The delight of observing your baby reach crucial milestones is one of the great pay-offs of early parenthood.
Knowing that you're doing a good enough job that baby is thriving, is enough to get through the exhaustion most parents feel during the first year.
There are, however, those baby milestones which only add to the extreme fatigue.
A mum has taken to Reddit to list those events in a baby's life which signal the need for a whole new kind of parental vigilance. Naming the thread 'The frustrating milestones' she calls for others to add their own to the list.
She begins, "I've decided to start celebrating the frustrating baby milestones... the ones that maybe I'll enjoy more if I consider cause for celebration instead of causes to curse under my breath."
Now here's the list:
The poop touch: this is the epic battle to see if one's small hands can touch one's poop as soon as the diaper opens before mummy can get to it with a wipe. Requires ridiculous speed and is best accompanied by attempts to roll away during the diaper change and yelps of protest when pinned down.
The banshee: this is when one throws one's voice as loudly as possible in a shriek for no apparent reason. Best done when mummy isn't looking to maximise her startle reflex.
The almost tooth: this isn't the milestone of the first tooth. This is the endless teething before. The random days of mouth pain that don't bare any fruit. Can last for months. Best accompanied by protests when fed solids, sleepless nights, and gumming mummy enough to make her shudder at the thought of actual teeth coming through.
The pincher: this is when one discovers the power of one's hands to inflict pain on mummy while breastfeeding. It's a sharp pinch and twisting of any exposed skin. Must be accompanied by protests cries and unlatching any time mummy tries to pry her flesh free from one's hand.
The quasi modo shuffle: this isn't quite crawling and is somewhere past the army crawl; it's when one moves one's body in a a very odd way with surprising speed to reach objects. Must reach maximum velocity while mummy is attempting to quickly pee before one reaches unsafe objects to attempt to eat.
The not-my-mum meltdown: this is when one begins to cry as soon as one notices the person holding one isn't mummy. Triggered when one hears mummy's voice or she accidentally makes eye contact during a social gathering.
Then she asks, "What other milestones do you think we should celebrate?" which of course opens a floodgate of suggestions from other weary parents.
Here are the suggestions in the running to make the master list.
"The "What's in your mouth?!" 10 yard dash. Be prepared for record setting speeds," to which the OP replies, "I feel like that challenge is going to be next level since this baby is number two and his older brother loves scattering choking-sized toys everywhere he goes."
"You forgot about the "OMG what did you do?!?" Achieved when a determined youngster successfully creates a mess that makes their parent scream internally. See also: the poo painting, glittermageddon, mum's coffee tastes awesome, and bag of chocolate chips on the kitchen counter."
"I would like to propose: Complete nap resistance. Complete food resistance. Hating everything they loved yesterday. Overnight waking up marathons. Lemming mode (trying to leap off everything)."
"The 'I can pull my [dummy] out but not put it back in' phase. Ugh."
Of course those with toddlers and older kids chime in with what's in store down the track.
"In a short while you might experience the "I want to walk everywhere but I have no balance." This is after the baby takes his first steps, but can't actually walk more than a few steps before wiping out."
"First time they loudly body-shame a stranger in public: 'MUMMY WHY IS THAT LADY SO FAT.' Bonus points for mentioning disability or race markers."
The entire thread is a really good read so if you feel like a laugh, have a read.