If you ask my best friend L what her favorite stage of her daughter's development has been...she always answers "the stage she is in right now". I look at Z right now and though I am amazed by all that he can do....I kind of miss that 10-14 month stage. During that time period there were no real temper tantrums, he was pretty easy going, learning to walk, talk and starting to find his independence. It was a fun time for both of us.
Raising a toddler is an emotional ride for the village that's involved. There are those days where you feel like everything is working like clockwork, you are both smiling, happy and enjoying your time together. You are so in love with one another and wonder, "why did I think this was so hard yesterday???" Then like a bolt of lightning, everything changes. Your child is screaming and kicking, you begin to sweat and turn beet red all while trying to stay in control of your emotions.
I will never forget Z's first public temper tantrum. We were in the Apple Store looking for a back up hard drive. I made the mistake of not bringing his stroller into the mall with me and let him get down and bang on the keyboards. When it was time to follow the nice man to the hard drives, Z was not happy to be leaving his keyboard. He started to kick, squirm and scream. He ended up kicking the sales associate! I was horrified. I apologized and told him that we would have to buy the hard drive another time. He asked why and I looked at him strangely (as sweat was pouring down my face) and pointed to my kicking and screaming child. I quickly escorted Z out of the mall as every shopper turned and stared!
There are so many days where I sit down on the couch after a LONG day and feel like I am failing as a parent. Did I give in too easily? Did I do the right thing? Was I too hard on him? Are my expectations too high? Do I baby him? The questions go on and on and on. I truly wish there was an individualized owners manual with each child :)
If you ask different people what their favorite age is, they all say different things. There are those who love the infant stage (not me, I found it a bit boring) and others love the 6-12 months stage (a personal favorite of mine). Then there are those who love the terrible twos and tell you that three is the worst age ever! Other people love three but hate four and call it the devil age. And finally there are those parents who say any age is better than 13-18 :)
If you ask me, I think every stage has its ups and downs. My guess is that the stage you are in right now is probably the hardest (or best depending on how you look at it) :) We just have to keep our wits about us and when they are driving us completely bonkers, look at their little cute faces and fall in love with them all over again!