There is something about 2-year-olds that is so raw and honest. They are still uncorrupted by the world, in that they don’t really think about what others are thinking about them, or whether or not their opinion will rock the boat. Or even whether or not they should have an opinion. They just have one.
They live in the moment. They feel all the feelings – the highest highs and the lowest lows. And then they move on.
We could learn a lot from 2-year-olds.
Here are some things I learned during my ten days with Little Man.
1. Know who you are.
Several times on our outings, friends, store clerks, and perfect strangers would comment to him, “You are so cute!” or “Aren’t you a sweetheart.” Each and every time he would look at them seriously and reply, “No. I Deklan.”
At one point during his visit, he and The Cowboy were practicing counting. First Gramps would say a number, then Little Man would say the next number:
… and so on.
Then Gramps decided to switch it up.
G: Okay. Now you are One.
LM: No, I Deklan.
G: No, I’m Two so you are One.
D: NO! I DEKLAN!!
We all need the confidence of a 2-year-old to know who we are, despite the pressures of the world to influence us otherwise.
2. Remember that your Father delights in you.
One day, after we had FaceTimed with Mommy and Daddy, Little Man had a hard time going to bed.
“I go MY house,” he kept saying. We had some extra cuddles that night. We talked about all the people who love him. We talked about how, in a few days, Mommy and Daddy would come pick him up and take him home in Daddy’s truck.
As I laid him down and covered him up, he looked at me with those innocent eyes and said, “I make Daddy so happy.”
I know for a fact that his Daddy tells him this all the time. How wonderful that, in his hour of difficulty, Little Man could remember that his Daddy delighted in him.
Our heavenly Father tells us all the time, “You are precious in My sight.” (Isa. 43:4). It would serve us well to remember this when we go through difficult times.
3. Recognize the feelings and state them for what they are.
Wrestling with a wiggly 2-year-old during a diaper change is as hard as the hardest workout I’ve ever managed. It can be frustrating and nerve-wracking for all involved.
On one such occasion Little Man had had enough and suddenly hollered, “Gwumma! I haf no patience!!”
You and me both, buddy boy, but thanks for putting it out there.
Sometimes it helps to stop and identify the feelings in a moment of frustration. As so many psychologists are wont to advise — figuring out the problem is half the battle. So, recognize it. Name it. Then choose how to deal with it.
4. Slow down and appreciate.
2-year-olds are experts in being aware. Even the most everyday, mundane thing gets legitimate recognition. We can be busy doing something important, like playing on the train table, when the garbage truck drives into the neighbourhood. Then everything stops as we run to the front window to take it all in and give an enthusiastic WHOAH!
So many little wonderful moments pass us by in our busy, important worlds. We need to be present in the moment, and fully aware, so that we are able to thoroughly appreciate life’s tiniest of gifts.
I am definitely appreciating the gift of a certain 2-year-old.