The old adage ‘it’s just a phase’.
A popular anecdote used by parents far and wide.
If you like me, had a penny for every time we said that, together we would be rich.
Never has a phrase been more spot on.
Back when our daughter was a baby, life lurched from one phase to the next. Phases where we knew not of the outcome.
The only evidence of having survived one phase was having entered a new one.
When children are young phases come at us thick and fast don’t they. Several phases can occur simultaneously.
Whereas you had always been a problem solver, the latest phase would side-swipe you from behind.
You would be rendered clueless whilst resorting to Google After Hours for the answer to your parental failings.
These phases certainly kept us on the hoof and playing catch up.
Some would seem to go on forever. Particularly long lasting phases for our household were having a ‘hitter’ and a ‘screamer’.
Hearing the words ‘excuse me is that your daughter over there?’ would make me want to shrink knowing that The Kid had probably delivered a right hander to some poor unsuspecting soul. Hard to believe considering she wouldn’t say boo to a goose now.
I always experienced a sadistic feeling of joy when meeting another ‘phasing’ parent. Particularly of the ‘The Hitter’. Not that I would have wished it on anyone but it never does any harm to have a phase ally.
It is only as our children grow older that we experience a joyful phase in this phasing. So joyful that we forget about it.
We’ve notched up almost 10 years of this parenting lark now, phases are a thing of the past.
Instead of consistent side-swipes, phases now come out of the blue. So out of the blue that they floor you. It’s like the new parent thing all over again.
But we are supposed to know it all now – right?
This is what is known as a phase shift in the parenting world. You are entering into unknown phase territory where only the brave survive.
There are no words.
Iron Man and I found ourselves speechless the other day. We looked at each other vacantly. I’m sure he would have cried if I hadn’t been there. I know I would have legged it if he hadn’t been holding on to my ankles.
We utter the immortal words ‘do you think it’s just a phase?’
Having one child means that we have no prior experience – everything is a first.
I can only imagine how this would be if we had several children, different personalities experiencing different phases at the same time. We probably both would have legged it in this scenario!
What is true for all of us is that we could be running the country, a large multi-national or a household yet the effect is the same.
Together we are used to making decisions, managing people and dealing with difficult situations – perfect attributes for parenting dilemmas or so you would think.
How can this be so?
We know that children don’t come with manuals so I’m taking a massive leap of faith in guessing that phases have a cut-off point.
It is reassuring that we don’t see adults with dummies or drinking out of a bottle with a teat so one assumes that there is an expiry date?
One thing we are clear about is that the tween and teenage years are tenderly sleeping and that we need to fasten out seatbelts in preparation.
Everything that has gone before was just a walk in the park.
How many pennies are in your parenting phase pot?
Are you rich yet?
All photos are of my deliciously lovely and ever growing Kid.