Lessons in life from a toddler

Tibbons is generally a happy chap. His go-to mood is cheerful, his outlook upbeat.

Tibbons is generally a happy chap. His go-to mood is cheerful, his outlook upbeat.

He has fun every day and the effects are written all over his bright, cheery face. I’m sure it’s not so different for many other toddlers out there. Which got me thinking, what’s their secret?

I think they must have a few. Let’s try these five for size:

Express yourself – how are others to know that you hate what they’re doing (that the straw should be angled to the left and never to the right, for instance), unless you tell them? Words or tears, it’s all gravy;

Focus on getting your needs met – toddlers know what they want and they’re not afraid to go after it, even at 2am. Time to take a leaf out of their books, perhaps at a slightly more respectable hour;

Once it’s clear something’s not going to work out the way you wanted it to, make the best of it. Toddlers are quick to bounce back – sure, they might have wanted their parents to stay home, but where there’s grandparents, there’s cake: it could be worse;

Laugh more, and with abandon – a toddler doesn’t care where they are, who they’re with or what it is that’s funny – if their sense of humour is tickled, out comes that magical sound without a hint of self-consciousness or self-restraint.

And finally:

Call a spade a spade, unless they can’t say spade yet, of course. No subterfuge with toddlers (or at least only when it’s in their interests) – if they think that smiling stranger sitting opposite them on the bus is a bit of an oddball they’ll happily meet their gaze, returning it with a suitably intense level of scrutiny, and without the side-order of a smile.

If only I were more like a toddler!