As Nate’s 3rd birthday (where did the time go, really?!) approaches next week, I have been doing a lot of thinking back on pivotal turning points in his babyhood. Joshua, our 2nd son, is almost 4 months, and having gone through the baby and toddler years once now, I am finding that I am looking forward to a lot of my own “milestones”. Most of the milestones I have celebrated haven’t necessarily been the big ones, e.g., walking, talking, etc. Here are the milestones I am excited for with Joshua that stand out as amazing turning points in Nate’s first three years:
- Head control: The day you can carry your baby with one arm, on your hip, and not worry that he will flop his poor little fragile head around (we’ve made it to this one with Joshua! yay!)
- Ergo without that blasted infant insert: I LOVE my Ergo…but that infant insert is a pain in the neck. I am finally able to use it with just Joshua in it, no fluffy baby wrapper, and it’s so much easier/cooler/less bulky!
- Sitting securely with a toy: When Nate could sit up, securely, on his own, and hold a toy…wow. I could vacuum, pee, and boil pasta alone. This was no longer true when he started crawling.
- Sitting in a highchair with finger foods: There’s nothing quite as glorious as eating a meal with two hands. Somehow, both Joshua and Nate have/had a bizarre 6th sense about when I was about to take my first bite of dinner and just had to either nurse, have a diaper change, or just scream for no good reason at this exact moment. When I could put Nate in his highchair with some cut up fruits or veggies and a few pieces of bread or cereal it meant I could eat a whole plate of food without looking like I was a.) being timed in the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating competition on Coney Island, or, b.) spilling on the baby’s head while nursing (Joshua once went to bed with a crouton in his hair. True story.)
- Eating a kid’s meal in a restaurant: It’s no fun to order a kid’s meal only to have your young toddler eat one bite and be full. Nate was a major food stealer (and still is!!). The day I could order him his own little plate of food and have him eat it all, or most of it, and leave my plate alone…that was amazing.
- Using utensils: While I enjoy the finger foods phase (re: above), I enjoy the “clean hands” phase just as much, or perhaps more. Pancakes, lasagna, yogurt…these were not meant to be eaten with your hands, and Nate didn’t realize this until he was probably 16 months old.
- Standing. Not walking: Walking, mobile toddlers are exhausting. Totally exhausting. However, STANDING, immobile toddlers are wonderful. Nate was 30 lbs at 1 year old. Try signing a debit card receipt while hoisting a 30 lb one year old onto one hip and holding a purse on your shoulder. It was so nice to just set him down on the floor, have a free arm, and know he couldn’t go anywhere.
- Speaking in full sentences: Everyone always told me not to rush the talking because once they start they never stop. True, but once they start, they pretty much stop screaming for mysterious reasons, too! I’ll take a 2 year old saying “Can I please have more juice, Mommy?” over a 18 month old screaming “AHHHHHH!” and whipping a sippy cup across the room ANY day, thank you!
- Remembering dreams and telling you about them: This is a strange one, yes, but hearing what’s going on in Nate’s little subconscious is really fun for me. His dreams include reoccurring adventures of a “grumpy old skunk”, insisting that we once had a potty in the middle of our living room, and thinking that I painted his room purple. It cracks me up.