Toddlers are pint-size drama queens. One minute they want to cuddle in your lap, and the next, they're dodging your hugs. Yesterday they loved macaroni and cheese; today they slap it away as if it's a plate of slugs.
Because little kids often don't have the words to articulate what they want or feel, they have to act out in a big way to get any point across. (Imagine the wild gestures you'd make in a foreign land where nobody understood you.) Though their outbursts may seem random, their motivations are fairly constant: independence, stability, playfulness, greed. Here, we've developed a toddler-to-English dictionary to help you figure out what your child is thinking.