5 Kid Milestones I'm Thankful to Have Survived

boys school walking backpacksThere's a reason baby books include those extra special Baby and Toddler Milestone prompts where moms can fill in the dates her kid finally holds his head up, smiles, laughs, rolls over, sits up, crawls, walks, etc. Now that my kids are almost 9 and 5, I realize how much I needed the candy-coated, over-inflated celebratory nature of those milestone markers to distract myself from the fact that I was still very much "in it." Pssst, because what no one tells you back then is that for every Baby and Tot "milestone," your job just gets harder -- at least for a little while anyway.

The path to here has been a wild ride, and now that my boys are finally Big Kids and both in school, it gives me pause. Sure, I miss their little baby faces and their tiny baby bodies, but more than anything I am so dang thankful to have made it to the phase where the Milestones actually mean some aspects of my mom life are getting easier.

Now that's something to be thankful for -- am I right?


Here are 5 kid milestones really worth celebrating:

Stroller Days: Whenever I see a mom pushing a stroller down the sidewalk, I automatically feel sorry for her. Isn't that awful? I'm sure all those other stroller-pushing moms are happy as hell to be out and about with Baby! But, of course, I'm projecting my own harried memories of the "stroller days" when just getting out the door with all the right stuff in the diaper bag before the baby had another feeding frenzy or a poop explosion was a miracle. Wheels are supposed to make life easier, but the years you need them just aren't easy. I remember sweating. A lot.

Kid Thirst Be Gone: Let's just say quenching my kids' thirst has gotten A LOT EASIER. It used to require undressing, for goodness sake. In the toddler years, I remember loading up several sippy cups in the morning and lining them up in the fridge to combat the constant whining thirst attacks throughout the day. Now they can just get a cup and fill 'er up! Amazing!

Naked No More: Glory are the days now that both boys can get themselves dressed. Sure, we still get the occasional underpants-worn-on-the-head stuff and our youngest is pushing the envelope in order to be the oldest kid to not know how to tie his shoes, but man, having two kids who can do the basic underwear, pants and shirt thing on their own is a lifesaver.

Potty Parties: The post-traumatic stress of this milestone is still very fresh in mind. My youngest took FOREVER to get it. And that was after my oldest took what was my first take on what FOREVER must feel like. I still hold back cheers from the other room whenever one of them flushes the toilet.

Word Up: Oh man, I do not miss the long minutes (hours?) of guessing what my babies and toddlers needed TO MAKE THE CRYING STOP. It's so nice now that they can, for the most part, tell me what's causing them the temporary trauma. More than anything, though, I like when they just walk up and tell me, "Mom, I love you." Yeah, that's worth a celebration of the biggest proportions.

What milestones do you think are really worth celebrating?

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