Then when Staley was 6 months old, I thought that was my favorite age. She was learning so much. She was sitting and rolling and playing with toys. It was so easy (and so fun) to make her smile and laugh. Her schedule was set, and it was so fun to take her new places and show her new things. Everything was new to her, and it was amazing viewing the world through a fresh set of eyes. I couldn't imagine anything better.
But at one year, I was sure that THAT was my favorite age. Staley was becoming her own little person. She was walking and talking. She could understand what I told her, and could communicate what she wanted. She was learning new things everyday, and it was so amazing to me how someone so small could absorb so much. I was astounded by the daily learning and growing, the connections that were being made. I loved the little person that Staley was becoming. I couldn't imagine anything better.
Then I determined that 18 months was my favorite age. My little talker was amusing me daily with what she could say. She was starting to pretend, to take turns, to be so fun to play with. She loved going places, and I loved taking her. She found such pleasure in all the little things in life--in puddles, in sticks, in treats, in animals. Independence began emerging, and I watched my baby girl start to grow into someone who wanted to do things 'all by myself.' What a fun way to recapture all the little joys in life by watching my daughter's eyes light up with new discoveries. I couldn't imagine anything better.
Until now. Staley will be 2 on Friday. And I love, love, love this age. It's definitely my favorite. Staley is my happy, loving, funny, joyful, singing, dancing, social bundle of joy. I love that she wants to be independent, yet still wants to cuddle and hold my hand and sit on my lap. I love that she can engage in a conversation with me and tell me all about her day, yet still needs me to explain things to her and answer lots of questions. I love that Staley has her own sense of humor and makes her own jokes, yet I can still always make her smile and laugh. I love that Staley can pretend and 'read' to herself, yet still always wants to include me in her play. I love that Staley enjoys playing with her friends and spending time with her baby-sitter, yet still runs to greet me with an exuberant smile and hug when I pick her up. I love that Staley naps (mostly) and sleeps so well, yet still wakes up happily asking for her 'mama.' I love that Staley has her own opinions, exerts her independence, and speaks her mind, yet still remains her easy-going little self. My little Staley fills my heart and my life each and every day. I can't imagine anything better.