When you become a mom you want your child to be normal but also extraordinary. Normal with all of the big stuff—health check-ups and milestones— but extraordinary with all of the other bits. Like never, ever picking their nose. Your mother-in-law believes you should be thanking your husband for that childhood miracle. You beg to differ, but that’s an entirely different subject matter to be tackled later. Or not, in case MIL reads these posts….
Even though I am obsessed with organizational charts and clipboards, I’m kinda tired of percentiles and comparisons but I guess we, as mamas have to keep an eye on this and keep sharing because well, how else would we know to call a friend when our child hides Cornflakes up their nose, waits for them to get soggy and then consumes them. You know, just for fun. (Thanks, Jojo, my go-to mommy reality check).
In my struggle to raise exceptional children… all three of them… (okay, so maybe just one out of three would be fine) I’ve kept notes along the way and randomly found a list of these notes over the weekend detailing my month-by-month Normalcy Tracker for the first year. Read this and take notes so you don’t have to phone your personal “Jojo” all the time:
1. Month 1: You think to yourself, is this it? She’s so precious with her cute little cry. Aw. So innocent and mouse-like. And she thinks she’s scaring us? “Awwww hush now little one” and you proceed to shove a boob or pacifier in her mouth.
2. Month 2: Ohhhhh okay, so the crying thing does get old fast.
3. Month 3: Is that a smile? Oh, wait…a poop. But that’s okay we can smile while we poop. Multi tasking.
4. Month 4: How much does tummy time annoy you? Ohhh a lot. Okay, sorry.
5. Month 5: Solids? Two camps of kids here: yes please or ohhhhh (loud gag) not yet!
6. Month 6: Definite babbling and sitting. Kinda sitting up is both normal and extraordinary here. Okay, so sitting with a lot of support. Like you and 15 pillows. You often refrain from drinking liquids to not leave them for even a second for fear that that may topple over. Don’t worry, I won’t make the leaning tower of Pisa reference here. Too expected.
7. Month 7: Crawling anyone? Too fat to suddenly move well, then it’s straight on to walking for you!
8. Month 8: Still in love with breastfeeding? Baby-led weaning? Both—you guessed it—normal.
9. Month 9: You don’t know what sharing is yet, but you’re holding tightly on to what it is that you want/love. 9/10 times it’s your mama’s hair. Fast forward six months she will find a bald spot and blame you.
10. Month 10: Say it with me. Separation anxiety to the 100th degree. There should be a theme song for this stage: “Without You”?
11. Month 11: Almost one. You are getting vibes from your mama that she can’t wait to potty train you because her face scrunches up at all your best poops.
12. Month 12: Happy birthday. You’re thinking, “That candle looks yummy.” Your mama is thinking, “What a genius! Look at how intent her gaze is. Nobel Prize winner for sure.”
Got that mamas? 12 months 12 key kpis to make sure you’re still on the highway to normal. Don’t panic if your little one fails to meet one or a few of them. There’s always the opportunity with your other kids…or other people’s kids. Or find yourself a friend who will coach you through all the “not so normal” worries. Preferably someone in the same time zone.