The Not-So-Talked-About Milestones

Milestones— They are exciting. We are always looking forward to the next one. We’re wondering if our kid is going to be the one that hits them early, is “average,” or does them late. From early on, I was told my son would probably be late to hitting some of the physical milestones, at least as an infant, because of his size. Yet he rolled from back to front at only four months old— right on target. He didn’t roll from front to back for two more months though. With a lot of the “major” milestones, he took his sweet time. He was just shy of ten months when he finally crawled and he walked unassisted at 15 months. Yet, the not so talked about milestones he hit right on or early (like the pincer grasp). Recently, my son hit some of these milestones that are rarely talked or asked about. They were such a big deal in our house though that I needed to write it down. So I wrote him a letter.

N,

These past few weeks, we have hit many milestones that are so big & exciting. But it has made me realize something too… they are the type that no one talks about as you get older. When you are my age, you won’t ask me when you peed in a toilet for the first time like a man or stopped using your pacifier to go to sleep at night, because in the grand scheme of things, they are so small. But right now, in the last few weeks, they are HUGE! Why? Because you are truly crossing the bridge from baby to child.

Just three weeks ago on a Tuesday night, you handed me your pacifier while trying to fall asleep because the holes in it were frustrating you more than anything else. I had tried to give your paci back to you a few minutes later when you were tossing and turning restlessly. You tried it, contemplated it, moved it back and forth in your hands and then handed it back to me. As I lay in bed with you that night, I knew things were changing. It took you a little longer than ‘normal,’ which was a relative term at the time because ‘normal’ meant anywhere from 10-60 minutes, to fall asleep, but you did. The next night, Dada and I told you that if you didn’t use your paci that night, you would get a surprise from the ‘Paci Fairy.’ Your paci sat on the nightstand untouched that night. The next morning you were excited to find ‘piggies’ (coins) on the nightstand. You happily put them in your piggy bank and went on with your day. A week later we traded in that paci on your nightstand for a new addition to your Cars collection. You were a happy guy and the paci was a thing of the past.

During your transition with the paci, there was an evening where I had to be out all night, which meant Dada had to lay with you at bedtime. Again, you did something that amazed us. After Dada got you in bed, you told him to leave. You didn’t want him to lay with you. Dada was confused, but went with it. Sure enough, that night you went to sleep all on your own. Something that only happened one time before… when you were about three months old. We weren’t sure it would last after that, but since we knew you COULD do it, we were determined to make it a reality every night, not just when Mama wasn’t home. The next few nights I would read you a book and then Dada would come in, give hugs and kisses, then off to bed while I snuck out the best I could. The first few nights were hard, probably more so on me than you. You would start screaming and crying for me, but Dada was there to calm you down (and he does an awesome job of that, you never cried more than a minute or two), explain to you that I had to work, then get you tucked in with your rad nightlight. The whole first week went like that. The next week you did better, but sometimes you would say you needed to pee just to get to stay up a few extra minutes and probably also to check that Mama was still in the house.

I think the funniest milestone you accomplished during this time was standing up to pee in the toilet, just like Dada. You see, we have been potty training for close to a year now. You were introduced to the toilet and we would have days that you wanted to use it every time you had to go to the bathroom and days where you wanted nothing to do with it. You get free reign to run around naked at home too. This has helped with using the potty. Whenever we try to put underwear on you, nine times out of ten, you end up peeing in it and making lots of fun messes to clean up. On Saturday morning, you and I were hanging out while we waited for Dada to get up. You jumped up from what you were doing, said ‘be right back’ and ran to the bathroom. You usually get the toilet lid up and get your seat on it by the time I get in there to put you on. This day though you had the lid and seat up and told me to stay back. You had plans to do it all on your own. Who knew you were tall enough to even reach it? But you were and you did. You were so proud of yourself for accomplishing that feat. And every pee since then has been done that way. Now if we can just get you out of diapers completely…

 

Last night was three weeks since you started going to sleep on your own. It was the first time you asked for me to put you to bed. It was after our Friday Night Movie Night. You made the deal with me and Dada that you wouldn’t cry or get upset when Mama walked out of your room. I carried you upstairs. You asked to read a book so we read a short one, Hand Hand Fingers Thumb. As soon as I was done reading, you climbed off my lap, turned around, gave me a hug and kiss, and were ready for bed. I laid you down, tucked you in, gave you your nightlight, and walked out. You continued to say ‘nigh Ma’ even after I had closed the door, but you were just fine. I stood at your door and cried. You fell asleep shortly thereafter and slept all night (which is something else that has been happening more and more frequently).

You have become such a big boy recently. It makes me so happy to see you grow, learn new things, and watch your personality come to life, but a small part of me is sad because, although you will always be my baby, you are no longer a baby.

I love you,
Mama

So now I’m asking… what awesome milestones has your little one reached recently?

6 Responses to The Not-So-Talked-About Milestones

  1. I love this article, I was told when my son was a year that he should be put into speech therapy as he hadnt hit all of the milestones for that stage of his life. Me being a new mom signed him up right away and went to an appointment the next week. They sat down with us and observed him for a while and decided we should make a follow up appointment as he was fairly behind. When we arrived for our follow up appointment 3 weeks later I was told that in that 3 week waiting period he had become ahead of his gae group in his speech. I think that it is important to think of this stage as a milestone and to remember that all children learn at different paces. My son is now 2 1/2 and wont stop talking all it took was a little time and patience, no doctors were needed.

    • Oh Kaitlin, I so know that feeling. And it never helps as first time mamas to be told that you need to do something extra… when really your kiddo is right on his own track and doing great. So happy to hear that he is doing great in speech now. :)

  2. This is an awesome article!!! I love how you are writing it TO your son rather than about him. Oh my wee man is 10.5 months old and I cannot imagine him going to sleep without me or peeing on the potty! Ack! They really do grow up! <3 your writing!

    • Awww… Thanks, Mindy! They do grow up. Just remember to take your time and don’t feel like you need to rush any of it. Your little man will get there when he is ready.

  3. Love your letter Cari! Thanks for sharing as these are more silent milestones. That’s a great strategy you used for the paci; in our house, it’s a “suckie.” I’ll have to give the suckie fairy a try! My 2 year old son walks around with a suckie in his mouth and 3 or 4 more in his hands. I will say one thing though, it’s helped with counting because he is always counting his suckies. :) We are still working on potty training too. Today I cleaned up pee in the closet and yesterday I cleaned up per under the table. I guess time and patience is in order.

  4. I love this and I adore that you have this letter for him to read perhaps when he becomes a daddy.

    We are still working on getting rid of the paci in our house. We know he can fall asleep without it and he’s not allowed to have it anywhere but on his bed. So we’re getting there, slowly.

    The not-so-talked-about milestone that we’ve just hit is that TJ can get himself dressed by himself. He sometimes ends up with his shirt on backward and there are a few snaps that he doesn’t have the strength to close without help, but for the most part, he can get himself completely dressed now.

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