By Sonya Thorne
Welcomed or not, pregnant women and new moms receive plenty of advice from women who have been where they are.
Although I didn't realize it at the time, my most valued piece of advice came in four words: this too shall pass.
Babies go through so many phases, and some are more enjoyable than others. I remember my son Aiden's six-week growth spurt. It lasted nine days. Nine days of pure crying, for him and me. I was convinced he had colic. Then as fast as it started, it stopped.
At seven months, Aiden went through a full month of suffering night terrors that I believe were associated with teething. Again, more tears for the both of us. It was yet another phase and I spent a long month waiting for it to pass.
Aiden is now 15 months old and I am repeating those four treasured words as he is going through another phase. This newest phase consists of throwing his food on the floor and refusing to eat. I find myself saying in my own mother's words, "but you love green peas." He may have loved them last week, but not this week.
Who needs to work out when you can burn calories trying to change a diaper. He may be small, but he is strong. In addition to diapers and wipes, I come armed with toys, food and an iPhone in hopes of one of them holding his attention long enough for me to change his bottom.
He is generally a very happy boy, but like an adult, he has his moments. Although my Facebook profile may show otherwise, he isn't always smiling. We do have moments that we do not capture on camera because frankly, they aren't pretty.
Recently my son seemed to develop a spite-filled, whiney attitude almost overnight. A phase I am hoping passes quickly. I dare you to take something from Aiden that he shouldn't have. Or lock the kitchen cupboard that he is trying to get into. Cover your ears because this little guy can scream. As much as I want to make the noise stop and see his smile again, I can't give in because that would just teach him that such an attitude will get him what he wants.
I know this behaviour is normal because I have asked other parents and I have Googled it. From what I can tell it is common for his age, at a time when he is trying to be more independent. It is something all children go through, and like all other phases, it will pass. I hope.
One thing I have learned during the past 15 months is that you have to take the good with the bad. In addition to his newfound attitude, Aiden has learned to walk, says several words, eats with a fork, attempts to put on his own socks and combs his own hair. This too seemed to happen overnight.
We both go through phases and are growing, learning and changing together. While there are some non-picture worthy moments where both Aiden and I are frustrated, there are even more moments that are. He is changing before my eyes, turning into a little boy.
As he grows up, there will be many more phases for us to go through. As I anticipate the next phase I find myself doing the only thing I really can do while I wait: smile for the camera.