Wishing Away the Milestones

Babies are so fun. The first few years of their lives are marked by rapid growth and development that takes place before your eyes. The excitement and anticipation of your baby learning a new skill is present every month, every week.

Yet in our task-oriented, checklist driven society, it is easy to focus too much on the next phase of development and miss the sweet idiosyncrasies of the current phase. Of this, I am guilty.

Even just a few weeks ago I know I mentioned to my mom MULTIPLE times that I couldn't wait until Ethan could walk to the car himself and I didn't have to lug him and my five bags out the door while desperately trying to arm the alarm and pull the door behind me. I just wanted him to walk on his own! But I know there will be a day when I look at a nine year old boy and reminisce for those days when he was completely content to be clutched and carried in my arms as often as needed. Those days are quickly fleeting.

Every time I told an inquiring stranger or curious relative that Ethan still wasn't walking at 15 months, I heard the "you can wait, once they are walking, then they are a handful." Sometimes I would even beat them to the punch and say that I could wait, citing the craziness of a walker. But I wasn't totally truthful; I just wanted to sound like a new mom with a good head on her shoulders that "knows things." Deep down I wanted the pride, the relief of knowing my son was developing normally. It felt like Ethan was trailing his peers by months, even though I knew that every child develops differently.

I wished away his silly head-down, fast crawling. I wished away his one leg out, spider crawling. I wished away his downward dog attempts at standing up. And unfortunately, the only photos of this stage are the snapshots my mind took and tucked away for times like these.

Reflecting on the year and a half of Ethan's life, I can find many more examples of my impatience to reach milestones. I was in a rush for Ethan to sit up, eat solids, crawl, wean off of breastfeeding, and use a sippy cup. I'm still riding that crazy train as I was in a fury to get a potty for Ethan, just a couple weeks ago even when he is no where near ready to start training. Well, at least I know I'm prepared [albeit months in advance].

This post is a plea to myself to slow down. To live in the moment we are in and not wish away his baby years. I want to savor these last few months before we are thrown headlong into toddlerdom. I know I won't master it overnight, but conscious effort is a step in the right direction. So for now, I will enjoy his sweet babble, all his "explaining" and hand gestures, and know that words and sentences are right around the corner.

Take your time, Ethan. I can wait.

Vi ses senare,
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