The 10 Milestones No One Bothers to Warn Moms About

LegsOur children have barely begun their lives when the obsession with hitting the milestones begins. When will they roll over? Sit? Hold a spoon? Drink from a cup? Neatly marked off a usually mental checklist, milestones are less about the passage of time and more about reassurance.

Yes, the first tooth has arrived, the first word uttered. The tiny human we’ve brought into this world and could hold in the palm of one hand is still alive, despite the fact that we’ve managed to kill tomato plants, sea monkeys, and our fair share of electronics over the years. Indeed they are not just surviving us — their frazzled parents — but they are flourishing, growing, on track.

So well established on the track that at some point, we lose track ourselves. The firsts are lost in a sea of seconds, thirds, 398ths. By the time a child is in school — first backpack, first bus ride, first day of kindergarten — most mothers have long since given up on marking memories in the baby book. The need for consolation that our kids can make it despite us has been replaced by solid evidence that walks, talks … and talks back too.

We no longer spend hours, days, weeks encouraging, watching, waiting for firsts promised to us by the parenting books.

They sneak up on us instead. Here, some of the moments most likely to creep up on you and poke you in the eye. No, no one is cutting onions in here. Still, you best be prepared for tears when you’re:

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1. Helping them prepare for their first dance. Wasn’t it yesterday that they were standing on your feet as you waltzed around the living room?

2. Removing the step stool from the bathroom. They can reach the faucets all on their own these days.

3. Throwing out the tub toys. Once upon a time you moaned and groaned about those little plastic duckies taking up so much space in your shower. Now you’d give anything to see them float in one more bath.

4. Passing on their picture books. It’s all chapter books from here on out.

5. Buying deodorant. For them; not for you.

6. Watching as they walk to another section of the theater to sit with their friends. Now you have to eat that giant tub of popcorn all by yourself.

7. Finding them asleep at noon. And knowing it’s not because they’re sick.

8. Able to share socks. Or worse, shoes …

9. Holding out your hand in a parking lot … and not finding one there.

10. Moving out of the kids section at the clothing store.

Which milestones have sneaked up and slayed you?

 

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