Recently a few people have asked me what I feel is the most difficult age.
Now all I can comment on is my view so far. We are yet to reach the teenage years, so I am fully prepared to change my point of view when the time comes.
So far for me, without a doubt, the hardest period has been around 18 months to around three years of age.
I know some parents really struggle with the newborn phase and lack of sleep but for me that is far easier than a daily battle of wills with a headstrong , determined toddler.
The toddler phase can be way more exhausting from my experience and since having children my view on that has remained consistent.
Often, simple tasks such as putting on a coat and shoes, having a hair cut, the way you have cut their fruit, getting in the car, leaving a park or the colour of the bowl you have put their cereal in can cause a meltdown of epic proportions. You find yourself literally wrestling your toddler into and out of almost everything.
The funny thing is, that when someone asks me what my favourite age is then I would most likely give them the same answer.
During this period toddlers are changing and developing at an incredible rate. Every single day can bring new words, new abilities and a new interest. Plus toddlers say and do the funniest things, so they are a constant source of entertainment.
The shear excitement of the whole family when your toddler says “spider” for the first time or sits on the potty and actually wees on it is huge! You can then almost ignore the fact they poured the contents of the potty over the floor and splashed excitedly in it whilst you were all busy celebrating, because they have made such progress in one day.
Who doesn’t get excited when a toddler enthusiastically kisses everyone in the family goodnight and waves as they are taken to bed? It is too cute to ignore. So what if they pulled your hair or threw their food at you earlier in the day right? That was then and this is now and they look so yummy when they are sleeping.
The thing is, these little people have an awful lot to process and they can get very frustrated because they often understand more than they can communicate to anyone. No wonder they get cross and throw themselves around. Imagine how frustrated you get when someone doesn’t understand a point you are making!
So for me this is the worst and the best all mashed into one and it’s magic.
What age have you felt was the biggest challenge?