Real childhood milestones to celebrate

One of my summer rituals, as I transition to the full-time mommy world, is to update the boys’ baby books, school keepsake journals, sports scrapbooks, etc.  I usually have to stay up very late the night before we go back to school to finish them. Honestly, I sometimes take one along with me for a distraction during any unnecessarily long beginning of school meetings.

While it was wonderful recording those baby milestones of my boys rolling from back to front and then front to back (or whichever one is supposed to come first), crawling, cruising, and walking, now that they are 8-years-old and 4-years-old we are really coming to the milestones that should be celebrated.

Buckling their own seatbelts: My size extra-large 4-year-old graduated this spring out of a 5-point harness carseat that we could barely buckle into a high-backed booster seat. Hallelujah! The child can buckle himself! Besides straightening the seatbelt from time-to-time, he can do it himself and is proud to do so. Entry: Today, I did not need to help buckle a seatbelt for the first time in eight years! Hurrah!

Taking their own (semi-supervised) showers: My 8-year-old graduated to showers when his legs were physically too long to feasibly put him and little one in the bathtub together.   Now when we all come in after playing outside, I can send them both to the shower for big brother to help out little brother. Now that is worth writing about in the baby book! Entry: Today Liam took a shower with his big brother and got mostly clean with minimal adult supervision. Crying about soap in the eyes was also minimal, while the water in the floor was at a maximum.  

Less peeing in the bed/pants: I will say “less” to this because I am waiting for a comforter to dry as we speak. My boys love to have “sleepovers” in each other’s bedrooms on the weekends and can do so with less worry about middle-of-the-night sheet changes. Entry: Tonight the boys slept together in Patrick’s bed.  This meant that Liam did not have to get out of his own bed 7 times to inform me that it was “not fair” that Daddy and I got to share a room.

More chores!: While we are still close to the “it-would-be-easier-if-I-just-did-it-myself” phase, the small chores that they are able to do are both helpful and instilling responsibility.  Some of my favorite small tasks for them to complete are feeding the dog, putting their own dishes away, and making their own snacks and drinks.  Helping to put away their own clothes also kills two birds when we lay out clothes for the week at the same time. This also lessens the number of early morning school clothing meltdowns.   Entry: Today, the children cleaned the entire house while I binge-watched “This is Us.”

Reading aloud: One of my favorite sights in the world is to see Patrick reading independently. I also love to hear him read a book that he has chosen to share with us. While I would still characterize him as an “emerging” reader, I fully realize the importance of building his confidence as a reader. I also love that he is modeling sharing books to his little brother who is watching his every move. Entry: Patrick insisted that we go the library to check out “I Yam a Donkey” because he loved it so much in class. He read the part of the donkey and Joel played the yam. Liam laughed so hard.

While I do occasionally get a twinge of motherly yearning that makes me long for the days when I could easily scoop them up in my arms, I am so thankful to see them growing, learning, and maturing.

P.S. Patrick and Liam,

I am so proud of you. Here’s to many more milestones to come! Now go switch the laundry.

Love, Mama

Read more entries from The Learning Curve:

Grief and the power of words

Summertime = Library time!

Wear your red gown with pride

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