And then there is sweet little three month old Claire with her big smiles & first giggles. One of the best milestones! More than anything, this is their very first sign of reciprocation & communication. As a parent, you are giving your all to this tiny baby who can not show you any form of appreciation or show their love in return. That first smile is a little sigh of relief & a glimmer of excitement, from that moment on, you know that you are able to make your baby happy. It’s their own little way of saying I love you too, and all these sleepless nights are going to be worth it!
Feeding themselves. All of a sudden you have an extra hour in your day & are able to eat a hot meal (maybe) of your own. Except, that extra hour of your day that you used to spend feeding, is now replaced by cleaning, but, baby steps! enough. And as a parent, it is all about the small victories.
Making funny faces on command. Just like Harper’s fake laugh she used to do, it’s kind of the best when you can get them to actually do it when you tell them to. They’ll definitely never pick up their toys or stop throwing their food, but if they know they can make you laugh? Chances are you can get a funny face.
Real communication. The kind where they can tell you if they pooped their pants or pinched their finger instead of just crying/whining/pointing while you scramble to figure out what is wrong with them. I remember being shocked when Harper was able to tell me that her teeth hurt when her two year molars were coming in. The downside of this is, you really never know what is going to come out of their mouths. A few weeks ago we were out with friends at an outdoor mall & walked past some vending machines, Harper pointed & chimed in “hey guys, did you want to get a beer or somethin?”
Dressing themselves. It might look like this, but it is all sorts of crazy wonderful to have your kids pick out their own clothes & establish their own sense of style. Even if that means they wear Halloween costumes on just your average weekday afternoon.
Buckling their own carseat. Because sometimes you just have to set your baby down for a second so you can climb in the car to buckle everyone else.
With kids, every single day is filled with victories & failures, and it is up to us to decide which ones we are going to dwell on. So here’s to celebrating the wins & embracing all of the milestones, big or small. Because every time Harper buckles her own carseat, I truly feel like I have succeeded as a parent.
But then again, I clearly set my baby in a laundry basket in the van, so maybe I have not. 😉