Toddlers are interesting people. When they are babies, we watch all their whimsical ways and put thoughts in their heads to match what their gestures seem to be saying. We assign them all sorts of virtues. We just know those chubby little cheeks hide the wisdom of the ages. That little fist waving is a comical retort. Every quizzical look is scientific inquiry.
Once they start to talk and walk, though, the truth becomes unfortunately evident. Cute? Undoubtedly. Loving? Selfish, really. Smart? Maybe a little, but mostly selfish. Amusing? Yes, in a selfish way. My toddler is no different. Smart as a whip and cute as a button, but into her own thing. She's not one to let you wonder what she's thinking - her limited verbal skills are always at the ready to point out exactly what is on her mind. "Bagel!" "Toy! Doll!" "I wannit!" She's not one to say "gimme" when a "pwease" gets her what she wants even faster. She says something that makes everyone laugh; her eyes shine. She waits for a pause in the conversation and says it again. And again. She laughs and claps at her own jokes.
I really think we all have a little toddler remaining in us. As mature and civil as we preen ourselves to be, inside is a little someone who won't be satisfied until she gets that cookie, or that awesome pair of heels, or that really spiffy car. Once in a while, we strut a few steps that say, "notice my fine outfit/hair/nails! Listen to me and affirm my genius! Make me the center of your world, just for a moment!" I think the key is to humor others' toddlerisms now and then while not overextending my own.
Now if I can just keep the two straight!
...and I'd really like a cookie...