I was thinking about the things I’ve been really proud of N of. Obviously there’s all the obvious baby milestones (which I’ve mostly forgotten about – thank god for Timehop, facebook photos, and blogging to look back on these). Add to those the typical toddler moments, like toilet training, moving out of a high chair (or in our case booster seat), using a knife and fork.
But what about the other skills and activities that children pick up and achieve. Those that maybe you didn’t think would ever be a problem but have been.
Here’s my alternative list of childhood milestones (by no means exhaustive):
1. Overcoming hand-dryers
Yes, I’m talking about those in public toilets. N has always hated them which I could never really understand as he wasn’t the one using them, and he’d never been worried about other similar noises like the hair dryer. But he would drag me away from public toilets if he could hear one blowing. I could only get him into public toilets, even cubicles if I could show him that there was no one using the hand dryer, or that there was no dryer in the cubicle.
Thankfully now, he will go into the toilets, and while he doesn’t like them and won’t put his hands in, I’m not dragged out and there’s no crying. Next step is getting him to use them rather than wipe his wet hands down his t shirt.
2. Proper hair cut
Like so many people I did a bit of a hacking job to neaten off N’s straggly ends when his hair actually started to grow. But then I had to take him for a proper boys hair cut at the barbers. He’d had a bit of a trim by my hairdresser while I was there having mine done, but the first time we went to the barbers was really exciting. He was so good, sat nicely on his raised seat, looked where he was meant to, and held on tightly to the toy/book they’d given him. Of course, the chocolate Freddo afterwards helps, and now if he doesn’t get offered that, his face is a picture (and I have to quickly drag him out of the barbers before he asks for one!)
We do like him looking smart and having a hair cut, and surprisingly, he’s really observant when others have theirs done. One of the nursery staff had theirs done, and he went up to her the next day, and said ‘you’ve had a haircut’. Nice, think I’ll have to get him trained to keep noticing…will be a good way to keep future partner’s sweet!
3. Jumping in the swimming pool
In Water Babies they’ve always done a lot of ‘diving’ in off the side of the pool from a sitting position. But when it comes to that first big jump in, it’s great to see their faces light up at the thought of jumping in. N’s gone backwards recently and not wanted to independently dive in, or jump but hopefully he’ll get the enjoyment back once he’s got over this plateau. More about that in an upcoming post.
4. Zip wires
The OH would probably be horrified at N being on a zip wire, and to be honest, I hadn’t thought he’d be old enough to keep holding on especially with the spring back so many give when they hit the end. But when we went to Stratford a while back, and he saw his friend on one, that was it. He wanted a go as well. And have a go he did. He was brilliant. Just held on tight and loved it. This zipwire was quite a slow one but they have to start somewhere.
I think he’s going to be a bit of a dare devil and like scary rides in future. Obviously taking after me and not his dad who goes green at what I’d class tame rides. But N spent a lot of time watching the huge fairground rides at Cornbury Festival this weekend, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’ll enjoy them when older.
5. Going into the arena at fayres and shows
I never thought I would see N do this. It’s definitely not something that I would ever have done as a child. In the past when we’ve been at jousting or other country fairs and they’ve asked children to go into the ring and do some activities, loads run in, but N’s never wanted to, even with me (thankfully, as I’m usually there on my own and wouldn’t want to leave all our stuff there). But at the Tractor Ted show, the maxi mower was in the ring…and he was in. Wanted to go in over the barrier with all the hoards of children (and a few adults) to go up close and see the huge tractor and mower.
I couldn’t believe he went in without me, but he did. Ran off, went to look at the mower. Popped back again in amazement at what he’d seen. Then ran back again to look. Then back to find me again. I was relieved he didn’t get disoriented with all the people and which direction I was in, but there wasn’t a problem. It really was a big moment.
6. Weeing standing up
N’s always sat down to use the toilet, and it took him a long time to actually wee outside. I think he liked the idea of peeing outside, but actually doing so was harder than he thought. For starters he had to learn to avoid peeing on his clothes. And then there’s the fact that he never seems keen to just hold his willy up. I thought all males liked to do that, but obviously not. He seems to have grasped the peeing outside technique – the other day I turned round to see his bottom on show while he was about to wee against a wire fence. Oops.
What other alternative milestones would you add to the list?