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*).
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?
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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