When did your baby walk? Does he sleep through the night? What was his first word?
First time parents anxiously await these milestones and compare (sometimes secretly, sometimes not) their kids with their friends’ kids. Are they ok? Are they normal? Are they advanced? As a pediatrician I wasn’t immune to this. I probably was even worse than most parents, mentally checking off obscure milestones like “looked at something I was looking at”, “lost the fencer reflex”, “achieved stoop and recover”.
It struck me today that while walking is nice and everyone is happy to bid farewell to the fencer reflex, there are more important parenting milestones. The ones no one really asks about.
*The no-kids-in-diapers milestone. (And the associated Being able to go out without a diaper bag milestone.)
*The every kid in the car can buckle their own seatbelt milestone. (And one day the no more car seats milestone.)
*The kids being able to read in bed on their own milestone.
*The kid being able to go into the grocery store to buy something milestone.
*The spitting after brushing teeth milestone (instead of swallowing the toothpaste).
*The being able to pump on the swings by themselves milestone.
*The tying their own shoes milestone.
Some of these we’ve achieved. Some we haven’t. (Heck, we’re still working on everyone sleeping through the night. Don’t ask.) And I realize that in some ways these are bittersweet. No more diapers, means no more sweet little babies in diapers. One day I will probably look back on the diapers through the rose colored glasses of nostalgia. But today? Today, I’m awfully excited that we’ve reached the “Everyone being able to buckle their own seatbelts” milestone.