You walk into your first job interview, shake the interviewer’s hand, and sit down across from them. Expecting a slew of questions regarding weaknesses and strengths and times that you showed leadership, you lean back and breathe.
“Well, let’s go ahead and get started. First things first; were you breastfed or formula-fed?”
An awkward silence.
“Uhhhh…I think maybe breastfed? I don’t know?”
The interviewer squints at you, jotting down a few notes.
“All right then. What weight percentile were you at six months?”
The interviewer clears his throat, lest you misheard him.
“Weight. Percentile. What percentile were you at six months?”
“I honestly have no idea.”
“What about walking? How old were you when you took your first steps?”
“No idea. I’m confused. I thought that this was an interview for a customer service position?”
“It is. Now, did your mother feed you organic baby food or not?”
What weight percentile are my kids? No clue. Haven is scrawny. Ty looks like he drinks whiskey after weight-training for three hours. Height percentile? Can we talk about something else…please? If I wanted to hear this crap more, I’d get cozy with the pediatrician.
Haven got fruits and veggies thrown in the blender. Ty eats whatever we’re eating or whatever he finds on the floor. I’ve adopted this motto:
“You won’t remember any of this, so how can I make my life easier?”
My mom read to me every day for hours. She made sure that the house was spotless at all times. We got nicely structured amounts of “media time”.
And I don’t remember like…any of it. I can barely remember anything prior to the second grade. Well, I remember her being stressed all of the time. I have six younger siblings, and my mom should have been the CEO of a huge corporation. She had to invest her outrageous amounts of energy into something.
Does that mean that you shouldn’t put effort into your kids? Obviously not. But they’re not going to remember any of this. You are not going to ruin your child’s chances of becoming an astronaut by giving them macaroni and cheese. Your child’s weight and height percentile will literally never ever come up again. The stroller that you purchase will not developmentally hinder or empower them. Look for how it will help you. If you’re happier, your kids will be too.
I think Haven started walking at 11 months…or something. Ty started walking at 9 or 9 1/2 months. Honestly, I don’t friggin remember. All that I remember is that he stood up for the first time in church. The other moms were asking “Awwww! Aren’t you so proud?!” I gave a nervous smile, followed by a whispered: “Ohhhh shiiiii*”
You wanna know my secret for getting my son to walk SOOOO early?
Absolutely nothing. There is nothing that you can do to make your kids “hit their milestones” earlier. It’s like pressuring your children to hit puberty faster. Or to grow taller. It happens when it happens. Unless they’re on the extreme EXTREME ends of either end, it doesn’t make one flickin frickin bit of difference.
Repeat after me: You cannot teach your children to walk any more than you can teach their balls to drop.
Imma get that embossed on a wooden board and gift it at baby showers.
I make my decisions based on how easy they make my life. I’m going to be the one who remembers this time. Not them.
Both of my kids sleep with me because I’m too lazy to get up with them, cuddling them is nice, and hearing people cry makes me want to commit suicide.
Both of my kids were breastfed because it was easier for me. I supplemented with Haven sometimes when I went to class because it made Damon’s life easier while I went to class.
I don’t use a carrier or stroller because I don’t have three kids yet, and they’re a giant pain in the butthole to carry and store.
I’m a lazy person. And I don’t care what other people do with their kids. If using a pacifier makes your life easier, do it. If using a stroller helps make your walks more enjoyable, do it. Whatever makes your life easier. Your kids will not be outraged that they didn’t have organic goat’s milk. Your kids don’t give a crap that they were in daycare. Your kids will not be comparing their “breastfed exclusively” time periods on the playground. Your kid will grow up to be like every other kid. Statistically speaking, that’s just how it has to work. It is very unlikely that your kid will be extremely anything. Ever.
And that’s fine.
Quit comparing your baby to other babies. Some moms will tell me, “Wow! That’s so cool that your baby can walk so young!” “Yeah…well, you’ll be a lot less impressed in a minute when he starts beating your kid with a water bottle…” Ty was surrounded by crawling baby girls and took it upon himself to bludgeon them with toys.
They’re babies. They are not aware that their mother’s esteem relies entirely on how they compare to other babies! It is not a friggin competition!! The participants are not aware that they are competing. They are slack-jawed and drooling. They are eating carrot sticks out of trash cans. The participants don’t care!! You’re telling me that your value as a human relies on someone who finds it appropriate to shi* themselves in public?!
Come on now.
“Milestones” should be renamed “stuff that will happen”. Every baby follows the same pattern at their own pace. You are not increasing your child’s chances of attending Stanford by trying to force them to walk earlier. You’re not helping them at all by forcing them to do stuff as a baby. I promise that your kid will crawl. They will walk. Eventually, they will talk. Seriously. They’ve got a lifetime to disappoint you. Don’t set your expectations so low that they start disappointing you at 6 months.
Nobody needs that in their life.
Kids grow up to be adults. And employers don’t care if they were cloth-diapered or not.