No parent of a toddler will tell you it's easy street all the time—at least no parent who's being fully honest. But for all the stressful moments (hello, meltdowns) that I won't miss about parenting my 2-year-old twins, this fleeting and precious phase is also filled with so many special moments I wish I could bottle up and save forever. Here are some of my favorite things about my kiddos at this age:
1. Their affection
My twins say "I love you" unprompted now—I die. They are also all about kissing and hugging: Smooches and warm embraces for mommy, daddy, and grandparents are free-flowing. As well, they've just learned to hold hands with each other, and they can't get enough. Yesterday I heard strangers walking behind my kids chatting about how they were about to pass out from the cuteness of the little "friends" holding hands. (I'm not unbiased, but I feel the same way.) When the kids are too distracted—or too cool—to show their parents (or each other) so much love, I know I'll miss these days.
2. Their manners
My children are all about saying "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome!" When people hear a pair of toddlers with good manners—well, it's a mom mic-drop moment for me. I love this phase of the kids' life when being so polite feels like a new toy to them. I hope they never lose the politeness that so tickles them now!
3. Their desire to please
To that end, my kids are at a phase during which it makes them feel so proud when they can make their mommy and daddy happy. They gladly fetch things we need from across the house, clean the floor after they spill, and help pack the diaper bag. Each time I put a ponytail or sparkly clip in my daughter's curly hair, she can't wait to run across the house to show daddy. "Lookit, daddy! Lookit, daddy!" So proud, so sweet.
4. Their mispronounced words
On my babes' second birthday, they each had a few dozen words. Three months later, their vocabulary has exploded! Now, I can actually have two-way, rewarding conversations with them and it's a great joy. (They have just enough words to chat for fun and utility, but not so many that they can sass with abandon.) While our communication is more clear now than ever, they still mispronounce some words in the sweetest way—and that might be my favorite part. I'll miss it when they figure out the "right" way to say the words for "oyo" (orange) or "boo-bee gaffle" (blueberry waffle).
5. Their giggles
When I grab a belly or nibble on an ear in a certain way, I can set my kids off on fits of giggles that go on and on. Is there anything better—truly, is there any sound more mellifluous on earth—than the sound of a toddler cackling with laughter? This is me, mentally bottling it and keeping it safe and close forever.