Spring. So delicious! Such lovely smells and pretty flowers and warm breezes. The cherry blossoms down Moss Street, the camas in Beacon Hill Park. Going for my early morning walk in the daylight! Great pleasures.

But then I get caught in a downpour, or shiver because I didn’t take a jacket. The wind blows so hard one day that the laundry, that I put out optimistically on my clothesline, gets blown all over the garden.

It occurred to me that toddlerhood is a lot like spring. Such fun! Such a time of change and progress. Crawling, walking, eating more and more. New adventures – discovering the slide, the beach, what dandelions taste like! It’s such a great joy to help our children explore the world.

And we start to rely on our new “big” kid’s ability to feed himself, or amuse herself with a puzzle for a few minutes. But as soon as we get a bit relaxed and used to the new way things are, the toddler turns back into a baby.

Yesterday, your child insisted on climbing up the stairs by herself. Today she insists on being carried. Last week, your toddler loved story time at the library and sat next to the librarian. This week he clings to you and has to sit on your lap. Yesterday your big kid only nursed twice. Today, she’s back to nursing every 20 minutes. Yesterday he used the potty. Today he behaves as though it’s an instrument of torture!

It’s just like spring. You can never tell what the weather is going to be like. But soon, very soon, it will become reliable. We’ll finally put the raincoats away and wear our sandals everyday. It will start to feel normal and predicable.

Your child will start to use words. He will be toilet trained. She will learn to dress herself. You will think you’ve arrived. And then something else will change. There will be another season. More newness, more unpredictability, more growth.