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What's your favourite age?

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#1 Kylie Orr

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

I love newborns.

Yes, I’m weird.

My favourite age so far is those brand spanking new bubbas. I’ve met many a parent who would well and truly trade the newborn phase for somebody a little sturdier, a little more interesting. Not me. I think that’s why I had four children – because they start off as the most amazing, adorable, tiny and helpless newborns. The koala cuddles, the completely random reflexes, the grunts, the goos, the poos, the squawking cries. The fact they don’t talk and therefore don’t talk back could be a significant part of their appeal.

I’m like a crack addict looking for the next hit – I want to inhale those babies and bottle them in a tiny corner of my heart. When I see a newborn, I HAVE to hold it. I need to physically restrain myself when in the company of strangers who may have a new baby. I’ve learnt to admire from afar and let the mist cloud over my eyes all the while ignoring the aching in my ovaries.

In fact I love babies, sleeplessness and all, until they hit about three.

Three has been my least favourite age so far.

It hit me like a busload of school kids on their way to swimming lessons. I was one of your cocky parents when my first child turned two. I thought, terrible twos? What a load of baloney. It’s because I am an insanely brilliant parent that my child is a reasonable happy two-year-old.

The parenting gods clutched their stomachs as they laughed hysterically and then gave me a three year old. It was a horror year. The crying, the screaming and yelling, the stomping and never ending misunderstandings. And that was just me. My darling three year old was ten times worse. It was a time of asserting independence and perhaps because he was my first, I didn’t realise he could do many of the things he was so insistent upon trying. He wanted to open and close the car door (no, you’ll jam your fingers, I’ll do it), turn on each and every light switch as we entered a room (no, you can’t reach, I’ll do it), try the key in the door (no, it’s a bit tricky, I’ll do it), cut his own sandwiches (no, you shouldn’t be playing with knives, I’ll do it) and build a nuclear reactor (no, nobody understands these things). Hindsight – that incredibly useless tool – tells me I should have said “go for it!”. I should have had the kid stitch wallets and set up a stall at the local market too. Instead I spent most of my time taking over whatever the task was so it could just get done. And done fast. In my defence, I also had a one year old and was perpetually in a hurry to get somewhere: get home, get the baby fed, get the washing on…  So I learnt the painful way that three year olds who are determined to try new skills with a parent who doesn’t allow them such freedom, will and do rebel. In a loud way.

I’ve had two subsequent three year olds since the first. It’s still a completely and utterly abysmal age, in my eyes, but I’ve learnt to loosen the apron strings and grant them some independence. It means for slower and sloppier vegemite sandwiches but it also makes for a more peaceful house. Less screaming means we can see the cuteness that still shines through on occasion in a demonic three year old.

And as the youngest turns two (or “turns crap” as my husband says), I am realising that she has peaked early. I’ve never seen a tantrum like it. Stiff board defiance and hysteria that could last hours if we let it. Tantrums are not new to me but these have the velocity to power a small nation and are earlier than I’ve experienced. Please tell me this means three will be bliss for us?

As they grow older, I am appreciating something about each age. Before I had children, I found 7-12 year olds quite irritating. They were no longer cute like babies or preschoolers, and often started edging towards smart arseness. Now I have two in that age category I am roaring hallelujah! They can dress and feed themselves, they’re independent enough to make my life easier but remain respectful and are still malleable. They appear to like their parents most days. It is a joyous time.

Maybe we could find a scheme that shares children around – I’ll have them as newborns and pass them on to the next person who loves 2-5 year olds, then I’m happy to have them back for a while. Teenagers are on the horizon, and I am reserving judgement about the trials that phase will bring. I’m sure we could recruit someone who’d take a teenager over a newborn though.

If I worked for Disney, I might say that each phase has its pleasures and challenges. But I remember that three year old year and I don’t work for Disney. If I could swear, there would be a string of profanities here to describe that phase in my parenting career. Thankfully, it doesn’t last forever. And they may eventually go on to have three year olds of their own. Suffer in their jocks.

What’s your favourite age so far?


#2 Frau Farbissina

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:03 AM

LOVE newborns and babies. I was lucky enough with both of mine to not have issues with reflux or other things that can make life a lot harder at that age. I find toddlers a lot harder. Age 4 was a turn around age for DS1.

