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Inside the Mind of a Toddler

It never fails. No matter how many times I say no, my 2-year-old, Ben, still smears his yogurt all over the kitchen table. No matter how many times I beg him to hurry, he still examines the lint on the floor mats before he crawls into his car seat. Some days, I could swear toddlerhood is one giant plot designed to drive me insane.

Of course, toddlers aren't trying to be exasperating. They just don't operate the way grown-ups do. We've spent enough time on the planet to know (usually) that "no" means "no." We can follow directions without a second's thought. But 1- and 2-year-olds are in their own little world  -- tiny scientists constantly confronted with new discoveries. For them, learning the rules  -- often by breaking them  -- is important research.

Still, there's hope for us. Life with a toddler can be easier if you learn to see the world through her eyes: