A little happiness goes a long way

Ever wonder what goes through one-year-olds’ minds? Now I know.

Spurred on by her sisters, our one-year-old has started talking up a storm. She has spoken more completely and sooner than her sisters. Sure, her sentences are only one word long, and most of the time she’s mimicking what we are saying, but there are times when she lets a word slip and we can see the wheels turning in her head.

For example, she sometimes, unprompted, tells us when she is happy. There is nothing cuter than a small child saying “happy, happy” when they are having a good time.

As far as I can remember, she has said it three times. Once was when she climbed into bed between mommy and daddy, which is a small child’s favorite place in the world. Another time was while playing with me and her sisters. Both those times make plenty of sense. But the third time was while brushing her teeth.

Brushing her teeth?

For whatever reason, she loves to brush her teeth. There’s running water and there’s oral stimulation, which I guess is all it takes for a one-year-old to have a good time. There’s a lesson in this, and no the lesson is not that we need to start walking around sticking everything in our mouths.

The lesson is, of course, to enjoy the simple things in life, because they are the things that will make us happier. I like brushing my teeth too, but I do it so often that I never enjoy it. I ought to remember to enjoy it more often.

Although I’m glad that isn’t the happiest part of my day. Having my one-year-old daughter climb up between us, that is the happiest part of my day.

Other than saying she’s happy, our one-year-old also has an obsession with shoes that would rival some teenagers’. Of course, it’s not so much that the shoes look fashionable to her, but if we all get our shoes on, then we can go outside, which is the real draw. The result is, she gathers up our shoes from all over the house and puts them in the living room.

It wouldn’t be so bad if she could keep the mates together. What we have instead is a shoe here, and a shoe there. It hasn’t happened yet, but sometime someone is going to have to wear an unmatched pair because the baby lost the others.

That’s okay. I’ll do whatever makes her say “happy” again.


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