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Written by Elise Schreier for

My friend and I were talking recently about what we would consider to be the best kid age.  Now, I have a 6, 2, and 1-year-old so I’ve been through many of the early childhood stages at least once.  And yet, I’m still at a loss for what I’d consider my favorite.

Let’s do a little recap, shall we?

Infancy – No sleep, lots of crying, no sleep, attached to me at all times, blowouts, and did I mention the no sleep?  If I didn’t, then surely CTWorkingMoms blogger Steph did.

12-18 months – This age is a big yikes for me.  Temper tantrums, hitting, and biting all make their appearance on the scene. Sleep issues often continue. Parent preference peaks.  Dressing and diaper changing is akin to wrestling a well-oiled octopus. Oh man, I break into a sweat just thinking about it. Let’s move on.

Toddlerhood – As toddlers they really start engaging with their world.  In fact, at this age they assemble a comprehensive rule book about how the world is and is not supposed to work.  To make things extra fun, they purposely don’t share the rule book with us.  Super fun, right? Like: most days it’s perfectly fine to cut the banana in half, but every other Tuesday if the wind is blowing east to west and they are wearing blue, you are CLEARLY not supposed to cut the banana in half.  And rule #185 specifically states that nothing green is ever supposed to touch the toddler’s plate – ever. How about the one where the toddler must be the first one up or down the stairs every time? Yup. SO FUN. Especially since we all know what happens when a toddler rule is broken…I’ll just say this: take cover.

3 years old - ::phew:: we’ve made it out of the “terrible twos”…yeah right, not so fast.  At three years old children are a little less self-centered.  They pay attention to the feelings of those around them.  For example: they become keenly aware of the things that make mom mad…and they are damn sure to do those things OVER AND OVER again.

4 years old – Okay, I’ll admit, 4 is not so bad.  But the thing I never realized before I became a parent is that 4 year olds still have temper tantrums.  OMG, do these things ever end??  Any age that includes temper tantrums can not be my favorite. Also, what’s with the sass? This is the age at which my son first said to me, “If you don’t let me [fill in the blank], I’m not going to be your friend any more!”  Ha! Jokes on you kid, I’m your PARENT not your FRIEND. Next!

5 years old – Begin kindergarten. Make new friends. Learn lots of new things. And never.stop.talking.  This is the age at which they develop the breathing-and-talking-at-the-same-time skill so they never even have to pause for a breath.  “Mom, mom, mom. Mom, I have to tell you something. What’s for dinner tonight? Mom, do you know what happened today at school? Mom, mom, mom. Want to hear a joke? Can I have a snack? Mom can you hear me? MOOOOOOM??”  All said in a 3 second span. Good gracious. Get me some earplugs on the double. Better yet, let’s just make it a double.

6 years old – The magical age at which they begin to read! It’s exciting and we are so incredibly proud! Except, have you ever actually sat and listened to an early reader struggle through a book? That shit is painful.  C-C-C A-A-A R-R-R. CC-AARR. [::whine::, try to change the subject, skip ahead to “reading” the pictures, ::whine::12 reminders from mom to stay focused and blend the sounds together] C-A-R. Car!  And that was just one word. 37 more to go.

So you see my dilemma with this favorite age business.

You know what age sounds great? 8. A solid not-too-young but not-too-old age.  8 is what I daydream about.

And all you parents of 8+ year olds out there? Shhhhh. Let me have my dream.

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