#3 glasnost

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

I have a three month old and I love this stage. Still a cute little baby. He will fall asleep on my chest and his downy little head still smells so sweet. But he doesn't cry as much and  he will respond with smiles when I sing to him and as for the cooing... wub.gif He doesn't want to negotiate EVERY decision I make and he is so portable. I can put him down somewhere and know he will still be in the same place in ten minutes. I don't yet have to constantly worry about him putting something into his mouth and choking or climbing up to the stove and pulling a hot pot over himself. Even the poos are OK at this age.

My eldest is only four and a half though so I am only comparing to toddlers/preschoolers.

#4 LoT

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:13 AM

I agree, I love newborns! Love that they hold onto your fingers and stay where you put them!! hehe. I hated the 1-2 yo age. Unreasonable, mobile, mischievous creatures! 2 and beyond has been surprisingly good.

#5 **Xena**

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

I can honestly say I don't have one. Every stage so far has had its amazing upsides and it's not to pleasant moments.

Newborns are cute and don't move when you put them down, toddlers and their funny little unsteady walks and discovering words, 3-4 year olds with their comic questions and face pulling, 5-6 year olds starting school and making friends, 7-8 year olds becoming people wanting to know more about the World. That's where I have to stop because my eldest is 8 biggrin.gif

Love them all and wouldn't trade one stage for the next wub.gif

#6 Bluenomi

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:31 AM

I love newborns. Babies are the best, I start losing interest around 18-24 months, not fond of toddlers and can't stand school ages kids.

Babies are so small, cute, cuddly and most importantly can't argue back (can you tell I've got a 2 going on threeager  wink.gif ) I could cuddle a baby all day which is good because sometimes I had to with my own.

#7 tres-chic

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

I like newborns too but none of mine were good sleepers so this period was often difficult for us, especially with DD (child number three's) reflux added to the mix. I find toddlers very hard to manage.

So for me at the moment it's around four, where they're toilet trained (mostly) can dress and feed themselves without too much intervention (mostly) and I don't have to lift them much anymore. (My back is never going to be the same).

At 3.5-4.5 they're young enough to still be at home, but can independently manage a range of activities (colouring, puzzles, swimming, etc.) and their language is developing too so you can really start to get to know them on a new level, and it's still safely before all the demands of 'big school'.

But newborns, yes, every time I see a new baby announcement and the accompanying divine picture, I think, one more, just maybe...

#8 Rosie R

Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

I am for the first time experiencing the newborn period and it is so amazing! My 'lil one is just 5 months old and every day from day one has been precious and something I will think about with a warm heart for the rest of my life. However, this is where it becomes a little hard for me to decide on an age...I have step children and I wasn't around for the first couple years of their lives but from 2 and a half and up I would say that 7 years old (about grade 2) is a lovely age.  Their communication skills jump to another level and they seemed to love having nice, engaging conversations....closing in on 10 seems to be a bit of a worry though sad.gif less engaging conversations occur and more peer influenced attitude creeps in....awesome (not)....

#9 Natttmumm

Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

Favourite age depends o n the child for me. DD1 was just lovely from 8 months until 18 months.
Dd2 was the Sweetest newborn until around 1 yr.
Both horrible at 3. Worst age for me for both. This is now for DD2. I think b ack to her placid baby days and think where did I go wrong!!!

#10 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:50 AM

2-5 year olds rock!

#11 BreezaH

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

I love newborns (I was blessed with 2 good sleepers) so I loved the cuddles and that time just spent together, quietly, doing nothing but staring at them. Like the OP, I got to DS1 turning 2 and thought this is pretty easy, what is this terrible 2 of which everyone speaks? And then he turned 3 and turned into a whinging, tantrum throwing, back chatting menace. He's nearly 4.5 now and is just starting to get the point where a "No" or "Later" doesn't result in a catastrophic meltdown.

Right now I love the 1-2yrs stage, where they're toddling around, learning their words, covering you in cuddles and kisses but haven't yet learned to deliberately disobey to backchat! DS2 is 16m and I can't imagine him turning into that 3yo from hell....but he will. I know he will!

#12 livvie7586

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

2-3+ here (i know i'm a bit odd).  even with terrible threes, the tantrums, etc, etc, i really dislike the clingy newborn/baby stage.  DH is exactly the same, and we're only having number 3 because we want to add an extra person to the family, not to have a baby

#13 premmie_29weeks

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

I'm not into newborns either, mine were 17 months art and the first in particular was a hellish period. The second I was exciting hell and as new no go he was a breeze. I guess he came into the world to show me that the first 8 months can be good if you recognise each stage for what it is and move on, rather than obsessing over details. Both became a whole lot easier when they consistently slept thru at about 8 and 7 months respectively.

