On Monday, J and I tagged along to a Memorial Day Barbecue being thrown by a friend of a friend, and found ourselves adrift in a sea of toddlers. Which was fantastic – I can’t imagine a better way to spend the day.
Toddlers may actually be my favorite age. They’re so curious about everything, and so easily excited and interested and fascinated by things, because everything is so new to them. Plus – bonus – they’re still small enough that you can easily pick them up and set them down someplace else when you need to. I know they also throw some pretty intense tantrums when they’re not happy, but watching them learn how to engage with the world around them more than makes up for those low points, in my opinion. Of course, I don’t have kids of my own yet, so my opinion may change when I’m spending more than a few hours at a time with a toddler. But I don’t think it will.
One of the fun things about the barbecue was that J and I had the chance to see a whole bunch of different parenting styles in action. There was one couple who scolded their child every time she picked anything up that she might even be considering putting in her mouth, and ran to catch her any time she neared a muddy area. On the other end of the spectrum, our hosts let their twin boys explore everything, and they spent most of the barbecue playing in the bucket of water and ice that held the drinks. By the end of the afternoon, they were soaked, muddy, and had put almost every can or bottle into their mouths at one point.
The high point of the afternoon (at least as far as the toddlers were concerned) seemed to be when J was conned into giving out wagon rides in one of these. What he didn’t know when he started was that the kids would never tire of being pulled around in it, no matter how many times they circled the very small front yard. Luckily, when he was ready to be done, an older sister stepped up to be the wagon driver. Sucker.