Our children’s milestones are truly great, aren’t they? After all, nothing can beat the feeling you experience when you witness that first smile, first crawl, first walk and first word.
But what about the ‘other’ milestones? You know the ones I mean … or maybe you don’t, because they’re the ones no one really talks about. But they darn well should, because as far as I’m concerned, these are the ones that should be celebrated the most.
Here’s my personal list of the ‘firsts’ I am looking forward to.
My son getting dressed by himself … willingly
We’ve all been through the ‘I don’t want to get dressed’ phase with our children, right? The phase that sees the task of putting clothes on turn into a challenge not far removed from running a really hilly 10k marathon, while dressed in scuba diving gear. Quite frankly, it’s impossible.
So no one can tell me that when your child starts to willingly get dressed by themselves it’s not a milestone to celebrate.
Gone will be the task of cramming what feels like a slippery octopus into a t-shirt. Gone will be the strategic placing of my knees in his back to prevent the ‘floppy leg syndrome’ while trying to pull on his trousers, and gone will be the wrestling moves I have to do on my opponent in an attempt to do up zippers, poppers, and buttons.
My son understanding sun safety
I know this probably isn’t a biggie for many out there, but for me it is huge! In fact, if I had a dollar for every battle I have had with my toddler in an episode of ‘toddler versus sunscreen’, closely followed by ‘toddler versus sunhat’, I would be rich, rich, rich.
Therefore, I very much look forward to the day that I don’t have to chase my son around the furniture approximately 500 times in order to apply sunscreen, and I don’t run the risk of getting RSI as a result of the amount of times I force his hat back onto his head when we are out.
My son going to the toilet and actually getting it in the bowl
It’s great that my little man is toilet trained and it certainly makes for an easier life when you don’t have to constantly be changing nappies. However, I will be really pleased when my son is able to go to the toilet and actually get it ALL in the bowl … just as a change from the floor, bathmat, walls and bath tub. My bathroom constantly smells like a public urinal. Yuck.
My son putting his own seatbelt on
Can you imagine a time when your child can not only get in the car unaided, but can actually climb into their seat and clip in their own seatbelt ALL. BY. THEMSELVES?! No? Don’t worry, right at this moment, nor can I.
But when this milestone is met it will be a grand day; no longer will I face the stressful task of manipulating a wriggling child into a small and restrained space (while juggling a backpack, handbag, and the plethora of toys we ‘NEEDED’ to bring for the journey, of course), but I will also be able to leave the house 10 minutes later than normal. Extra cup of tea and, dare I say it, a wave of the mascara wand, here I come. Gosh – I won’t know myself.
My son learning to pick up after himself
According to all the studies and research out there, there’s no doubt that my son is more than old enough and capable enough to be picking up and putting away his toys.
However, the reality is that it is very much a work in progress. Despite owning a multitude of different storage containers of varying shapes and sizes, it would still appear that the floor, sofa and my bed are the favoured spots for leaving ALL his toys after a hard day’s play.
So come the time when my instructions are actually followed and all the toys are returned to their rightful homes before the end of the day, I will be celebrating. Not only will it mean that I’ll get an extra 10 minutes at the end of the day, but it will also mean that in the middle of the night I needn’t fear impaling myself on a plane wing, car wheel, or Lego block … bliss!