A few days ago my cousin, holding her quiet, content 10 month old son, asked me which of the phases of Bjorn's life has been my favorite.
This as my adorably insane child is running in circles on the patio, carrying his football and grunting incoherently.
"Whichever stage he just finished." I said, almost without thinking.
And as I said it, I realized it was true.
I have loved all the stages - after they were already gone. Because, as most parents have noticed, they seem to last forever while you are in them . . . . and then they go away much too quickly.
While it was happening, I thought the newborn stage was pretty boring. I used to wonder what I did pre-Bjorn to fill all this empty time I had while he slept and sat. I needed him to do more.
Then, when he started crawling, I missed those days of snuggles and long naps together in front of a TV show that didn't have anything to do with Elmo, Choo-choo's or counting.
When he was crawling, I couldn't wait until he started walking. Then I wouldn't have to clean my floor every day so my kid didn't end the day looking like a Swiffer. At least he helped pick up the dog hair!
Then, when he started walking, I wanted him to crawl again, so I could keep up with him without expending so much energy.
After walking, he began climbing and I wished that he could have just stayed in the walking phase forever, so I wouldn't have to worry so much. And, again - soooo much energy.
Then there was the jumping-off-the-stuff-he-climbed phase. The fun one. Talk about worrying and energy. Couldn't he have just continued climbing only?
Then, within the midst of all these you have the eating phases: breastfeeding only, then the adding of formula, then total formula and rice cereal. Then homemade baby food and bits of chicken and veggies. To chunks of vegetables and maybe some soft pasta. To eating everything I have on my plate - whether I wanted to share or not.
We have the crying for everything stage. Then grunting. Pointing. Throwing. Whining. Baby Sign Language. Partial words no one but those around him all the time can understand. Words. Sentences.
Each stage is great. . . . but you don't really realize it until it is gone. And by then it's too late, except through videos and pictures.
I guess that's why we have second children. So we get to go through all these great phases all over again.