A toddler's headlong quest for independence can be charming, entertaining, and often hilarious. But sometimes his antics can challenge even the most easygoing mom or dad. So it's important to remember that when a 1-year-old exhibits Jekyll-and-Hyde-like mood swings, or a 2-year-old's every other word is "NO!" or the derring-do of a 3-year-old has you wondering if he'll survive preschool, he's not trying to be so trying: It's all part and parcel of this particular stage of childhood. Most important, your toddler will eventually outgrow it.
Meanwhile, it helps to understand why toddlers do what they do. A guide to the hallmark quirks of the 1- to 3-year-old set.
From the Parenting Guide to Your Toddler, by Paula Spencer, with the editors of Parenting, published by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc.