According to many women, the baby stage is their favourite. I am not one of those women. Or rather, I never used to be. I did not enjoy the Girl as a baby. Of course I loved her, and marvelled over how cute she was, but otherwise, the baby stage was something to be endured until she became more interesting. I really liked the early toddler stage, when she stumbled around like a tiny drunk, was able to feed herself, could tell me what she wanted and started sleeping through the night.
And then she turned two. Suddenly it was all defiance, and screaming, and tantrums and anger. This subsided a bit when she was two and a half. And then she turned three. Now we’re on arguing just for the sake of being contrary, more tantrums, more screaming, more anger. Not everyday, mind you. There are some days that go by without incident. But there are others where it feels like all I’ve done is fight with her. I deal with it as best as I can. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think, “am I doing this right? Will she come to me in twenty years time and tell me that she’s fucked up and it’s all my fault?”
The result of this is that I’m appreciating the Boy’s baby-ness. It’s so much more simple at this point. I can feed him when he’s hungry, put him to sleep when he’s tired, laugh with him, cuddle him and just be free to give him everything he wants without fear of spoiling him. But he’s growing up too fast. I find myself burying my nose in his feathery hair and breathing deep, trying to savour the distinctive sweet baby smell. All too soon my sweet little boy will be a cranky three-year old, seemingly doing things for the sole purpose of getting into trouble (or winding me up). But, hey, at least he’ll be sleeping through the night, right? Right??