Flexible Milestones

04.20.11 | motherhood, scout | 11 Comments

When Avery first rolled over (and off my bed), it was a happy milestone (any resulting brain damage appears minimal). I was thrilled when she slept through the night, when she smiled, when she laughed, when she crawled, when she walked. When Callie first rolled over (and off my bed), it was a great milestone (she is left-handed, but we’re okay with that). I was relieved when she slept through the night on her back, when she stopped binging and purging on breastmilk, when she got eight stitches along her hairline and survived summertime croup. When Lucy first rolled over (and off my bed) it was a joyous milestone (her voice is stuck in munchkin-helium land, but most of the time it’s cute). I was ecstatic when she potty-trained, when she went off to preschool, when she wrote her name and started seeing letters everywhere.

When Molly first rolled over, I finally figured out that babies (most babies, my babies) roll over right around four months, and she rolled over onto the rug. Sometimes milestones feel like a personal triumph of my genes passed on or my parenting paying off. Which is dumb, because the strongest gene-milestone connection I see is the prodigious talent my children have for eating, and while that’s convenient and laudable in a toddler, it’s a bit unfortunate in a metabolism-slowing thirty-three-year-old. As for the parenting styles — I mostly agree with those who say that the more kids you have the more parenting styles you can imagine being “right.” And also that kids are so different, and reach their milestones so variably that obviously it’s not anything you do.

Except my kids are almost eerie in their adherence to some trends. Late teethers, right-on-time rollers, sitters, crawlers, walkers, late talkers, early-ice-cream-adopters.

Every time Avery, Callie and Lucy did something new, it felt like a reward for showing up every day to the parenting gig.

Oh, how things have changed. Molly is right on with her sisters in most things. At seven months, she is grabbing spaghetti off the table and not making any discernable language-type sounds.

But she is standing. All the time, pulling herself up, falling over spectacularly because she is not really ready for this. She is a baby. Babies do not stand. I tell her over and over that it is not time yet, that she is a baby, my baby, my last baby, and listen, baby honey baby, it is not time for this yet. Maybe not for another five years or so. Because you are my baby.

She doesn’t listen. She just keeps standing.

But Mama was right, huh baby?

We’re not quite ready for this.

Good thinking on getting a wider stance for better stability, but you are still a baby, baby.

Uh-oh. Yesterday she was crying at this point, desperate for rescue. Yesterday she still needed her mother.

And she’s down. Today she can get down by herself.

Though maybe she was expecting some help?

And she’s off.

Come back, baby.