"A Child Can Teach An Adult Three Things - To Always Be Busy With Something, To Know How To Demand With All His Might That Which He Desires, and To Be Happy For No Reason."
- Paulo Coelho
There couldn't have been a more accurate quote about children, especially toddlers. A child is free from all the worries in life, the same worries that are as burdensome as huge rocks strung around necks for us adults. It doesn't take much to make a kid happy, sometimes something as simple as calling out his/her name can make a child beam from ear to ear and cackle like there was no tomorrow. Also, their smile is infectious. When you seem them happy, you end up with a smile across your own lips.
They say a child cries only in three scenarios - when they're hungry, when they're sleepy, and when they need a diaper change. Of course, sometimes kids cry when they crave for your attention and care. So, by and large, if you are able to meet these needs, you are keeping your baby happy.
My son, Nigel, is one and a half years old now. From a grumpy child with a perpetual scowl on his face as an infant, he has turned into a very naughty toddler who always smiles, loves to babble at everyone, whether known or strangers, and always has a trick or two up his sleeve and mischief in his eyes. He loves playing hide and seek, opening bags, playing with shoes, tossing and turning playfully in bed, pretending to have fallen asleep, and many other things. He has his moments of tantrums, where he's absolutely hell-bent on getting what he wants, and such moments, on certain days, are less spaced out that we'd like. But by and large, it is not hard to keep him happy.
Presenting a few things that keep my son happy:-
1) A Lift - Most kids love to be lifted. It gives them a sense of being loved and protected. Also, it also gives them a sense of power and achievement to be able to see the world from the same height as you. I think it also makes it easy for them to speak to you face to face, without straining their necks while looking up at you.
2) Going Outdoors - Toddlers are curious beings. although some kids are happy being safe and rested at home, most kids love to see the world and to experience new sights, sounds, touches, smells, elements and experiences. The outdoors are like a whole new world for toddlers. An outing is like a learning experience, and makes kids very very happy. So much so that when I or my wife leave for work, my son bawls when he is not allowed to come along with us.
3) Gadgets and Gizmos - My kid stares in amazement every time the TV is switched on. It's not a good habit at all, but sometimes running behind a kid makes us feel helpless at time when we need to rush, and that's when the TV comes to our rescue. My son starts clapping every time Taarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma plays on TV. Baby TV and Home Shop 18 are his favourite channels. Apart from TV, he loves mobile phones a lot. When we're occupied with other stuff, he loves to fidget with our phones. The way he learnt to unlock our phones by swiping across the screen with his thumb is simply astounding. He thumb moves in one single stroke, and with a flourish, and leaves onlookers dumbstruck and laughing.
4) Pampering by Loved Ones - Kids are loved by one and all. Young girls play with them for hours and shower them with hugs and kisses, oldies give them loads of pampering and parents just run behind them like they are royalty. Nigel has two sets of grandparents, who absolutely adore him, and literally dance to his tune and his whims and fancies. It makes us parents very envious, because all our ideas of strictness and discipline, that we encountered as kids, suddenly get tossed out of the window when it comes to him.