From the moment your kids are born, it’s all about milestones. The first time they smile. The first time they roll over. The first steps. The first words. Everything is happening so fast for about the first 18 months. There are lots of firsts. Kids are hitting milestone at a pretty regular rate. Then, it starts to slow down a little bit. There are still milestones, but now they start to take on a different form. They start to put those early skills together in meaningful ways that allow them to really start to participate in a variety of activities. They also start to develop their own interests. They want to explore things, and as a I get excited to help them explore!
Recently, my daughter took an interest in helping with cooking. I was excited about this for two reasons: 1) I want her to learn to cook because I never really had the chance until I was older, and 2) she is a really picky eater!
These new milestones are really a culmination of those impressive firsts I oogled over in the first couple years. She started by making a meal plan: hot dogs, broccoli, grapes and bananas. I was impressed by her for-thought and her consideration of others during her planning. She knew that I would want her to include a vegetable and she knows that her brother really likes bananas even though she really doesn’t. I continued to be wowed as she made list of the things that we needed to get at the grocery store. She not only drew out her items, but carefully included mine as well. At the store, she helped locate and collect each thing, checking them off as we went along. When we arrived home, she diligently watched to make sure that I wasn’t leaving anything out.
Beyond cooking, there has been other recent advancements. Clearing the table without being asked, picking up toys because she knows I will require it before we head out the door, and gently encouraging her brother to do the same. I’m sure any parent of older children will attest to these new milestones being a turning point in the ability to leave the house. I actually enjoy bringing along my little helper to run errands, rather than dreading the extra time it will take me to get through my grocery list.
I guess the take-a-way here is that just when you think your head might explode if you have to tell your kids one more time to pick up their toys, brush their teeth, shut off the lights, or whatever direction you have given for the ump-teenth time, they will suddenly turn around and surprise you!
What milestones took you by surprise and made your life more enjoyable?