The amount of development and change a baby goes through in a year IS mind-blowing. We need to know that our babies are heading in the right direction and that list can just let us know that we’re on the right track. I’m sure it was a paediatrician that created the milestone list in the first place after the millionth panicked phone call after hours (CHECK THE DAMN LIST, Mrs. Jones!).
I don’t think I’m a comparison freak but I’m guilty of googling “words a 10 month old should say” and “when will my baby start…” more than I care to admit …publicly … on the Internet.
So if your cousin’s friend’s sister’s kid just cooed ‘mama’ or sang the national anthem and you’re eying baby up wondering when Junior will perform such feats of daring and genius, I’m here to tell you (and me) to relax just a little bit. When WILL they get there? It turns out, just like their arrival into the world, babies have their own timeline. Back away from the Google search and celebrate that adorable ball of drool and giggles.
In fact, while you’re at it, why not make some memorable milestones of your own?
Here are a few of mine…
1. The Houdini.
Wrestles out of any swaddle or straitjacket.
2. The Streaker.
Removes all clothing and diaper.
3. The Bird Bath.
Climbs into toilet.
4. The Raven.
Captures and hoards small important objects (keys, remotes, credit cards, garage door openers).
5. The Sherpa.
Scales the largest piece of furniture in the house.
6. The Garburator.
Discovers and devours an inedible object.
7. The Lock Picker.
Opens any door and scoffs at baby proofing.
8. The Trust Exercise.
Falls off a change table/bed/couch/out the front door (HYPOTHETICALLY) under your watchful eye.
9. The Gangster.
Says a very bad word. I recommend exposing your baby to many many people so that you have someone to blame.
10. The Safety Mechanism.
Does something really really cute. Babies are absurdly adorable for their own safety. As their outrageous behaviour (the poop, the yelling, oh my!) gets more and more unbearable, the safety mechanisms kick in. The first real hug and kiss (and don’t even get me started on the first “I love you, Mom”) from that chubby sticky little gremlin somehow makes every single second worth it.
So when my mind goes to that “Are we there yet” place, I remind myself (as I vehemently expressed to my toddler on a recent roadtrip), “We’ll get there WHEN WE GET THERE.”
And we’ll all get there. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Celebrate the successes. Make your own rules. You’ve got this and so does your little one. Now excuse me. My baby just started walking and I have forty-seven minutes of footage to upload to Facebook right now.
If you’re guilty of the Google, check out the rest of the What Moms Google series. Topics range from Time Outs to Sleep Training and contain expert advice real-life survival tips from the toddler trenches.