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Top 10 Ways Toddlers Rock Military Life

If you’ve ever lived with a toddler or preschooler you know that life with them is nothing if not a constant surprise. The stuff kids those ages come up with is nothing short of hilarious. To them every day is a new adventure, every moment filled with the wonder of new discoveries.

Since April is month of the military child, we’re taking a few moments here and there to celebrate the amazing grace with which these kids handle the challenges that military life throws at them.

At our Military.com Spouse Summit in early April we asked the attendees of our Military Brat-tastic session to give us a hand with a few top 10 lists about how their kids handle our lifestyle.This is what the moms of the preschoolers and toddlers came up with on how their kids rock military life.

1. They have no idea that this life is weird. One of the great things about kids in these age groups is that they don’t know any better. To them military life is oh-so-normal. Moving every few years? Whatevs. Driving past random military equipment on the way to the grocery story? Yawn.

2. They’re easily distracted. One spouse at the Military.com summit told a story about moving with her toddler. Her child was confused as to why they had to leave their rental home. The mom explained that a rental home is like a book you got from the library, and that when you’re done you have to return it. Speaking of which, do you want to go to the library?

Conversation over.

3. They think their parents’ job is the coolest. Talk about someone who is easily impressed. Toddlers and preschoolers have a low cool-factor bar and they make the people they look up to feel like superstars.

4. Making friends when you’re a preschooler or toddler is easy. My son thinks anyone who is remotely his sign height is his new best friend.  Just yesterday he met a little boy for the first time and within 15 minutes they were both decked out in super hero costumes and hauling wood through the backyard. Why can’t I make friends like that?

5. MWR events make their day. You and I both know that sometimes those MWR events miss the mark. But toddler and preschoolers don’t care. Every special event is the best one ever. And even when it’s 100 million degrees inside the blow-up jump house they’re just stoked they’re jumping.

6. They are really flexible. If you had asked me to live in four homes before my fourth birthday I probably would’ve had a problem. But my military kid? He’s got this. Dropping Dad off for training at 0300? Sounds fine. These little guys didn’t even know “semper gumby” was a thing. They were born this way.

7. They love to be just like their servicemember parent. Little boys have a lock on this one. How many times do you see those sweet little guys marching around in uniforms just like their dads’ or wanting a hair cut just like his? Adorable.

8. They have unique opportunities. Whether it’s because they get to live in event rich places like Washington, D.C. or just because they are military kid, these kiddos have a ton of unique opportunities at their finger tips. From the White House Easter Egg Roll to special camps and field trips through base, there’s always something fun around the corner.

9. There’s always something new and fun in every new place they live. Being a military kid means constantly changing locations — and a constant stream of new and interesting things to do. And groups love to organize stuff for this age group because they are so very appreciative of every new thing. From story time at the library to museums, parks, and festivals, there are always new things around the corner.

10. They look oh-so-cute in military life pictures. A grinning, chubby toddler or preschool smile adds just the cutest touch to all of those pictures that come with military life. From deployment hugs to the inevitable tantrum at homecoming because they’ve been waiting for hours in the gym, how can you not love that cherub face?

About Amy Bushatz

Amy is the managing editor of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is an Associate Editor. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on NPR and in the New York Times. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

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