The Things You Remember (and Some You’d Like to Forget)

IMG_3280When my first son was born, I became obsessed with milestones. First smile, first laugh, first tooth. When he could roll over, sit unassisted, crawl. The baby books all told me that these were the things I should keep track of, that I should remember. As my kids grew up, the milestones became more intellectual in nature – when they could count to 10, recite their ABCs, read a few words. And I assume that as they get older, the milestones will continue to include all of the traditional childhood rites of passage – first dance, first date, graduation.

But you know what? Looking back, the traditional milestones aren’t the things that I remember. I can’t remember what my sons’ first words were and I can only vaguely tell you when they met any number of the typical milestones. And what’s more, I don’t even really care all that much about remembering these things. Because what I have come to realize is that the milestones that count – whether they deal with children and parenting, a marriage, a career, or what-have-you – are the ones that have personal significance, the ones that change you just a little bit.

I was talking to a friend last weekend and was shocked that she hadn’t yet experienced the baby-poops-in-the-bathtub rite of passage. (I will NEVER forget the first time that happened to me!) A text conversation ensued with a few other friends about the oft-overlooked-but-will-never-forget parenting milestones and here is what we’ve come up with so far; I’m sure that there will be plenty more to come – things like first time one of my kids comes home drunk, first loves, etc. – but I just can’t bring myself to go there yet.

The Parenting Milestones the Baby Books Don’t Tell You About 

  1. First time you’re peed on.
  2. First time your kid poops in the bathtub.
  3. First diaper blowout that requires scissors and a shower to clean up.
  4. First time your child throws up in public.
  5. First time you child throws up on you.
  6. First time your kid bites another kid.
  7. First time you can shower uninterrupted – while your kids are home and there are no other adults in the house.
  8. First time you see your child fondling himself.
  9. First trip to the emergency room.
  10. First time your kids wake up, make themselves breakfast, and entertain themselves while you sleep. (Still waiting for this one to happen.)
  11. First time your child says “I love you.”
  12. First time your child says “I hate you.”
  13. First call home from your kids’ teacher.
  14. First time  you cry at a parent-teacher conference.
  15. First time your kid drops the F-bomb – in public.

What not-in-the-baby-book milestones will you never forget?

 

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