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  • Ten reasons why my best friend is a toddler

  • This morning, my son looked at me after waking up and said, “You are my best friend mama.”
    After being told for much of the past week, “You not my friend anymore,” this was a welcome relief.
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  • This morning, my son looked at me after waking up and said, “You are my best friend mama.”
    After being told for much of the past week, “You not my friend anymore,” this was a welcome relief.
    The truth is, Brayden, who is just shy of being 3, is my best friend, too, and here’s why:
    1. He loves sleepovers. Any girl knows that a true friendship is not solidified until you’ve had a slumber party. If everything goes alright with the first sleepover, and you’re still friends, then a marathon of sleepovers will soon follow. One summer my friend Abby and I had a sleepover every. single. night. It was pretty much the best summer of my life. Well Brayden is now trying to surpass Abby on the sleepover record. Here is the best part, though, these are welcomed sleepovers. My husband has a job that requires travel and since I don’t like sleeping by myself, I let Brayden crash with me when he’s gone. We both win. I love the extra cuddles and the new things I learn about him, like the night he was apparently dreaming about cookies and woke me up at 5 a.m. crying for cookies. And Brayden gets to feel extra special sleeping in mom and dad’s bed.
    2. We fight. Like all friends, we have our share of fights. While these are not the dramatic girl fights over boys and clothes, they do solidify the fact that we know each other so well we can push each other’s buttons.
    3. We make up. And just like any true friendship, we say sorry, hug it out and get back to playing and being besties.
    4. He makes me feel good about myself. A bad friend fishes for compliments, a good friend gives them out, and let me tell you, Brayden is the best at compliments. In the morning, after I get dressed, he always says, “You like nice mama.” And last week when I was in the shower, he said “You look good babe.” It’s hard to beat that compliment.
    5. Like me, Brayden is all about the fun. I remember as a kid begging my mom to play me with. Sadly, she had little interest in Barbies. Brayden is the boy version of me and he is always asking me to play and I happily oblige. Our favorite thing to do is make crafts but we also are obsessed with our play kitchen and using random objects as microphones to belt out our favorite Disney songs.
    6. He makes me accountable. I learned in high school that a good friend holds you accountable for things. They push you to be a better person and remind you of important dates and things to do. While these days Brayden mostly holds me accountable for silly things such as “Mom, did you order me my new sandals yet?” he also pushes me to be a better and healthier mom.
    Page 2 of 2 - 7. We have no secrets. Since all of my spare time is spent with Brayden, and my other son, Grayson, who is still under one, Brayden knows pretty much all there is to know about me, and he still likes me, so there’s a win on the friend and mom side of things.
    8. He doesn’t care what others think. My favorite friendships are the ones in which my friend brings out my wild alter ego, the side I often keep hidden because I’m afraid to embarrass myself or others. My high school friend Abby and college friend Kira are the perfect friends for me because they know how to have fun and don’t care what others think. When I’m with them, I never know where we’ll end up or what we’ll be doing, but I do know we’ll be having fun. I crave that kind of spontaneity. I see that in my son. I can’t wait for the adventures we’ll embark on together and the inside jokes we’ll share. Instead of Thelma and Louise, we’ll be Becky and Brayden, and hopefully we won’t embarrass Grayson too much that he’ll want to come along, too.
    9. He’s high maintenance. I like clothes and hair and makeup but my son, Brayden, he is a whole new breed of high maintenance. This is a typical morning conversation after I offer Brayden a blue hooded sweatshirt.
    Brayden: No, I want the other one, the orange one.
    “I need my belt”
    I want my green shoes.”
    “Don’t mess up my hair.”
    If you think I’m kidding, I’ll invite you over sometime so you can witness this new breed of metrosexuality.
    While his insistence for the “perfect look” at the age of two can drive me nuts, it’s another reason why I love him so much. The kid is chalk full of personality.
    This kind of obsessiveness also means that he’ll never need a wife to dress him, so future daughter-in-law, you’re welcome.
    10. And finally, Brayden is my best friend because I”m his best friend, too. True friendships take work, lots of it, and their needs to be a mutual feeling of friendship. I”m pretty sure when I had Brayden I won the mom and friend jackpot. Now, we just need to find matching BFF bracelets.
    Rebecca Rose: 815-987-1379; rrose@rrstar.com; @beckyjoyrose
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