential. Brought to you by HAPPi.