Stages and Phases

Lately I’ve been realizing all the phases my kids have been through and how much they’ve changed since birth. Tucker is in what’s probably my favorite age ever. He is a year and a half and coming to life more and more everyday. He is discovering, and experimenting, and chatting. He loves to cuddle and his laugh can make my day no matter what. He just learned to walk holding hands and every word he tries is a major victory and oh so adorable! 🙂 He’s currently been in a “hitting phase” and screams like the world is ending if we take his “sword” of choice away from him. He is so “boy”! Emmy is a little over 3 years old and has an opinion about nearly everything. She can talk my ear off and express herself completely. She wants to do absolutely everything by herself and, “mom, mom, mom, watch this, mom, mom, mom, do you hear this sound, booopeeedooppeee??? Do you hear that mom, do you hear that!?!?!” She’s been skipping nap time and tells me in the most animated voice, “can you leave us alone!?” She also is the best at squeezing tight during hugs and having the most hilarious sayings. She loves when we make up stories and never stops playing super heroes and bad guys. She’s started calling Tucker- Tucky and it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. Every stage and phase has pros and cons but sadly they never last long. It seems these moments in time fly past before we even get the chance to fully enjoy them.

0-6 Weeks: I like to title this lovely phase as the SURVIVAL PERIOD. You function outside of the normal requirements for humanity: eating, sleeping, and bathing. You learn that going to the bathroom really isn’t something you HAVE to do but a luxury of the past. You worry their tiny little lungs might just burst if you step away to relieve yourself so, you live with it. You leave showering for another day and you opt for hours of self-doubt and snuggles instead. You learn love like you’ve never known and wish you could describe the beautiful life-changing experience you’re having.  The instinct to protect came as naturally as breathing. I’d lay down my life for that tiny baby in a moments notice. Her innocence was evident and I knew it was my job to nurture her. She was straight from heaven and that little gift was squeezing out every last ounce of selfishness I was desperately clinging to. At the end of that roller coaster through survival period I realized, I made it. I am a mom and I survived! Now, let’s actually enjoy life. 🙂

3-12 Months: Tummy time, scooting, crawling, smiles, giggles, first foods. I would call this phase: BECOMING A PERSON. This age was full of milestones. They grow SO fast during that first year. They go from this helpless little baby to a walking, babbling, eating person. Tucker is almost unrecognizable from his baby photos to now. This first year is so different because doing things with them is always a big question mark. Do we bring the carrier, the bumbo, the pack n’ play? We need blankets for them to lay on or rattles for entertainment. How much do they need to eat and when should I introduce new foods? Sitting and crawling are a whole new freedom and then next thing you know their off and walking. I was always excited to see my kids start walking. It meant no more dirty knees and hands on the ground. They were finally a part of “kid world”- free to explore on two human feet. The first year is good but in my opinion it gets better! 🙂

1-2 Years old: This was one of the best years for both of my kids. I’ll call it the NEW AND EPIC period. It is the absolute best to watch your baby learn to talk and communicate. You finally get to hear them say “I love you” and everything they do is amazing in your eyes. You would have thought I won the lottery when I finally got Tucker to say “BALL!” He’s been slower to catch onto words than Emmy was, which I’m chalking up to the boy/girl difference. She was about 18 months when we brought Tuck home from the hospital and was telling him, “I yuv you, Taaacker!” She was obsessed with buckles and could count to ten and sing her a-b-c’s (thanks Sesame Street). I love/loved both of my different experiences with these kids from 1-2. Tucker is such a love bug at this age and likes to cuddle and run to us for hugs and kisses. I couldn’t be any more in love with my little guy. He’s definitely shown me that being a boy mom is pretty cool too. 🙂 The cons of this age for us were definitely fits and communication barriers. It’s so hard at this age when they’re wanting to express themselves and don’t have all the words or motions to get their point across. It’s difficult to discipline when you question how much of it all is being understood. They can really manipulate you if you’re not careful and you have to be very thoughtful about teaching them to obey.

2-3 Years: We found the two’s to actually be more terrific than terrible with Emmy but she is a pretty easy-going kid period. We definitely dealt with a whole lot more parenting during this year as she grew in her independence. But, having her communicate with us so well was lots of fun too! We entered a world full of potty training, make-believe, hide and seek, “all by myself” everything, and even a big kid bed.

I miss the days I’d sing Emmy to sleep with “To Make You Feel My Love”. I miss the days in our old house when our living room was covered in the dvds she’d pull out and open and close all day long. I’m thankful for every phase of life I’ve walked through as their mother. Even though it all goes by so quick, at least I know at the end I can say I didn’t take it for granted. I know I am blessed to have these two as my kids and I’ll cherish them with all my heart, no matter the stage we’re in.

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