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10 Things My Toddler Can Give Me for Mother’s Day

Hey, 2-year-old, I love you. You are the light of my life. I don't know what I'd do without you. You give me the gifts of love and happiness and a ton of other things. You fill my soul. It's deep. But, for Mother's Day, if I can be real, there are some things that I really want. I know you've been sitting in your play circus tent surrounded by Mega Blocks stressing for days about what to give me, so let me make your life easier. Here are some suggestions. Spoiler: Not one of them is a necklace made of macaroni.

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1. One night of uninterrupted sleep

Giving me the gift of a good night's sleep would be one of the greatest, most thoughtful gifts you could give me. No requests for drinks or snacks in the middle of the night. No silence-shattering "MOMMY!", no pooping yourself at night. This would be a gift of immeasurable value that I would so freaking treasure. Yes, even more than a personalized photo mug.

2. And if the first item on the list is pushing it, how about just not kicking me in the sternum for three nights in a row?

Yes, I choose to let you sleep with me in my bed some (most) nights. But for Mother's Day, can you please calm your small but lethal limbs for one night? Not stopping my heart with your weirdly sharp dagger heels to my chest or closed fist to my nose bridge would be so appreciated.

As much as I joke about the pangs of toddlerhood, the whole experience of getting to be your parent is a gift.

3. Eat your veggies

Please eat your carrots without being shamelessly bribed or without full-on Broadway-style productions complete with kick lines put on by your father and me. Not having to go through such extreme measures to encourage you to eat one bite of squash would be a special treat.

4. Give me some of your goldfish crackers with the intent of actually letting me eat them

I would love a gift of goldfish crackers or yogurt melts or anything, really, that you allow me to keep and not change your mind about. It would be amazing if you would not freak out after I eat the goldfish crackers with a screaming, "YOU ATE MY GOLDFISH CRACKERS!" followed by stingy tears. I ate them because you gave them to me, homes.

5. Sit still while I brush your hair

I want one of those moments—one of those mother-daughter moments where you sit in front of an oval vanity mirror, and I sit behind you, lovingly brushing your hair while we smile at our reflections and you tell me your goals and dreams. Orrr, how about just being able to run a brush through your wet, bird's nest hair a few times before you screech off and hide? For Mother's Day brunch, it would be nice if you don't have the same hair as Beetlejuice.

6. Give me a really good Mother's Day photo, where you're looking right at the camera with both eyes open

And for more than 1.4 seconds. Some days, trying to snap a photo of your perfect face atop your extremely active body is more challenging than taking a photo of lightning.

7. Go poo in the potty

We both know you're ready. You tell me when you have to go. And you tell me when it's time to change your diaper. At this point, you not going in the potty is just toying with my emotions. For Mother's Day, instead of making me breakfast in bed, go sit on that toilet and grind one out, will you?

8. A day without begging to play with Play-Doh or watch toy unboxing videos on YouTube

I don't want to hear the words "Play-Doh" or "egg surprise" the entire day. Please don't make me spend an hour using my nail as a putty knife to clean up your 10 minutes of Play-Doh fun. And please let my ears not bleed from hearing these toy unboxing people's voices for one day.

9. Let me eat a whole meal without either demanding to sit on my lap or threatening to jump out of your high chair

To be able to eat and actually chew my food would be presh—especially when I don't have to get up from the table to place little Houdini's legs and arms back into the high chair restraints, or negotiate around an obstacle course of little arms and a head to get a bite of food to my mouth.

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10. A really good cuddle session

If I get none of the above, which is highly probable, I would simply request some warm, prolonged cuddle time with you, where you willingly stay snuggled up in my shoulder nook for more than 10 seconds, letting me really cuddle you and love on you and take you all in. OK, honestly a big hug and a smooch will do. Or even just hearing you giggle. Or watching you play. Any little thing you do goes a long way with me. Because as much as I joke about the pangs of toddlerhood, and if I may get deep again, the whole experience of getting to be your parent is a gift. And with the exception of the neck kicks and maybe also the Play-Doh smears, I'm grateful for it all.

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