My third (and last) child Dominic turns four today. He was the only child I didn’t push to hit milestones. I knew he would be my last child, excuse me while I cry. If it where up to me he’d still be my gummy six month old and if kids weren’t so expensive I’d have a baseball team by now. I always looked forward to milestones with my other two. I couldn’t wait to start making baby food, putting my baby in walking shoes, buying undies instead of diapers.
With Dominic it was different, I hate the idea of him growing up. Mostly because I know I will never experience these milestones again. And then there comes the pressure. I made the hard decision to put Aiden and Brody in public school this year. I’ll share our decision to put homeschooling on hold later. But for right now I am struggling with public school, on one hand my kids are thriving on the other I am watching my kindergartner being pressured by state mandates to be on a first grade level (or at least the first grade level my now middle schooler had). Bottom line, I feel like the pressures are so big and coming too young.
I chose not to pressure Dominic to walk, rather I encouraged him taking steps when he would try on his own. He walked for the first time at 14 months. Some may argue that is late or my daughter walked at ten months. As much as I enjoy hearing comparisons (NOT) I had an eleven month old walker. I don’t know if our pressure got him to walk faster or if it was just part of his make. But I do know that the months that my baby took to “catch up” to his brother in age development has no bearing on the differences I see in them. Dominic seems to have done everything so far a bit later. He hadn’t picked up more that 10 words by two years, potty training st almost three and I still found myself struggling to keep him accident free. I have never pushed him through milestones, but watched him enjoy them at his own pace.
At four we are hitting new milestones like singing the alphabet, counting to ten, recognizing shapes. Learning to play hopscotch, kinda. Is he on development for his age? I am not sure that anyone can answer that. What I do know is he enjoys singing the alphabet, because his kindergarten older brother frequently recites it. He has become a parrot when it come to his big brother, Dominic enjoys learning and repeating everything his big brother does. I refuse to run the milestone race.
My only concern for our four year old milestones is that he has the opportunity to explore, engage and enjoy being four. Happy birthday to my beautiful boy I am going to enjoy celebrating four.