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Why Toddlers Are Both Naughty AND Nice

My 2-year-old daughter is the twinkle of my eye. She’s outgoing, funny and incredibly loving. With that being said—she’s also a toddler, which means that as sweet as she is, she is not exempt from the toddler meltdown that happens when naps are skipped (in this case in front of the Hickory Farms Kiosk when I refused her more Summer Sausages).

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We all know that as cute as toddlers are, they are really good at testing boundaries. And though she may be well-intentioned, her demanding, moody and short attention span toddler tendencies are not helping her secure a spot on Santa’s “nice list” this year. The following are examples where my daughter appeared to have done something nice, only to follow-up with something naughty:

1. She brought me a cookie because I am her “best fweynd.”

She then pried my fingers off of that same cookie, took it back with a scowl on her face and ate it in front of me, refusing to give me even one bite.

2. She drew a portrait of me using her new dry erase marker set she got from her grandparents on her birthday...

on my favorite leather jacket.

3. She gave me 10 adorable, slobbery, unsolicited kisses in a row when she said good night last night...

only to follow them up with three roundhouse kicks to the face when she ended up in my bed later that night, just as she has done for the last three weeks.

4. She politely said “please” to her same-aged cousin when she asked him to give her back her favorite toy, her Doc McStuffins doctor bag.

And then proceeded to bite him, when he didn’t comply in a nanosecond.

5. She ate her whole bowl of her carrots and peas medley at lunch yesterday.

Or so I thought. My husband and I later discovered that "eating your whole bowl of carrots and peas" really meant that she’d tucked every last morsel of carrots and peas deep down into her diaper.

She got undressed for bath time all by herself ... proudly she exclaimed, "Look mom, I'm peeing on the floor!"

6. She gave me 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to finish up a work project while she chilled and read books on my bedroom floor.

It was uninterrupted, but at what cost? Had I not been so engrossed in my work, I would have noticed that she was not, in fact, reading books. She was digging out every single lipstick she’d found in my purse with her fingernails, smearing it across her face and then wiping her hands on the carpet.

7. She told me she loved my “bootiful face” the other morning as she waited for me to get her breakfast and resume slicing the strawberries, which I had stopped slicing while I clenched my heart.

Just a few minutes later she smeared a mixture of strawberries and yogurt all over that "bootiful face" and into my hair when I bent down to give her a kiss because my face “needed lotion.”

8. She got undressed for bath time all by herself, exclaiming “Lut, mom, I’m wetty foe my bath?" (Look mom, I’m ready for my bath).

Even more proudly she exclaimed, “Lut mom, I’m peeing on da flow like Fweetz.” (Look mom, I’m peeing on the floor like Fritz). Fritz is our friends’ dog.

9. She enthusiastically helped me find the mate to my shoe when I was late to meet my husband for a work event.

And she enthusiastically found my chocolate stash (in my dresser drawer) and ate every last bit of it while I was away at that work event and she was home with the sitter.

10. She impressed us with her imagination while she played in the tub when she played out a scene where the “fish” were teaching Spiderman how to swim.

But then she also played out the massive waterfall scene that carried Spiderman down the side of the tub and onto my bathroom floor.

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11. She was an absolute angel at lunch the other day, sitting relatively quietly and still for an hour and a half while I was able to catch up with a friend.

But she was an absolute nightmare when she kicked me in the chin and made me bite my tongue when she fought for her life to keep from being buckled into her carseat.

The good thing is that I think Santa is pretty lenient, and knows that no toddler is all sugar and spice.

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