Post written by Daddy Jay –
I’ve never been able to pick out a favorite age for kids.
I know it’s not 0-3 months. Yeah, those little babies are cute and all, but you gotta bring something to the table. Giggle? Roll over? You’re waking me up at night and making me change fifty diapers a day. Give me something!
And it probably won’t be middle school. The 12-13 year age range is a lot like 0-3 months. Only change out “waking me up” to “arguing with everything I say” and “making me change your diapers” to “being obnoxious in public”. Other than that, it’s exactly the same.
So if you’d ask me at any point in the last six years what my favorite age is, I’d probably say “this one”. It’s true for Brayden because he’s turning from little boy into cool kid. But I want to focus for a second on Lydia, who turns two in a matter of weeks.
Almost-two Lydia is precious to the extreme. I can predict nearly everything she’ll say all day long, but I just love hearing it come out of her mouth. For example, when she wakes up in the morning, I know she’ll say “Eat.” I’ll put her in her chair and she’ll say “Buckle!” And then she’ll make sure I don’t forget anything by announcing what I need to get next and pointing to where it is in the kitchen: “Chee-yos!” “Dink!”
But the best thing that Lydia says is “One mah tah!” It’s what we grown ups pronounce as “One more time,” but Lydia’s version is superior in every way. From the pacing, to the lilt, to the wagging finger, it’s perfect. Sometimes she says it after putting together a puzzle or getting tossed up in the air, but I can always count on hearing it after her bedtime book. We can never read a book just once before bedtime. Change the diaper. Get the blanky. Pick a book. And read it twice.
I’m a pretty smart guy. I can remember the routine. But Lydia reminds me every night after the first read-through of the book du jour, “One mah tah!” It’s the best.
I’m a writer. A words guy. So I usually try to fix the kids’ grammar so they don’t fall into poor habits when they grow older. I correct pronunciation when I can (“Brayden, ‘then’ is different than ‘than'”). But in 50 years, when President Lydia is rehearsing her inauguration speech, and says she wants to read it through again, I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t come out “One mah tah!”