Milestones are different for everyone. We watch and wait, sometimes cognizant of hitting them in our families with our children. Sometimes they surprise us. We find ourselves almost longing to go back to the time before our children grew and changed.
But there are other milestones I’m happy to be done with. Onwards and upwards! Here are a few:
The end result of potty training is fantastic; the process can be beyond frustrating. I know there are a variety of methods. I take a loose approach involving a couple days of no pants combined with lots of juice and pretzels.
So, today I accomplished nearly nothing! My life was split up into 15-minute increments at which time the timer would ring, and I got to sing a song about peeing on the potty and clapping. It gets old quick, you know? But you must keep your excitement so they continue to be interested, and you can achieve the result of someday no longer wiping butts!
In your head, you know this is a milestone. You know that they will figure it out somehow before they go to college. So you put stickers on the chart for the thousandth time and know that this too shall pass.
Y’all, I am in the trenches with this one. I am not sure if I am done having babies. But if I happen to be and if this is my last time I am teaching a human where to pee, I am likely ok with that.
That School Event You Hate
Most of us have a school event we dread and can’t wait until we don’t have children who have to participate in it any longer. Is it the Halloween Costume Parade? It’s not fun to watch your kindergartner and then have to stay allll the way until the end for that sixth-grader that you love(?) so much. Do you feel a sense of joy knowing that this is the last maturation event you have to sit through? No more school nurses teaching about tampons and body odor to a library of blushing preteens.
Let’s hear it for getting past the learning-the-recorder-in-school stage! If you have multiple kids who learned or are learning to play that devil’s instrument, I would like to give you a reward. And that reward is earplugs. Have you made it over the Science Fair hump? No more tri-fold poster boards, baking soda or copper wire in your shopping cart.
Whatever school milestone it is that you are moving past, you did it. High five, sister! You’re making it.
Moving to Solid Food
I (eventually) loved breastfeeding my babies. However, once they started eating solids I felt like something big happened. They no longer needed me quite as much. As long as I gave someone a hand full of Cheerios as I handed them my baby, I got some freedom! Even if you’re not leaving your baby with anyone, it can be more convenient to do solids than making a bottle or breastfeeding. Plus, it’s fun to see their faces when they try new foods.
The milestone of solid food means your baby is growing up, and if you’re a person whose favorite age is not the infant stage (mine isn’t), this is exciting. Ain’t no going back to all milk once they’ve tasted some fruit and those styrofoam banana rusks!
Your Children Driving
This is both terrifying and liberating. No more, “Mom can you drop me off at early morning practice?” and “Can I get a ride to Sarah’s?” A friend who has 5 daughters fairly close in age had one driving almost every year. She confided and bemoaned when the older girls went to college and the age gap left her without a driver for a year.
If you can relax about those teenage brains being on the road, you might be glad you’ve hit the driving milestone.
When Your Child Has Moved Past Their Obsession You Didn’t Really Like
Children seem to have a knack for loving things adults sometimes find odd. I’m not talking about your kid who loves dinosaurs; she may be a paleontologist someday! I’m talking about those funny, quirky obsessions or habits that they love, and well, you don’t.
A friend of mine told me about her son who loved collecting buttons. Fun, but less fun when you find them in the dryer and cut off your cardigans. She was all too happy when his love of buttons faded away.
We are currently in a knock-knock joke phase. It’s not constant, but once the kids get going. . . yikes. And they loop!
My six-year-old begins and just like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, my two-year-old delicately dances along with a cheery “Who’s there?”. And we’re stuck in the loop.
If you haven’t told your kid to knock off the knock-knock jokes in the car or you’re pulling the over, are you really a parent?
Heaven forbid when they start creating their own jokes! The way you get out of this milestone is only half good- your kid learns to read, but then their grandparents buy them a joke book. At least the jokes have a punch line now, right?