8 Underrated Kid Milestones
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5. Your Baby’s First fright-free night.
It’s quiet all night: That’s because she has learned to talk herself down when she has a nightmare, or thinks she’s about to be the victim of an alien abduction. A month or so will pass, and you’ll realize it's been a while since she came into the bedroom at 3 a.m., still shaking at the mental image of Bigfoot driving the family car. She doesn’t need mommy or daddy to comfort her anymore, a realization that inspires both pride and melancholy. Try to focus on the former. You done good.
6. Your Baby’s First show of tattling—on you
Ah, the innocence of childhood. At no time is it displayed more distinctly than the first time he throws you under the bus. “You weren’t sick for Aunt Jackie’s jewelry party. We went to the beach, remember?” he says helpfully, right in front of Aunt Jackie. A perfect storm of anger, pride, guilt over the anger, and shame (he assumes you are a better person than you are!) washes over you. This one can really sting. Just take a deep breath and know it happens to all of us.
7. Your Baby’s First zinger
Your sweet mini-me, even strangers note, is polite and respectful. Sure, you’ve heard tell of how they talk back in their teens…but you wouldn’t be surprised if you lucked out and got humanity’s exception. And even if not, you assume you still have years before you have to worry about that.
If so, you’re in for quite a shock. 10-year-olds bark, “You’re not the boss of me!” Pie-eyed 9-year-olds point out, “I don’t tell you what to do, do I?” When the pizza delivery arrives, and you casually ask, “Want some pizza?” a wizened 11-year-old may snark, “No. I’m just going to watch everyone else eat it.”
Kids grow up fast these days, folks.
8. Your Baby’s First time holding down the fort
You're out of milk (again). As usual, you start to tear your tween off the couch to drag her, protesting, to the Creamery Barn with you. But this time, you think twice. Maybe you don’t need to bother. It’s tempting. If you go alone, you will return with milk, not milk, Oreos, Doritos, and cookie dough ice cream. So you go, reassuring her you’ll be back in 20 minutes, tops. Upon turning the corner, you promptly panic, fearing she’s too young, anything could happen, the neighbors will call the authorities. You rush back in, breathless, to find her watching a Youtube video, unaware you even left. You both survived the first time she was left home alone. It’s a marker of growing independence for her, greater freedom for you…and the latest in a growing mound of evidence that she doesn’t need you as much as she used to. Sigh.