The age-old conversations about development goes something like this:
“I am so proud of my daughter she is walking by 8 months!”
“My son can already crawl”
“I swear my baby started smiling at 6 hours”
As new moms it is not hard to feel proud if your child hits a milestone, but what I also know is you can feel anxiety ridden if your child is not hitting those milestones at exactly the time a book states or your friends post pictures of all over Facebook.
Do not get me wrong, I love photos of kids and post myself but what I realize now with two kids is that they definitely move along at whatever path they see fit when it comes to milestones.
Vivian wrote a great piece touching on this (a must read).
But I felt like it needed to be brought up again. My older son definitely took his time with some developments. See my son was blessed with a larger head from his momma. My side of the family has big noggins and mostly big brains to go along with it. So as you can imagine he did not like to lift this larger than life head which meant he hated Tummy Time.
He would scream and scream but once you stopped forcing it on him and just held him he was content. Since Max hated tummy time he didn’t like the idea of dragging his body or crawling across the floor either. He was content staying in one place or whining enough until we picked him up.
I would see other parents post these great videos of text-book perfect milestones but tried to contain my own worry.
I kept repeating “Kids get there when they want to. They are not robots that came with a manual.”
Low and behold my son basically skipped crawling and went to walking. He is three today and a happy, healthy kid with no issues (Thank GOD, BUDDHA, ALLAH and KRISHNA). Then I had my daughter and she has been speeding through milestones. She had two advantages over her big bro.
1. She got my husband’s smaller sized cranium.
2. She has an older brother to emulate.
At 4 months teething (this is awful), crawling at 7 months, starting to stand at 8 months. I am so glad I had my son first as I am not sure if I would be freaked out that something was wrong with my son if he came second. In relation he would seem SUPER delayed, but he was not delayed, it’s that he developed on his own with his own growth milestones.
The reality is he had a big head which probably sucked at lifting, so why would he want to? Talking to my mom she said I was the same way. Hell she said I didn’t talk until age three! If you knew me you would know that sounds absurd because I basically never SHUT up. Today kids would be placed in early intervention and parents would be scared shitless.
Do not get me wrong, some kids do need these amazing services and they can be lifesavers but the reality is children are just not Stepford robots. So I want to reassure that new mommy, just because your child is not exactly potty trained at 2 years, or is crawling by 8 months it is ok. Watch them for overall health not just one specific milestone but overall development. As adults I do not follow some exact linear equation either. I didn’t get my period exactly when everyone else did, I didn’t have sex when the average person did, and many other ridiculous expectations that I didn’t follow. And you know what? I am fabulous, healthy and good. So try to remember this that your kids are just little adults
In the end my sons body has begun to catch up to his head and the big brain is starting to shine through.