One is a BIG YEAR when it comes to milestones. We lost the bottle shortly after her first birthday. The binkies were packed up and “given to another baby” by 18 months. Her vocabulary exploded. And we even rolled the dice and tried out a “big girl bed,” at 20 months—which she handled like a champ. In April, my first baby turned two and became a big sister—so there are even more changes to come. However, all of these milestones were pretty by-the-book. Sort of expected. There were a few though, that really took this mama by surprise, as I thought I would be waiting a while to experience some of these amazing, snap-shot moments:
Pigtails and painted nails. I am so impressed with my daughter’s ability to hold still for a quick mani/pedi. It is almost always a bit of a mess after, and she wants to paint them herself SO BAD (which I do not allow) “Mama, I do it!” but it’s such a fun mommy-daughter thing to do! She watches me carefully, and knows how to blow on her nails to dry them (which kills me every time). And she loves taking a moment to pick out a color. And do not get me started on pigtails! I blinked and her short hair was suddenly long enough to style. She loves to pick out a hair tie and hand it to me. Two pigtails suddenly ups her mischievous-looking factor about 1,000 percent.
Ruling the kitchen. We cook a lot at our house, so naturally we found ways to involve our daughter. When she sees me starting to pull out ingredients, she runs to grab her kitchen helper stool and starts grabbing any tool within reach. She loves to stir – has her own “knife” to chop (a little spreader that I give her to re-chop what I’ve already done) and is really great at decorating cookies. It is so fun to watch her, and she really takes everything in. Since I’m sort of a messy cook anyway, it’s not too much more of a mess to clean up afterward. And of course, the end game will hopefully be her cooking for me in future years! And when we don’t have anything to cook? Her stool can double as a stage while she sings from the top of her lungs.
Bedtime conversations. Since we moved her into a twin bed, we have had to adjust our nighttime routine quite a bit. Now we read a few books, and I put on some nighttime music from her pal Violet, which plays for five minutes before I get up and let her fall asleep on her own. In those few minutes she cuddles into me, and sometimes we talk about what happened that day (“I swing. I bump my head!”) or what is on the agenda the next day (I remind her about swim class, and she says “I kick, kick, kick and float! Bubbles too!”). These few minutes of actually, truly conversing, not just me talking AT her, honestly blow me away every day.
Obviously every kid reaches milestones at their own rate—so I’m not saying these should be expected, but wow, were these things HUGE in my eyes. She went from a baby, to a small person with very specific opinions seemingly overnight. And while these aren’t necessarily milestones you would find in a parenting book, they make a big difference in our every day adventures! Mamas of older kids: what other hit-you-like-a-brick milestones do I have to look forward to?