Unlike adults, well, female adults, children don’t stay in any one developmental level for very long. Each few months of a baby or toddler’s life is classified by a different stage, and each year after that marks a very different milestone in a child’s development. To understand what to expect in children from birth to age 5, I have broken child development down into its unique stages:
Birth-4 Months: Wad of Goo
This stage is marked by the resemblance of the child to a big wad of goo. The child may roll slightly, cry often, vomit a few times a day, and not much else. The baby still sleeps much of the time in this phase.
4 Months- 7 Months: Lump
The lump stage in children is characterized by a pleasing immobility. The child is no longer goo, but interacts with the people around him. The child at this stage may even have preferences in music, blankets, and toys.
8 Months- 15 Months: Danger to Pets
Most children at this stage have become mobile, whether by crawling, walking while holding onto furniture, or walking on their own. This phase is marked by the extreme danger posed to household pets. Dogs, cats, fish, etc., should be evacuated from the home once this stage begins
16 Months- 23 Months: Chatty Cathy
This stage is marked by pretty much constant babble that is practice for arguing and talking back. Parents are usually told to encourage the babbling by listening and helping the child to form words. Don’t believe it.
2 Years: Alien Implant
Once the adored child has bonded to his parents, and developed a delightful, if loud, personality, an alien pod is implanted to completely change this personality. This stage may vary slightly in time by a few months, but parents will be able to tell when the pod has been implanted. Implantation causes kicking, screaming, throwing food that was once a favorite, and tossing random items into the toilet.
3 Years: Alien Implant With Strength
One of the things that makes the alien implant stage bearable is that the child is still small and can be carried when he refuses to walk or go to bed. This characteristic is gone by the time this new stage begins. The alien implant has now caused superhuman strength enough that the child can run faster than a grown woman.
4 Years: Weird Question Phase
Once this stage begins, the alien implant has dissolved and the delightful personality of the child returns. This phase is usually such a relief to parents, that the constant, never ending questions will be welcomed eagerly. If you can answer questions such as “does anyone eat hair for dinner?” and “can I marry a cat?”, then you are perfectly well equipped for this phase.
5 Years: Ready For School
At this stage in the child’s development, the child needs to go to school. NEEDS to go. School only operates for half the day, but it is nonetheless much needed by the child. If the child is doing well enough in school and is making a lot of friends, you might suggest to the school board that they open on the weekends as well. This gives the child that much needed educational edge in coloring and pasting.
These stages may vary slightly from child to child, but if they haven’t appeared yet- they will.