“Growing up too fast!” … “Don’t blink!” … “Where did the time go?!”… Seems like only yesterday!”
Parents echo these sentiments through social media on the daily… eager to show how their little ones are growing and developing, but also nostalgic for how quickly time really does fly. How do they get so big so fast? One minute, you’re terrified you’re strapping them in their infant carrier incorrectly, and the next, they are in a booster, asking for a happy meal. That cute ruffly butt outfit you bought in size 6-12 months, thinking it will be forever before her tiny, spindly legs will fill it up… is actually snug when you finally pull it down off the hanger and snip the tags.
Meanwhile, parents celebrate and document their little ones’ milestones… their first smile, first wave bye-bye, first tooth, first solid food, first steps, first haircut, first potty…and it’s hard, because when they are really little, literally every day is a “first” something. And we don’t wanna miss a thing. We snap photos, post on social media, save curls, fill pages of baby books, call grandma– the works. (At least for baby #1…) But there are some milestones that don’t make the books. Weird ones that you never would consider documenting, but that are just as impactful as the more obvious ones, if not more. Here are some that have recently rocked my little mommy world…
* Downsizing your huge, stuffed with everything to run a small country, diaper bag to a smaller bag… This happened for me yesterday, and it’s a game changer. I feel like a new woman. Ok, not really, but it’s a welcome change. Plus cleaning out my huge’em was nothing short of hilarious. Aside from the obvious diapers/wipes/changing pad trio, I found spare onesies (3 sizes too small,) nursing pads & burp rags(we weaned a year ago), swim diapers, wrappers from various bribery treats from god-knows-when, teethers, baby spoons (he’s been self feeding for 6 months), nail clippers, toys we forgot we owned, expired coupons (Damnit!)… you name it. I had been toting it around, all under the guise of “necessities.” And I laughed at how much of it I never needed to begin with. In my new whip? –a pouch with a couple diapers and a tube of Vaseline in it, a travel-sized wipes thingy, a little bitty hand sanitizer, a chapstick, a sunscreen stick, a comb, a couple matchbox cars & lollipops, and when I’m out the door, wallet, keys, phone. THAT’S IT. This is a huge weight off my shoulders. Literally.
*Your child’s first time getting his feelings hurt by his friends… This recently hit me in the feels, because when it’s YOUR baby’s crocodile tears falling, you want to fix it, make it all better, and kick some pre-school ass. But you have to keep in mind that every child is somebody’s baby, and your child is likely to be somebody else’s asshole at some point. BREEEEEATHE, MAMA BEAR.
*The first time your child puts their hand on their hip, rolls their eyes, and projects a sigh or grumble of disgust in your general direction. (And sounds/looks EXACTLY. LIKE. YOU.) Oh dear Jesus, say it isn’t so! I thought I’d be spared this particular milestone, having boys. Not so. This is a perfect reminder that kids will follow your example, not your advice. Oopsie
*The first time you go to take care of a chore and realize that one of the children has already done it for you…Whoa, whoa, and more whoa. This one, I have mixed feelings about. Zachary, my four year old, has always been “Mommy’s helper.” He feeds the dogs, throws away trash, picks up his toys, carries towels to the laundry… when prompted. But recently, I am finding his independence is expanding. I went to the kitchen to answer a phone call the other night… during which time, Zac got the baby out of the tub, (drained the water), wrapped puddin-pop in a towel, took him to his room, and had him on the bean bag, warm and snug, waiting for help. How nice! That he should grow up and be responsible and not need me and find a woman and move out and be a better parent than me. CUE: UGLY CRY.
So basically, what I’m getting at is that every day is a milestone of its own…. even the moments that suck. Every temper tantrum, every thrown vegetable, every skinned knee, and every wet bed. And so is every every hand-strung noodle necklace, every snugly pajama snow day, and every unprompted “thank you, mommy.” Aren’t those the best??