Hitting milestones

I’ve heard of parents who obsess about their children’s development. They want their babies to be the best and the brightest. They gloat when their baby did it first in comparison to their friends’ babies. This is disturbing and I am so glad I do not have anybody like this in my life. Comparison in this sense never does any good. 

Babies are different and development happens on a continuum that allows for large differences that do not amount to any developmental problems. I think it’s fine to discuss where your baby is at and the challenges that each particular phase poses but it’s the intent behind any note comparing that is important. 

Diego seems to have zoomed into overdrive these last few milestones. He was a few days shy of seven months when he began saying mama and now at seven months and eleven days he is sitting up on his own, pulling himself up to stand and crawling. For some reason I was under the impression these things wouldn’t happen until he was closer to nine months. To me, all of this mobility is frightening. I do not feel ready for it. I was just telling a friend how I don’t understand why some parents brag about babies who overachieve. It means nothing now. Aside from serious developmental delays that can translate into ongoing problems I don’t see why some parents hold being first and best in such high regard. 

We all want our kids to do well in life, I think that’s pretty universal but when we stop to think about it what standards are we using to measure them against? Most people want their kids to do well in school, others prefer sports, music or art. I just want Diego to be happy. I want him to be able to explore whatever calls to him and excites him. Putting pressure on kids to excel academically does a disservice to them. I do not know where his strengths will be. I don’t think that’s important right now. What is important is knowing what I will do with regards to his weaknesses. I will be supportive. I will encourage him to do his best and when he falls, fails, brings home a bad grade or mucks up in some way I hope that he knows that it’s okay. Most importantly, I hope to never forget that it’s okay. 

Our children are mysteries. I don’t see Diego as a blank slate. I don’t see him as a vessel through which I will live my dreams. I want him to live his own dreams. Right now my plan is to teach him to think, not what just how. 

Today was pulling himself to stand day. He’d been attempting it before but today he was flying solo all over the place.