The Toddler Sense of Wonder

Last week, Weston and I were sitting in a lobby, waiting to be seen by a doctor. We had to wait about 45 minutes, which is 43 minutes too long in the mind of a two-year-old boy. So I followed him as he explored the waiting area. Weston flipped through every magazine, pointed out each and every fish in the tank, and looked through each window – seemingly mundane aspects of our daily life. He kept me on my toes while he explored the room with a sense of wonder that seems to only exist in toddlers. I didn’t mind – he wasn’t screaming, whining, or having a knock ‘em down tantrum so all was good in my book.

Also in the waiting area was a middle-aged woman wearing (for reasons unknown) a tiara. She smiled at Weston as he squealed at the cats featured in Reader’s Digest. She then turned to me and said, “I love my children but I am so happy they’re grown so I don’t have to chase them around anymore.”

It was an innocent comment and she meant nothing by it, other than making pleasant conversation with a stranger at the doctor’s office. But for whatever reason, her words have stuck with me – obviously, if I am blogging about it. While I understand that not everyone is a fan of toddlers – trust me, there are some days I feel like I am reasoning with a dictator of an oil-rich country instead of a two-year-old – but I don’t understand how one can’t catch the contagious energy that seems to overwhelm toddlers.

As parents, we are tasked with teaching our children the ways of the world. It can be a frighteningly overwhelming job at times. But it is also incredibly rewarding. However, we can’t forget to learn a thing or two from our children – whether it be to smile more, laugh more, explore more, or even cuddle more. So while chasing our toddlers can get tiresome, maybe we should cut loose and join them in their exploration of the seemingly (but actually not so) mundane aspects of life. It’s not like we have anything better to do while sitting in a waiting room.


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