The Cute Age
There is a brief period of time in the development of young children in which they are generally pleasant to have around. This period, referred to as ‘The Cute Age’, typically occurs sometime after the child’s first birthday, but before the second. Children in the Cute Age can be recognized by several easily-spotted behaviors.
- Cute Age children have no balance at all. They are just learning to walk, and certainly are not comfortable with the whole ‘upright’ thing just yet. They stand, they totter, they fall on their diaper’d bottoms with the most adorable look of confusion on their faces. This can be replicated at any time by the slightest of nudges anywhere on the child’s upper body, and unlike children who have grown out of the Cute Age, these children will often respond with delight and stand right back up again. Really, this is a game that never gets old.
- Cute Age children have two speeds: stop and full throttle. They have just discovered how to stand like their parents, and are eager to use these ‘legs’ things they seem to have to their full potential. As such, two of the most common activities observed in Cute Age children are first standing semi-upright, hand clinging to some immobile piece of furniture, looking worriedly at the space they are about to cross, and secondly in the mad, giggling sprint across said space as they desperately try to make it to the next solid object without falling. One of the most amusing aspects of the Cute Age child is that they, more often than not, fail in this sprint, losing their balance and falling, once again, into a confused heap. The real test to see if the child really and truly is in the Cute Age comes at this point – the Cute child will giggle and get back up. Others will start to scream. And we all hate the screaming.
- Cute Age children have this adorable tendency to believe everything you say, and can be easily convinced to repeat it back at... appropriate... times. This, as has been documented in many, many places, can be used to shock family members or spread propaganda of most any sort. While this can be a source of malicious fun, it should also be noted that Cute Age children are the best to tell stories to (again, of any sort), and generally treat you as The Voice of God. This is always good for the ego.
In short, if you spot a child
in the Cute Age, appreciate them while you can. They will quickly grow out
of their cuteness, first into the horrible rebelliousness
of the Twos, and later into the dreaded Teens
. Appreciate the innocence of the Cute Age, because it will not last forever