Monday, August 10, 2015

My Favorite Stage

My favorite stage was the newborn stage, when she snuggled on my chest with tiny little snores, or when her head was as small as Ryan’s palm.

And it was at two months when smiles and half-giggles started to become commonplace.

And it was at 9 months, when he was grabbing onto the baby gate or the chair and pulling himself up into a standing position with a look of sheer determination on his face.

And it was 12 months, when he just toddled around following us.

And 18 months, when he demanded to walk around the grocery store.

And it’s now, at 5 and 26 months.

Because yesterday he was playing really independently during the baby’s first nap so I was finally catching up a few receipts in the checkbook. He walked over to me with a bunch of toy tools in his hand and said “Well, go work. Lub yewww,” before kissing my cheek with a loud “MWAHHH.”

Because this morning she crawled around between Ryan and I as we pretended it was earlier than it was and that we still had time to snooze. She’d crawl into Ryan, giggle, turn around, crawl over to me. She would pinch us and slobber on us and just giggle, giggle, giggle.

Because he’s singing “Eat apples mananas!” all day long now because I sang “I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas” to him the other day.

Because they sleep better when they're snuggled up in the same bed. Because we tell him, "Stay in your bed tonight!" and we find him sleeping in his own bed when we check on them... and then when we check on them again later, sometimes we find them snuggled up together (and often with What to Expect: the First Year between them)

Because she focuses her eyes on an object and then works really hard to get over to it and grab it… and because once she does, she flips onto her belly and holds it while smiling the biggest “Did you see that? I got it!” smile.

Sunday we went for a hike. And it was like this giant example of why this is my favorite stage now. Because she was snuggled up on my chest and just looking around and enjoying it all. Because at one point we were stopped and she was staring so intently that I followed her gaze and saw a chipmunk I hadn’t noticed myself. Because he was holding his own, hiking and climbing, and only asking for Dad to corry him if a big dog was coming our way. Because the whole morning was peppered with commands for us to look at the world around us. “Look, water!” “Look, people!” “Look, broken!” “Look, doggie!”

I always hear parents say things like, “Once they hit four or five years old they get really fun!” and “Once they hit this age it’s all a lot easier. They can do most things themselves and you’re just there to play.” And “What’s really nice is when they’re teenagers and you can actually sit and talk to them about things.”

It leads me to believe that maybe my favorite stage will always be whatever stage we’re in. Of course we’ll have difficult moments and things, but I highly doubt I’ll ever think, “I loved him so much more a few months ago.” You know? I’ll just grow and change right along with them and every stage will be my favorite stage.

Sometimes I forget that parenting doesn’t ever really end. So right now, my mom is parenting me and probably thinking that watching me be a mom is her favorite stage. And my grandparents are parenting and are probably thinking that watching their children be grandparents is their favorite stage. Life is beautiful.

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Wisdom teeth come out tomorrow morning. Prayers please! =] 

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