My kids are getting older now (6, 5, and 3) and they are definitely becoming more independent. Which led Andy and I into a discussion about milestones. There are books, blogs, bribes, and even parties dedicated to things like sleeping through the night, saying first words, taking first steps, potty training, starting preschool, losing the first tooth, etc. HUGE milestones. But there are also milestones no one really talks about. Milestones in those toddler years that every parent yells a “HELL YES!” and high-fives their partner when conquered.
Here is our list of Milestones You Should Celebrate (but don’t usually):
First and possibly best…we travel with hardly anything when going out on errands or even to an activity. No diaper bag, no extra change of clothes, no stroller. NOTHING. Well, we usually have water bottles and snacks. But I’m still doing that even when I’m alone. If anyone is ever stranded with me…we’ll survive for days.
It is an awesome day when a child can pick out clothes and dress himself. Even if he often looks like the photo below. It’s an even BETTER day when the kid can undress himself and turn the clothes and socks right-side-out in the hamper.
It’s an accomplishment when a child can brush their own teeth. Properly.
Continuing with hygiene…showers! When you can send a kid upstairs to take a shower?!?!?! You are winning the game. When you don’t have to do a final “rinse-check”…you’ve won the championship.
And staying with the bathroom theme, let’s talk about potty training. Potty training is no-doubt a huge accomplishment. But NO ONE tells you kids will still wet the bed for possibly a long-time. And ass-wiping. Does it ever end?!?! I’ve still got three kids yelling “I’M DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ after a #2. When I’m no longer rock-paper-scissors-ing with Andy for ass-wipe duty it will be…POTTY FREEDOM!! However, I cannot tell you how excited I am that this will be our first year at the pool without swim diapers. Only thing worse than a poopy diaper is a soaking wet poopy diaper.
I have three kids who all weigh less than 40 pounds. So all three are still in 5-point harness car seats. Awesome, right? WRONG. My kids STILL cannot unbuckle themselves. When the day comes that I am no longer tightening buckles and unbuckling car seats…holy cow, I can’t even imagine.
The next one is a blessing and a curse. The television remotes and channel guide. Stella can now operate it all. She can turn the TV on and find a kid show that is appropriate. So the downside is she can turn the TV on and find something to watch. I love being able to say, “I think it’s time for you all to go downstairs and watch a show” and Stella can take care of it. But I also have to monitor what she is doing when we are not around! This also comes in handy with the minivan’s DVD remote on trips. Now that she can operate it, I no longer have to feel like I am playing Twister in the passenger seat trying to work the DVD buttons.
Board games are becoming less of a nightmare idea. The kids can finally all sit down together with one or both of us and play a “fair” game of Pass the Pig, Toy Story Yahtzee, Guess Who, etc.
I cannot wait until I can send my kids outside to play without me right at their side. Living on a street without sidewalks limits what they can do unsupervised. They are finally at an age where they can play in the front or back yard if I can see them out the window. So I can start fixing dinner without making them come inside. However, they can’t go ride bikes in the street with the neighbors without me.
Finally, bedtime stories. It is BEYOND awesome that Stella can read the bedtime stories to Charlotte and Henry. It gives her practice and let’s me be nearby putting away laundry, etc.