Amanda Sorena

Blogger, Writer, Urban Adventurer

20 Big Kid Milestones that Should Be in the Baby Book

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It’s adult swim at our community pool and another mom and I are enjoying some solo time in the water watching our kids from afar as they zoom around the splash pad next to the pool giggling and taking full advantage of all summer has to offer.

I strike up a conversation with my fellow swimming mom, “This is the first summer where they can go to the splash pad by themselves. Feels like a whole new world.” She agrees and begins to tell me that now that her youngest can swim the length of the pool, she is finding them playing with bigger kids and ditching her more often.

I have been pining to reach the “sweet spot” of parenting for years now. That age when your kids are mostly independent, but aren’t old enough to ignore you completely. I was SO ready to be that “book reading parent” at the pool, but now that we are nearly there, I am finding it all a bit bitter sweet.

When your kids are tiny, most milestones are met with elation and record keeping. Rolling, crawling, walking, talking, etc. – it is all so exciting. These are the things baby books were created for.

With each passing year, our milestone moments are becoming subtler and constantly take me by surprise. A pattern is emerging where one of our kids will do something that I had underestimated their ability to handle, and then once I realize that they really are more capable than I thought, I am simultaneously thrilled and a little bit sad. It doesn’t upset me that they are growing up, that’s the goal, right? Our aim is to turn these kids into fully functional, productive adults. Yet, each time we actually achieve a new level of independence, a tiny bit of me mourns that there is no going backwards from here.

I think we need to add an appendix to the baby books for all of the non-major, but important-none-the-less big kid landmark moments.

  1. First time they go off the diving board without floaties and swim to the side unassisted.
  2. The morning at the park when they can all play without you right at their sides preventing them from falling off the equipment.
  3. They day they make their own breakfast without waking you up.
  4. First time they tell you a joke you don’t know. Or better yet, laugh at a joke that would have gone over their heads a year ago.
  5. When they can use a restroom in a public place without your help.
  6. The day they order off the adult menu instead of the kid menu and eat it all.
  7. The moment you discover, you don’t actually need to fix their sandwich for them, they can do it themselves.
  8. When you realize they can fold their own laundry and put it away.
  9. When they help you pack for upcoming trip because they have preferences on what you bring.
  10. First time they say “sorry” unprompted and really mean it.
  11. When they are trusted to take a bath or a shower without your assistance.
  12. The day you realize they are old enough to watch that live-action movie from your youth or start reading Harry Potter.
  13. When you can ask them to pick up their rooms with some expectation that it will actually get picked up.
  14. The summer they learn to sleep in, even if it is only till 7:30am.
  15. They day that you are sick and need to rest and know that if you turn on the TV, they will watch it without burning the house down.
  16. When they can buckle themselves in and out of the car seat.
  17. When you are okay with the fact that they no longer nap and it means you can do a full day’s activity with them.
  18. The moment you discover that you do not actually need to bring the stroller with you on an outing because they can all walk 95% of the time with minimal complaint.
  19. You can ask them about their day at school, camp, etc. and they can provide some sort of tangible answer.
  20. They can get (and open) their own snacks or retrieve water without your intervention

Lately, I have been teasing our four-year old son. I keep asking him, “When did you get so big?” My favorite response to-date has been, “Tuesday, Mom. I got big on Tuesday.” While all three of our children have not mastered the above list completely, I know it is coming sooner than I think. Maybe next Tuesday.

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This entry was posted on July 22, 2017 by .
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