From rolling over, to walking, to talking, to potty training, to riding a bike, to reading, the past 6+ years of my parenting career has been filled with many milestones. I have been anxious about each one.
These are the mileage markers we, as parents, look towards to make sure our kid is “on pace,” to see if they’re “normal,” or “average,” or “struggling.”
When we’ve got newborns we stress about tummy time and making sure they can support that big melon on their shoulders. Then, one day, they just .. flip.
After that we start worrying about when the rolling will move to crawling will turn to walking. But be careful what you wish for, the quicker they start moving around on their own, the quicker you have to be chasing after them.
Still, when a friend’s baby is up and moving about and ours isn’t, we wonder.
Potty training Zacharie was easy. Charlie was a challenge. Our little Chooch went well past 3 before he got the hang of ‘listening to his body.’ We worried. One day, though, it just clicked.
I remembered stressing 2 summers ago about Zacharie and bike riding. He couldn’t get up on two wheels, he was being lazy and relying on his trainers. I openly expressed my angst and the guilt I had outsourcing my parenting to Pedalheads to finally get him up and riding on a bike. By the end of last summer he was hitting the trails of Kananaskis Country with me and doing “real mountain biking.” One day, it just clicked for him.
Now, it is reading. Here’s Zacharie, nearly 7 yrs old, three quarters of the way through Grade 1 and he’s not reading.
I’m comparing him to my niece was was reading chapter books by 6. I’m comparing him to the bragging Instagrams of fellow parents in my feeds. I’m worried. I all out begged the internet for advice to get my kid into books and learning to read.
Then, one day, it just clicks. I’m not saying Zacharie is going to be giving a TED Talk anytime soon, but he can read The Cat In The Hat. We take turns playing the characters in Green Eggs And Ham, and he can do the whole thing.
His old kindergarten teacher loaned us a stack of great little pocket readers that stress repetition and rhyme and build literacy on top of each other in layers, and he’s been breezing through them.
One day, it just clicks.
I’m not going to stop stressing about my parenting anytime soon, I don’t think it’s possible for a parent not to worry about how their kid is doing and hoping they keep up. I just hope I remember that one day, it just clicks.