I found 14-20 months really challenging maybe because I was heavily pregnant and then with newborn. My older one is just 2.5. So it's negotiating negotiating all day and the stock response is no to everything. Yet he is a good kid, while he's saying no he's actually doing as he is told funnily enough. He eats well, he sleeps well, he is kind and gentle to his brother, can play and potter about independently for about 15-20 minutes at a time on a good day, and is easily distracted from tantrums by redirection...can't really ask for more at this age.

We'll see how we survive 3 original.gif,

#14 StopTheGoats

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

Before 5 months - you can have them. Booooooooooring. Plus, I personally deal very badly with interrupted sleep.
My son is now 14 months and every time he hits a new stage I find myself telling everyone who will listen that "this is the very best age". So far, he just gets better and better. Ill get back to you when he's 3.

#15 Chazonator

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

I think i actually enjoy the newborn stage even though its hard going for a bit if bub isnt a good sleeper etc. i dont like the 2- -4 yr stage as that's what im currently going through with my ds 1&2 they are running in all directions at parks, they are messy, wreck things, fight with each other and all along the little one just wants to get going but can only crawl for now! (luckily cause i'm not sure how i'd manage with 3 running around a park?!)
I think ill enjoy the 5yr old stage too once ds1 goes to school next year i'll breathe a small sigh of relief

#16 Sif

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

I adore 10 and up.

I always knew I would, though.

Babies are sweet, but soooo much work!

Don't get me started on 4 year olds - without fail each one of my four year olds has driven me to the brink of insanity. Lucky four year olds are generally cute is all I'm saying...

Seven year olds are cute, but in our family seven engages a particular genetic quirk which sets the vocal chords running at a million miles an hour without engaging any form of 'interest filter' for the rest of the world. Want to know every thought my seven year old is having - just sit next to him for 30 minutes and you'll soon know all there is to know!

By 10 my kids are interesting, interested, funny, thoughtful and thought provoking.

My eldest is 13 and even though he has many rough edges still, I find I really enjoy his company!

Edited by Sif, 17 January 2013 - 01:23 PM.

#17 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

I'm finding the older my kids get, the more I enjoy them.  I don't like the clinginess, neediness and total dependence of babies suffocating.  
The more independent they get, the happier I am.  Also, I love that I can ask a question and get a reasonable answer. Like, "where does it hurt?" with "my stomach" rather than "waaaahhhhhh!"

#18 RealityBites

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

Toddlers  biggrin.gif

#19 ani1

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

3-11 months

#20 Feral-Lausii

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

I love the 2-3 year age. They are just so adorable, their personalities are coming through and most of the time a joy to be around.

I am now on my second teen. One has already moved out, and dd12 is pretty much acting like a teen. Ds13 and dd12, are doing my head in. All they seem to do is fight. Not my favourite age at all.

#21 raven74

Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:48 PM

I found the newborn stage to 12 months easy apart from some serious sleeping issues.  She was a happy, thriving baby.  
The Year of Two - which we are just leaving - left me exhausted.  She was so busy and I find repetitively playing kid games bored me to tears.
She's 2.10 now and I'm am having a blast.  She talks a blue streak, craves knowledge, has a real sense of humour and is easily negotiated with.  She does funny stuff all the time.  She came up to me the other day pulling the most hilarious faces.  When I asked her what she was doing, she said "Practicing my smiles for you mummy, because I love you..."

#22 amesv

Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:12 PM

I think 4-10ish months (before they can crawl). Their little personalities are starting to show, they are predictable (generally) and so easy to please.

#23 whale-woman

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

DD peaked with tantrums at 14 months. By 2 she hit the independant/oppositional stage. As a 3 yo she os a delight...most of the time.
I really don't like newborns.

#24 Ferelsmegz

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

Im loving my kids ages at the moment...

9 and 5.

My 9yo is super smart and you can have the BEST conversations with him and he asks amazing questions... plus hes very interested in the news and world happenings.

My 5yo is constantly learning new things at school but she is still in love with her Mummy!

#25 overthehill

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

I like the 1-2 yrs, when they learn how to walk and talk but not enough to back chat!  I am predicting I will also like 6+, DS is 5.5 and he is growing on me biggrin.gif

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