The First 18 Years of Motherhood: You Know Your Child is Growing Up When . . .
Having been a mother for 24 years has been an amazing ride. It has been full of tears – tears of laughter and tears of sentiment and joy. To new mothers everywhere, parenting is definitely worth the sleepless nights in the beginning. Though child development has a predictable pattern, your child’s reactions to their world weave a unique set of memories you can call your own. I am sharing mine below. Cherish yours. Live, laugh, love and have a Happy Mother’s Day!
YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD IS GROWING UP WHEN . . .
AT 16 MONTHS, your toddler has learned how to crawl out of her crib, walk all the way across the house to your bedroom and stick her pacifier in your mouth. You wake up and see two big beautiful eyes just over the top of the mattress, staring at you.
AT TWO YEARS, your child excitedly announces that they have made it to the potty and it looks like “chocolate swirly ice cream.”
AT THREE YEARS, your daughter tells you that she is too old for ponytails.
AT FOUR YEARS, your daughter asks you if she can kiss you like Cinderella. A boy in her daycare class had taught her.
AT FIVE YEARS, your child can almost legibly write their own name.
AT SIX YEARS, your child picks out his or her first backpack. Ah, Winnie-the-Pooh and Ninja Turtles! Barney is now passé.
AT SEVEN YEARS, your son steps out of line in the procession out of the church just after he received his first communion. He proclaims out loud in the large, echoing cathedral, “Hey, that wasn’t bad for the first time!”
AT EIGHT YEARS, your child writes his or her first five-paragraph report about their favorite teacher’s shoes.
AT NINE YEARS, your little girl becomes interested in boy bands and your little boy becomes interested in girl bands.
At TEN YEARS, your child researches the adhesiveness of different band-aids and enters the results in a science fair.
AT ELEVEN YEARS, your child tells you that normally they can talk to classmates of the opposite sex, but one particular person gives them butterflies in the stomach.
AT TWELVE YEARS, your child graduates from elementary school.
FROM THIRTEEN TO FIFTEEN, your child’s idea of going to the mall is racing ten paces in front of you, zigzagging like a ping-pong ball from store to store, with their head down. God forbid anyone know they are with you.
AT SIXTEEN, your child gets that job to save money for the clothes you won’t buy them.
AT SEVENTEEN, your daughter asks if you’d like to go to the mall and have lunch with her. Knowing what that was like a couple of years ago, you instinctively say no. Reluctantly you go, shopping now is in a straight line and not just for her. Lunch was relaxed and unhurried. You realize what a young woman she has become.
AT EIGHTEEN, your child goes to prom and then off to college. They learn that washing a red, non-colorfast sweater with white cotton shirts is not a good idea.