Flexible working. Feminism. Fun.

It’s just a phase. Probably.

It’s just a phase. Probably.

“Let’s get dressed!” I said to my two-year-old daughter, holding out a dress and pair of tights.

“Want pants,” she said.

I got a jumper and a pair of jeans. “How about this?”

“Want pants,” she said.

“Jeans are pants.”


“But…these are pants, see? Two legs. Pants.”


And just like that, I knew we had entered a new phase. The I-only-want-pants-even-though-I-don’t-really-know-what-pants-are phase.

As far as phases go, this was was hardly the worst one. Yes, my daughter had cut her wardrobe choices in half, ensuring that she would spend the next several weeks or months in ill-fitting leggings. (She’s tallish and slim, meaning that her pants either fit her waist or are the right length, but are never both.) But compared to the many other phases she’s put me through, it barely even registered.

“It’s just a phase” is both the most useless and most practical thing you can say to a parent when their child is being horrible. It does nothing to solve the immediate problem, but it’s true that your kid will eventually give up most of their odd and annoying behaviors if you can just wait them out.

Here’s a list of just a few of the phases that my daughter has gone through in the past 2.5 years:

The constant night waking phase

Length of phase: A full fucking year

My daughter didn’t sleep for more than four hours straight for the first entire year of her life. Just when I had resigned myself to probable death by exhaustion, she decided that there might be something to this whole sleeping thing. Now she sleeps like a boss, while I still sleep like…well, a baby. Which is say: like shit.

The only napping in the pram phase

Length of phase: 7 months

On the downside, I never, ever got to take a nap during the newborn months. On the plus side, I was super thin from pushing a pram around for hours every day. It’s not an exercise regime that I would recommend unless you enjoy power walking for miles on no sleep, but it does work.

The baths are terrifying phase

Length of phase: 7 months

My daughter spent most of this year in deep fear of the bath. She spent every single bath time standing in the tub and crying. It started in February when I freaked her out by attempting to bathe her in a tiny shower in Paris and lasted until a few weeks ago, when she suddenly remembered that there’s nothing scary about being in an inch of water.

The Grease phase

Length of phase: 2 months

For several months, the only songs she wanted to hear were from the Grease soundtrack. Especially the inappropriate ones. When your child is dancing around to a song that refers to a car as a “pussy wagon”, you can’t help but feel like you’re failing at parenting a little.

The Helen Oxenbury phase

Length of phase: Months. Possibly years.

My daughter developed an obsession with a set of four wordless books by Helen Oxenbury and demanded that I read them to her repeatedly. Except, you know, there are no words. And no plot. Just a baby eating and playing and pooping and stuff. The worst.

The cardigan phase

Toddler in a short romper and cardigan splashing with a stuck in a puddle
Wearing a cardigan and shorts in 28 degree weather. As you do.

Length of phase: 4 months

My daughter waited until to summer to decide that she need to wear a cardigan every single day. Even when it was roasting. Even to bed. I Googled “toddler cardigan obsession” and it’s not a thing.

The pajama cuddling phase

Length of phase: Ongoing

A typical bedtime conversation:

Me: Let’s get your bunny pajamas on.
Her: Want different jamas!
Me: Want your fox pajamas instead?
Her: Yes!
Me: Okay, let’s put on your fox pajamas.
Me: [Goes to put away the fox pajamas]
Her: NO!
Me: I thought you didn’t want your fox pajamas.

So she goes to bed wearing one pair of pajamas and cuddling another pair.

Like “toddler cardigan obsession”, “toddler pajama cuddling obsession” is also not a thing. But that’s okay. Every toddler is weird in their own way. And like so many other phases, I know this phase will soon give way to something even weirder.


8 thoughts on “It’s just a phase. Probably.”

  • Aaaw the cuddling-pyjamas stage sounds so cute! You’re right – they all have their odd little phases. My eldest went through a phase of only wearing dresses so when she had a growth spurt, I only bought dresses, at which point she decided she was now only wearing trousers! Grrr! #stayclassymama

  • I’m reading, smiling and nodding thinking, “yeap! Just a phase!” Sorry!!!
    Toddler phases are really hard work but give me a toddler over a teen please! Fancy swapping?? We have the “I eat everything that mums just bought in one afternoon” stage. Also the “wet towels breed on the floor” stage. Oh and how about, “the nick mums car and drain it of fuel” stage. It’s all fun, fun, fun!
    Love this post just as much as the wearing a comfy cardy stage. Xxx

  • It’s all just a phase and I believe it will be the same forever and ever even when they are all grown up and have left to live their own lives (now I’m getting ahead of myself) Thank you for sharing with #StayClassymama

  • Adorable! We’re moving into the contradictory ‘no’ phase now, where he says no to everything, even when it contradicts what he just said no too. Gotta love it (to maintain our sanity as it can drive us crazy!) #ablogginggoodtime

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: