Friday, July 4, 2014

Mid Year Milestones

With the diaper countdown now under way and the revelation that a giant dog would get our son out of our bed at night, times are a changing, mostly for the better. But as someone inspirational once said, any time a door is closed, a new one is opened.

I think that was supposed to be inspirational. But in this case, it means new challenges and questions await. For instance, will any of our kids take wiping their butts as seriously as they take singing the Frozen soundtrack?

Child milestones generally lose some of their luster after the first year. First words, first steps, first smiles and first teeth give way to first time they tell you to shut up, first time falling down the stairs, and first time knocking teeth out on the corner of the coffee table. Those things usually don't find their way into the baby book or the camera roll and for good reason. Like Phyllis Diller said, "We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up."  Still, we're not done learning things here, so...

Here is a mid-2014 review of some more important developmental milestones:

Milestones involving the English language:
2-year-old: Will purposely answer questions incorrectly and laugh about it. Progress: Mastered.
4-year-old: Will incorporate new vocabulary words into hilarious jokes about animals. Example: Why was the frog small? Because it was in a tree. Progress: Mastered.
7-year-old: Will get sarcasm. On a recent family vacation where everybody in attendance brought an industrial size can of peanut butter, Dad, walking back from the beach, wondered aloud if there would be enough peanut butter for lunch. "Does that mean we have a lot of peanut butter?" Progress: Success!

Milestones involving swimming:
2-year-old: Realizing he can't. Progress: This is why we're taking lessons. We're not about to add to those "more people die annually in swimming pools than..." statistics.
4-year-old: Jumping in the water. Progress: Surprisingly intimidated by jumping into a perfectly good pool of water.
7-year-old: Getting her face wet. Progress: OK, my kids have a healthy respect for water.

Milestones involving boogers:
2-year-old: Will not announce their discovery during church. Progress: Not good. Long way to go.
4-year-old: Will refrain from eating them. Progress: Remarkable, considering where we were just two short months ago. Older sister's taunts may have contributed.
7-year-old: Will recognize that she, too, may have some. (The nasal equivalent of "My sh*t don't stink.") Progress: Depends how sassy she feels.

Milestones involving toothpaste:
2-year-old: Will brush own teeth without getting hair soaking wet. (That happened on my watch somehow the other day.) Progress: ?
4- and 7-year-old: Avoiding this.

Progress: Nil.

Milestones involving the toilet:
2-year-old: Will use. Progress: Off and on.
4-year-old: Will use the ample amount of paper available to him hanging next to the toilet.  Progress: His next time will be the first time.
7-year-old: Will use the shiny knob in the upper left of the back of the apparatus. Progress: Alarmingly poor. Somebody FLUSH the toilet.

Milestones involving understanding the phrase, "Are you sure?"
2-year-old: Progress: n/a
4-year-old: Progress: Consistently gets tangled up in "Do you want vegetables?" "No." "Are you sure?" "No." "Oh, you're not sure?" What?" conversations.
7-year-old: Progress: Starts to get it. Slowly. Finally.

Milestones involving church:
2-year-old: Will keep quiet throughout the homily (sermon if you're a Methodist) to avoid racking up Walks of Shame during the service. Progress: Judging by the mean looks we get from the old ladies, not enough.
4-year-old: Will try to sit in one place for an hour without watching Curious George. (By the way, hey Man in the Yellow Hat, try to get your sh*t together one time. OK?) Progress: Still undergoes panic-inducing withdrawal symptoms when separated from the monkey who can only communicate in dolphin sounds.
7-year-old: Will try to sit in one place for an hour without watching Jessie. Progress: We're still waiting for the day she watches a Fresh Prince of Bel Air re-run and does a complete, 10-page compare and contrast paper on Philip Banks and Bertram.

Milestones involving cleaning up after oneself: 
2-year-old: Will learn to start putting toys away when he's done using them.
4-year-old: Will learn to start putting toys away when he's done using them.
7-year-old: Will learn to start putting toys away when she's done using them.

No progress to report. It's a small price to pay to keep them small.

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