5/08/2010

Baby and Toddler Milestones, It Goes By So Quickly

One thing that all mothers seem to do naturally, some in small degrees and some constantly, is compare our child to those around us.  We constantly track their progress, the doctor checks off his list for development milestones, and we make mental notes when our friends talk about their babies hitting milestones like sitting up, talking, or eating solid foods.  Mostly I don't worry about these things, but sometimes it can be a gentle nudge that I should be helping my little one along towards some new goal.  This is especially true because I belong to a very close-knit birth club, formed on Babycenter.com.  Our birthclub began when each of us learned that we were all pregnant with due dates in the same month.  Now more than three years later, we still talk about our lives and how our toddlers keep us on our toes! So since our little ones have birthdays so close together, it is easy to compare them to each other. 

So when I heard that some of my friends had their two-year-olds completely potty trained, I started to feel the pressure.  Nevermind that my first child wore diapers well beyond his third birthday, and his daycare did the bulk of the potty training.  And it seemed silly that my Alex was still sleeping in a crib, even though his height exceeds most four year olds.  He had never tried to climb out, but I was getting a bit tired of having to climb to the second floor every morning to free him from his crib, when there sat a perfectly good twin bed right beside it. Then my neighbor told me how her boys, one six and one four, give themselves showers.  That sounded like heaven compared to bathing my two oversized boys together in a shrinking bathtub every night. 

But Alex had little to no success using the potty, and he had zero interest in leaving his beloved crib in favor of the "big boy bed."  And Nathan was fearful of the shower.  Then one night this week, something clicked.  First Alex decided he was interested in the shower, especially when  he heard it was kind of like playing in the sprinkler.  My two year old has always been a bit braver than his big brother.  As soon as Alex hopped in and enjoyed it, Nathan followed close behind.  Now suddenly they ask to take showers every night. 

And at the same time, Alex began to realize when he needed to pee, and had success with the potty!  It's amazing to see the wheels turning in his little head as he learns to communicate in full sentences, use his imagination, and figures out that peeing in the potty earns him M&Ms. 

For a couple of weeks now I had planned on simply dismantling the crib and dealing with the traumatic meltdown that would ensue...but Mike never seemed to get around to taking the crib apart.  We had both encouraged sleeping in the big bed for a long time, to no avail.  Then suddenly this week, a casual mention that he would be able to get himself up in the morning to go play did the trick. We assured him that all his stuffed animals and blankets would move with him.  And magically it seemed like he wanted to do everything he could to prove what a big boy he was.  So there was no screaming or anxiety, and he slept in his new bed right through the night. 

And suddenly I feel like my baby is gone.  The progress I was looking forward to having is here and I am weepy, remembering instead the long nights nursing the tiny bundle in the rocker in his nursery.  Now I have a full fledged little boy on my hands, and he is precious, but I still miss the baby in him.

1 comment:

Amanda @ Baby Bump Diaries said...

Cute!! It does go by fast

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