The ‘Other’ Milestones

Ah, parenthood. So many major moments. So many cherished memories. They develop so quickly, each time hitting a big milestone, and we cheer them along. You know, crawling, walking, the first word. Hashtag blessed.

Often I get asked about milestones. What is normal? When should my child be doing stuff by? If they don’t hit the milestone by a certain age are they DOOMED? (Spoiler alert: They all get there in the end).

While we focus on the general milestones as an indicator of development, there’s a whole bunch of other hidden ‘milestones’ that are going on at the same time. They’re the ones that don’t seem to get mentioned in the books, but are just as cherished, albeit perhaps not so Facebook worthy. These milestones leave you feeling a confused mixture of pride and horror, as you wonder just how the fuck they developed that ability, and where it came from (it’s never from us. NEVER….. *cough cough*).

milestones ecard2

Here are a snapshot of some of these memorable other milestones:

  • When your child swears for the first time. In context. It’s one of those ‘Omg! But…. I’m kinda proud you knew how to use it in context’ moments. Who knew that the word fuck could sound so cute? And inappropriate? But. Cute. Example: Litttle Jilly is trying to put Peppa in the Peppa House bunk beds and put the bunk ladder on but those bunk beds are designed to infuriate little souls (And big ones too. That fucking bunk ladder is the bane of my existence. Have you seen that shit??) For realz. Little Jilly, fed up with the stupid contraption mutters “For Fucks Sake”. Bless.
  • When they ask you to pull their finger and can then actually fart on cue. While disgusted and horrified, there’s a small sense of amazement that they’ve coordinated bodily functions to happen on cue. You’re just hoping it’s not a shart, and also wonder why the hell this controlled ability doesn’t seem to extend to getting wee IN the toilet and not all over the fucking floor. Yes, even girls manage to get wee all over the floor. Don’t ask.
  • The first time they use sarcasm, and it doesn’t sound like they’re just being a nasty asshole. You know you’ve created a monster, but goddamn it’s a proud day.
  • When your darling openly trolls you in public, knowing full well you can’t do shit to them. Like the time you’re in a busy shopping centre and they scream at the top of their lungs “Muuum!! Stop hurting meeeeeeeee!!” because you advised them it was time to leave the the toy section and put back the eleventy billion things they were clutching like it was an episode of Supermarket Sweep*. They then look at you with what can only be described as a sly ‘fuck.yes…got you gooooooood’ smirk once you’re out of said shopping centre. Again, a mixture of rage and confused pride all at once. What a milestone.
  • That moment they describe to you with shocking accuracy, what the taste of boogers is like. Horrified, but also impressed at their palette and the ability to detect salty tastes. Also, you deny all knowledge of actually knowing that boogers taste salty. It’s just something you’ve read…. *shifts eyes downward and shuffles feet*
  • When your child effectively tells that little shit at the playground to fuck off. You know, the one giving your cherub a hard time, teasing them, not letting them on the swing? There’s always one. As parents we have to sit there with a grimaced look on our face, unable to chastise someone else’s kid. Then in swoops your own baby, spewing forth a torrent of verbal smackdown, handling their business like a boss. Pride. And a little concern that your kid is losing their shit like a bat out of hell. But. Pride.

*This may or may not have happened to me with Miss DP. Maybe.

Oh and when we talk milestones, if we could stop this?

milestones meme 2Putting your kid’s age in months DOES NOT make those milestones seem any more amazing. Just sayin’……

So, if your little darling might not quite have the alphabet down pat, but can swear like a trooper? You’re doing ok. They’ve got some contextual knowledge cracking. The letters will come. I hold on to the fact my biggest little lady might not be able to read all that well, but she can burp on cue, as well as burp songs. Like, how do you even learn that at 5? Mensa will be knocking on the door any minute now……

In all serious though, we can get pretty hung up on these milestones and worry if our child isn’t hitting them by a certain time. Development is such a crazy, rollercoaster ride of a thing. Some milestones your cherub might have really early, and others might take them a bit longer. It only becomes a concern when they don’t reach the milestone after quite some time, and there’s often an array of other issues that become apparent in conjunction with milestones not being met. If you are concerned, go and chat to your GP who might refer you to a paediatrician, speech pathologist, OT or psych to get it looked over. And truly it’s not a competition. Don’t compare to the kidlet down the road, or your friend’s cherub (who just seems uber fucking gifted at everything and achieves all milestones and wins at life ridiculously early and you just want to punch said friend in the face because no kid is that perfect. There’s always one….), they all get there in the end.

Does your child have any of these ‘other’ milestones cracking? Or can you remember any memorable milestones you pulled out as a kid? We turned out ok, didn’t we? DIDN’T WE?


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  • My three year old had a lancet she was hiding under get a bit tangled. She was effectively trapped by her own flailing arms in there when she called out “Mum! I’m fuckin’ stuck!” #soblessed

    • Bahahahaha she’s all over it! Even abbreviating, bless her cotton socks. That’s an advanced cherub you have there. x

  • Such good read. Yes, we’ve hit a few of these milestones too. And I have to say what is with telling your kids age by months? Even with Phoebe I forget whether she’s 20 or 21 months – I end up saying she’s 1.

    • Ha ha I know! So strange, isn’t it? With O I had that moment where I realised I had to stop saying his age in weeks and go to months. No one wants to hear about your 34 week old baby. :)

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    This is gold. I was always so careful about swearing when my kids were younger but after having 4, my youngest thinks we live on a construction site – and he knows more words than me.

