When your child grows older, you lose sight of small yet significant milestones. As infants they do something new every week, but a preschooler has a first day of school, loses some teeth, and then eventually is 15 and asking to drive. Here are some recent developments that I eventually noticed.
When your child grows older, you lose sight of small, yet significant, milestones. As infants they did something new every week, but a preschooler has a first day of school, and then there’s a lot of normal activity until teeth start to fall out or they read a book to you. Obviously, things happen, but without a BabyCenter email eerily predicting it, you may not notice it until later.
My daughter is growing and learning constantly. She’s doing larger-count puzzles, playing more complicated games, showing interest in Johnny Cash without us ever mentioning him, picking out more words on her own while reading, and doing chores. Here are some other mini-milestones that my daughter has achieved lately.
My daughter loves swinging, and sometimes I take her to a playground without swings to force her to run around. At the playground we frequent most, there are two regular swings and two baby swings, and she’s been attached to a baby swing that she can still fit in. Swinging is fun, but when you want your child to be active, being pushed by a parent is basically as aerobic as a Midway ride.
Last month, she asked to go on the big swing. She just needed a few pushes before basically asking me to go away. She was so proud of herself and told everyone around us that she didn’t need me anymore (a playground dad told her, “You’ll always need your mom.” Aww, playground dad!). She told people that her grandma taught her how to swing. My mom had brought her there a few weeks earlier, and although my husband and I had been trying to show her how to swing for more than a year, I’ll let Mom take the credit for it.
While my daughter was initially very upset when we refused to put her in the baby swing after that, she still runs to the big swings first when we go to the playground. And her independence has made going to the playground a better deal for me, because now I can sit down for a few minutes.
My daughter always been my little buddy in the kitchen. She still uses the learning tower1 my dad made for her that gives her access to the counter space, though she more often opts for a small stepstool that she can set up. She helps make batter, cut biscuit dough, stir ingredients, pour cereal and milk, pick out which fruit to eat, and cut her own strawberries with her dull Ikea knife after I cut off the stems. She cracks eggs (with my help) to make scrambled eggs. She remembers what goes into certain things. Recently, after I made her a piece of toast, she peanut buttered it all by herself. She’s too small to cook on her own and she has very limited stovetop experience, but her making her own sandwich was a big deal. I like the idea of her having independence in the kitchen. I need to make up for her not likely having Home Economics in school, a class which taught me the only things I remember learning in middle school.
Outside the cart
After a few months of her using the cart with the car on front at the grocery store, I have banned her from using it. It’s bulky and weird, it’s hard to move and unload groceries during checkout, and she always ends up in the basket seat, anyway. While she still fits, she exceeds the weight and age requirements for the regular carts. I told myself before that as soon as she can’t stay in a cart, I’ll stop taking her to the grocery store with me.
This year, when she’s had a choice, she’s chosen not go to the store with me. When she does go, she’s asked to not be in the cart. Since I know she’ll end up back in the seat, I’ve been okay with it. She runs around a little, but mostly she stays with me and then will want to be in the cart again after we go to the deli counter and she gets offered a slice of turkey. She now wants to push her own little cart. I can only see that happening if we need to get one thing and I have 40 minutes in which to get it.
As recent as last summer when our daughter didn’t nap at daycare, our entire evening would be shot by her crankiness. She’ll still nap at preschool from time to time, but I can’t tell from her mood anymore if she didn’t that day. Lately she’ll skip a nap, either because she doesn’t fall asleep or we miss the nap window. In most cases, she’s fine. She doesn’t tear up the house and cry all night. She usually goes to bed at her normal time. We still push for a nap on the weekend, and she’ll sleep for up to two hours. I’m going to hang on to nap time as long as we can (because I will occasionally take a two-hour nap with her) but I know it’s going fade out soon.
Toilet paper roll changing
She is very, very proud when she does this. She has requested that next time a new roll of toilet paper needs to be put on that we wait and have her do it. Sure, kid, that can be your thing.
Photo by: KrisZPhotography