Photo: Emily Spence

Milestones. As a parent, you think about them, worry about them, and celebrate them.

For me, there are some that make me swear like a drunk sailor in my head:

1. When your infant surprises you and is suddenly able to roll very quickly. You can no longer just place her on the couch and walk into the bathroom. “Shit! Thank God the floor is carpeted!” (Don’t lie, parents! Some of you have had a child fall from an elevated surface. I’ll take one for the honest mom team and confess!)

2. When your toddler can now open doors, especially the pantry and fridge. You go out and buy safety locks but hate how they are an inconvenience to you, as well, and rip them off with a huff! Who doesn’t love walking back into the kitchen to a box of dumped crackers all over the floor?!

3. When your toddler can all of a sudden run fast. They particularly love to show you this amazing talent in a crowded parking lot. You then have to teach the lesson of stopping when being told to do so. Damn! For tiny legs, little kids are f’ing fast (or maybe I’m just out of shape!)

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4. When your toddler speaks in sentences and annunciates well, and she begins enlightening strangers. “My mommy pooped today on the potty. And she has hair on her gyna!” *The cashier, a teenage boy, pretends not to hear. 

5. Infant starts teething. It’s great when they finally pop through, but the process of getting there requires lots of tylenol for her, and hard liquor for you!

6. Potty training. (Grabs a glass of wine to even type about this.) The first bowl, full of pee, is so exciting, you celebrate more for yourself than her! You run around, throwing out all of the diapers. Five minutes later, she pees on the floor, right next to the potty. You calmly tell her that accidents happen, but inside your head, you’re swearing your head off over the insanity of it all. You back off, letting her do it when she’s ready.

7. Independence. “I do meself!!” You smile, happy that your toddler is becoming more independent and growing up. However, “f**k” is uttered very often in your head, while you stand in front of her, running late, waiting for her to zipper her coat, screaming at you if you try to intervene. This is also true when she “helps” in the kitchen. *Inside head: Damn! Breakfast would have been done a f’ing hour ago, but I now have egg shells and batter all over the counter and floor to clean up!!!!!! “Thanks so much for your help, Buddy!”

We all want to see our children grow into successful human beings, so all of these milestones are crucial; however, I don’t think I’m insane to admit that some of them can be frustrating in the toddler stage. Seriously, I used to think I was a very patient person. Then, one day, while running late, I had to patiently wait for my child to button her sweater. Through gritted teeth, and unseen eye rolls, I cheered her along with each button, while staring at the time on my phone.