    • Ha ha ha see you’re just setting him up well so that he has no surprises when starting school! Smart parenting I call that! 😉

  • michelle barrington

    Two absolute gold milestones – when they can wipe their own bum and when they can clip up their own seatbelt.

    • The wiping of one’s butt is just a glorious day! Now I’ve got a few more years to get them all to that point! x

  • I think the months thing is a cruel attempt by parents to make others do maths :)

  • You so wise! All this talk of months and milestones… Haven’t parents got enough to keep up with? And swearing in context, that is totes a life skill!

  • Hashtag hilarious. We haven’t had any swearing yet, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. The little one is an expert in openly trolling me though. Little ratbag 😉

    • Oh the first time they swear is such a weird moment. Horrified and proud and confused all at the same time. Then the rest of the moment is spent begging them to never say it in front of anyone else! Aww your cuties surely couldn’t troll you in public! They look way too sweet! But I do know that sugar and spice normally does lead to cheeky minxes! 😉 x

  • Hugzilla

    OMG yes! I was so proud when my six year old could finally a) use sarcasm and b) understand MY sarcasm. They day we both laughed at something droll I said about his younger brother is a day I’ll never forget. LOL.#heartwarming

    • Oh that needs to go straight into the milestone diary. Warms the cockles to hear of kids picking up sarcasm. Pride overfloweth x

  • Swearing for the first time was a big one in our house! Very proud Mummy moment :) I was pretty bloody pleased when they could put their own damn seat belts on too!! Just for the record, my daughter is 235 months old :)

    • Bahahahaha and what a fabulous 235 month old she is! :) The swearing kills me, I have to bite my tongue to try and remain straight faced. And yes! Seat belts! We’re now on the countdown to getting rid of the biggest little lady’s car seat. Can.not.wait. x

  • Baahhaaahaha so funny and so true! My 8yo boy still doesn’t know the days of the week properly. I WILL do a little jig when we get that sorted. I almost shed a tear for real when 3 out of 4 kids learned to click themselves into the car. And I cried from laughing when my 3yo said “fuckin’ footprints” when her sister traipsed through the house with wet feet :)

  • I’m a bit uptight on the swearing one as my 9 year old is saying it to me a bit too regularly at the moment – I swear the hormones are already setting in and that is not a milestone I’m looking forward to at all! I love that your baby sorted out the playground bully though – go her! Also who can remember how many months their kids are anyway, what’s with that?

  • Ha! Love this and think some of these milestones SHOULD be celebrated (publicly) more!

  • Smart, non-condescending sarcasm being used is the best milestone. Knowing they know how to be funny and not offensive is a huge achievement. :)

    • Heck yes! It’s a bit hard at the start when they try so hard to be funny but it comes out a bit awks. The biggest little lady is pulling out all the appropriate sarcasm now. It is the actual best. x

  • Rachel Doherty

    I loved your list. Such a good laugh. I’m at the other end of the spectrum where you’re kind of waiting for the milestones – getting a job and paying some board finally, moving out etc, or fearing them and announcing like a ringmaster your approach to their bedrooms when the boyfriend or girlfriend is over… Thanks!

    • Oh thanks lovely! Holy heck I am burying my head in the sand with some of those later milestones! Apparently according to hubby my ladies are entering the convent so there won’t be the milestone of having partners stay over. Problem sorted! 😉 x

  • So true!!! My boys have mastered perfect timing with the out of the blue swear words compliments of spending time with Daddy and Pop with the farm dogs. Boy do they swear at the dogs, so it was only a matter of time it would rub off. It’s so wrong but just quietly so funny and cute! I’ve also been known to whimper FFS during witching hour – surprised they haven’t picked up on that one. But I have heard them tell their Dad “Mummy’s not a slave!” Hahaha xx

    • You know, I have to point the finger at myself for the swearing milestone. For fucks sake is one of my go-to’s. It’s good to see they listen to me sometimes ha ha! And good work boys- they’ve got the right lines down pat! x

  • Oh people who refer to their kids in months do my head in! I recently spoke to someone who referred to her almost four year old as 41 months – wtf?! I was pretty anxious about our boys reaching official milestones for the first six months or so, more to do with them being prem though, now I wish they would stop reaching milestones such as telling their Dad that I said he has no idea – eek!

    • Omg they did what?? No way! How did you keep a straight face lovely? I would’ve been snort-laughing at that! 😀 Ha ha I know just what you mean with the premmie milestone panic! Then they get too smart for their own good.They suck at keeping secrets too ha ha!Cheeky monkeys! x

  • I love this. Our recent milestone is that our little guy is now wiping his own bum! Major milestone and parenting win! Xx

  • Sarah @sarahdipityblog

    Bahaha I love this! Proud (or maybe ashamed?) to say my son has achieved all of the above milestones mentioned.

  • This is so my life right now – but you have to laugh about it otherwise you’d cry right??

  • I’ll have you know that my 173mth old child just excelled and got the 3rd highest mark in his common maths test and my 131mth old twins are mostly not annoying the crap out of me at the moment! Surely the fact that I put that in months is impressive (and I can’t be 100% certain on my mths but I think that is right lol)!!!

    • Bahahahahahahaha!! I am uber impressed at your 173 month old and 131 month old twins respectively! Actually more at your ability to survive 3 cherubs and calculate maths. The only maths I can manage right now is how many bottles of wine I’ve got left and how many hours they will last me for. :) xx

  • Bahaha – loved this post. It’s so true.

  • “Why aren’t you letting my sister play?” My work here is done.

  • Our seven year old has mastered sarcasm :) Toddler doesn’t do “pull my finger”, but he makes a fart noise (blows a raspberry) and then laughs hysterically.