When you become a parent suddenly everything becomes about your child reaching milestones – smiling, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, lamenting about the state of British politics – the list is endless of the whats and the whens of their development. For the life of me I can’t work out why we were so desperate for my daughter to walk and talk so early but hey you live and you learn.
But as well as those flashy, Facebook status grabbing milestones, raising children is also full of those other ones, the ones you won’t read about in parenting books or put on Instagram but actually make parenting a hell of a lot easier. So let’s take a moment to recognise and celebrate those small wins.
Putting On Shoes
Sure it takes them about three years to do it but at least you’re not ruining your back securing their chubby hunks of ham into polyester with velcro.
Getting Out Of The Car
Not ideal when they try to do it whilst you’re cruising down the motorway at 70 miles an hour (actually happened with my brother in France – he did it in his sleep and it was very terrifying but luckily he had his seat belt on so no harm done accept to our parents’ sanity) but useful in a multistorey carpark that allows approximately 0.05cm to get out of your car.
Wiping Their Own Bum
It’s not always 100% successful but what’s a few skid marks between family?
Turning The TV On
Just make sure you’ve got those parental controls set – my daughter’s obsessed with QVC and I just don’t think those viewing habits should be encouraged.
Imaginative Games Get More Imaginative
Trust me when your toddler’s games move on from just reenacting the exact boring day you’re living you’ll rejoice and slay all those fire breathing dragons with gusto.
Tell You What They Want To Eat
Obviously the conversations tend to go:
Child: I’m hungry
Parent: Do you want a banana?
Parent: A satsuma? Grapes?
Child: Mmm no.
Parent: Well what do you want.
But at least you didn’t waste time and bread making that sandwich.
For soooo long children don’t understand the concept of ‘you’re not getting dessert until you eat your peas’ but then suddenly they do and the world of bribery is your oyster.
Navigate Soft Play Without Assistance
Hello weak tea and shit wifi.
Learn To Negotiate
But not to count properly. My daughter negotiated her birthday present list down from 5 presents to 3 because she doesn’t really understand that 5 is bigger than 3 yet. Winning.
Learning To Sulk
I welcome a good sulk and storm off from my daughter – it’s the only time I get five minutes peace.
What alternative milestones do you count as a parenting win?