William asked me the other day about my age preference when it comes to children. “What is your favorite age, mama?” I didn’t really feel qualified to answer the question, since my children are all still pretty young, and I haven’t seen the full spectrum yet. I told him though, that I could tell him what the most challenging age is, as far as my experience goes; from the time children start walking well, until about 3 ½ years, at which point they seem to gain some independence and most important, sense.
1 ½-3 ½ years is a great age because you really get to watch a little person form, but because the child has the physical ability to do many things, unmatched by little mental ability to control or understand all the exciting things around him/her, adult supervision is required at all times. It is therefore challenging mainly in the physical sense, as in they are extremely active, all the time,
getting into things they shouldn’t exploring everything - you always have to be there, watching them, and every time you look away for a moment, they get into something or do something that takes a lot of time and effort to handle.
Take this morning for example.
Abraham is currently at the stage where he 1/ is able to take his clothes and diaper off (but can’t put them back on), 2/enjoys being naked, a lot, but 3/ is not yet potty-trained. This means that while we’re in the house, I constantly have to watch him to make sure he doesn’t take his diaper off, and
if when he does, monitor him for signs of needing to go. It also means that if I look away at the wrong moment, I end up having to change the boys’ sheets or wipe pee off the floor in the playroom.
This morning, I left the living room to get some more tea in the kitchen. Abraham was playing naked, very nicely, on his slide. The older boys were around but not exactly paying attention to him, because he was having so much fun playing by himself. (Two-year olds can be deceptive like that too - they -act- like it would do no harm to leave them alone for a moment.) When I came back, tea in hand, Abraham held up his poop-covered hands to me, his body smeared, with a happy smile, gesturing to what used to be two turds on the carpet, but now looked like two turds that someone had stepped in and then tried to wipe off all over the carpet, and said “Aimie-ham went POOP! Mama!!” with a proud voice.
Sigh. I’m going to need more tea.