Thursday, 25 March 2010

What's your favourite stage?

This is mine.  Right now.  I remember adoring it with L too.

S and A are now fifteen and a bit months and I LOVE it!  They're little enough still to be cuddly, gorgeous babies, but grown up enough to be wonderful, individual people.

They can communicate, but not talk.
They nod, and grin, and manage to produce an entire vocabulary with about four consonants and three vowels.  They understand pretty much everything I say to them and they can express a preference with an amazing combination of gestures, smiles, frowns and yelps.  Oh, and they both know what noise a tiger makes too.

They are mobile, but can't really get around without me.
A is walking, just, but it's still that hilarious zombie, arms-outstretched walking that invariably ends in a bump and a toothy grin.  S is crawling, very fast, and only cares that A can walk and she can't when A gets praised and she doesn't.  Funny that.

They get stroppy when they are told off, or can't do something they want to, but they also haven't yet worked out that the person who's doing that is me, so it's me they turn to for comfort: "Mummy, it's so awful, I wasn't allowed to pull your glasses off your face.  Comfort me...."

They know what goes where and how their world fits together, but they're still so amazed and fascinated by the tiniest things.
I can keep them entertained for ages with just a hair clip, or a piece of tissue (they do have actual toys, incidentally...), but if I hand out the toothbrushes in the wrong order, or try to put A's shoes on S's feet, woe betide me.

I just think this is the most amazing stage.   Watching them as they turn from babies into children.

And it's not that I don't adore L, or think that the stuff she's doing is amazing, but she is now, aged nearly 3, much harder work.  I remember, as she went from 3 months, to 6, to 15 and then into the ages that are no longer counted in months thinking every stage was better than the one before, but that's not true any more. She's more complicated, and complex, and intelligent and demanding, and has opinions, and thoughts and preferences of her own which I can't (or not always) solve with tickles and raisins.  And I think too, that as she's grown older, I've realised that the stuff she's doing at any given point in time isn't, any more, just a stage that all babies pass through. She's not a baby any more. She does what she does because she's L.

But is that right? Are "stages" just an illusion?  Or are they going to keep getting better (or worse)?!


  1. Am totally with you.... I found everything from about nine months amazing. But it's the talking that gets me. We can now both hang out together (he's 21 months) and he's so entertaining! He even told me to bring a tiger home for tea on the phone tonight! You must get double the fun.

  2. I find the different stages amazing. A lot of maverick's stages are very delayed due to his problems (on yes you know his real name but due to child prtotection laws on the net he is known as Maverick lol).

    As i was saying, the stages are fantastic to watch,as for L being three you wait until she is 13, im ready to strangle my eldest lol xxx

  3. I think every stage is amazing (mine is now 3 and developing such a personality!) but last night we were watching some old videos of her at about 8 months and gosh - I forgot what a wonderful stage that was, too. Now I'm broody ;-) lol

  4. What a gorgeous picture! My children are 6,13 and 16, so I have encountered many different stages. I do love the stage your two are at, it is so magical and full of such promise, but I also really love the young woman my daughter is turning into, and (although really tricky at times) the fact that my teenage son keeps having growth spurts and any day now will be taller than me. It all still blows my mind.

  5. 15 months was a great stage for us - suddenly Toddlergirl started talking & walking which was just wonderful

    Enjoy it (and take lots of pictures)

  6. What a lovely picture. I agree - fifteen months is a good age. Mobile and inquisitive. Having said that, I do like them when they're teeny tiny newborn and totally helpless - the way they throw their arms up like a mexican wave, make all those funny mewling noises - and sleep a lot My husband is not so keen on the newborn stage - he prefers them when they're about two! I read a great book once called The Ladybird Papers by Charles Ferneyhough charting his daughter's progress from birth to 3.

  7. I love babies and struggle sometimes to accept that they are growing up and there will be no more babies to cuddle, no more amazing newborns! Having said that, much as one part of me is sad at what has past, I always find something to enjoy with each stage. J is just coming up for 2 and really becoming a cheeky individual which is great fun. I'm also finding that as the boys get older it's fun to be able to do different things as a family. So I try to cling to that and not get too broody and nostalgic when I see wonderful baby photos! Like you I found/find the 2-3 years stages harder than the baby stages - for me it gets tricker once they can negotiate and argue back, and all mine are great talkers!

    ps, I've just posted my latest book review which quotes you...

  8. I wasnt a baby person at all! But once they got to 6 months then I kept thinking this is my favorite stage adn the thing is I keep thinking that every few months.

    So now I just try to enjoy each and every step that I take with them.

  9. I found this so interesting, because me and my sister-in-law agree that this is the WORST stage! Just shows how different we all are.

    To us, this stage involved endlessly walking around behind a child who was keen to do his/her own thing, go where he wanted, too bored to sit in the stroller, but absolutely no sense of danger, and no ability to understand and act on "no". We remembered hours walking up staircases behind them, then carrying them down, only to have to follow them up again. Endlessly.

    I remember the sitting-but-not-crawling stage with great affection. When a teaspoon to bang on the high chair tray would keep them amused for ages. And I like 3-4. Old enough to reason with (well... sometimes...), and so full of curiosity and imagination. But yes, with definite opinions as you say.

  10. Goodness you take me back, and that is a wonderful photo! I think you are right, most stages are wonderful and bring joy and trepidation in equal measure, and sometimes it is hard to see beyond where they are. I thought 18 might just be the most exciting age until my eldest came home for Easter and turns out he is deep in debt and hasn't figured it out...

  11. What a gorgeous photo. I'm afraid I had real trouble with all three of mine from when they walked until about 2.5years. I found that stage the hardest for some reason I've never figured out. Still, we are soon entering the teenager zone with Eldest Daughter so I may retract that statement in due course.

    MD xx

  12. Reluctant Memsahib30 March 2010 at 05:19

    what a glorious, glorious photo, i loved that, captured them perfectly. there are stages all the way thru: right up to tallerthanyou 18 year olds who still sometimes need you though they are desperate to prove they don't. My mum told me the baby years would pass in a flash, I didn't believe her but she was right. Mums usually are.

  13. B*gger. Just wrote a detailed and individual reply to all of these comments and managed to delete it.

    Bedtime now. Will try again tomorrow. Sorry.


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...