You know that as mothers we (I) always freak out when our (my) children don't hit certain milestones as early as we (I'd) like. Who's really kidding who here? We all want over acheivers. We all want that child that doesn't really have to *try* at anything but is really, really *good* at everything they do. For me, there is the added worry that something is actually *wrong* with my child and a delay in this or that is just the early signs. That's what research has done to me. It's made me wiser than I need to be and paranoid at everything.
I always wanted Q to be in the highest percentile of the growth chart. Not because it meant (or means) anything to me. I still don't even get the whole growth chart/percentile thing. I just wanted him to succeed. If he was in the 99th percentile...that's gotta be awesome, right? Like way better than the 50th percentile for sure.
I really wanted him to walk, just like every single mother out there. And when he walked at 9 months, I was ecstatic!!! 9 months!!! I mean, that's a pretty big deal, wouldn't you say? About a month after he started walking, and then running everywhere...I would remember the days before he moved at all, quite fondly. I was exhausted running after him all day long. How could someone so little be so fast?
When he wasn't potty trained by the time he was 2 1/2, my mother looked at me and said, "How many 20 year olds do you know of who still wear diapers? It'll happen when it happens. Some things just do." So while I couldn't brag about my 18 month old using his *big boy potty* I could brag about the fact that his potty training was probably one of the easiest experiences ever. One day he said, "I want to use the big potty!" and we were done. My mom was right, he wasn't 20...he was 3!
Some milestones we hit right on target, some we hit a little behind the curve, others still we were light years ahead. I freaked out no matter what.
Q was just a baby I took him to mommy and me swimming classes. I wanted to be one of *those* moms. The first time was oodles of fun, the second time he screamed bloody murder the whole time. Not the whole time we were in the pool, but the whole time we were there - from the moment we entered the Y to the moment we left. The third time he also screamed the. whole. time. The fourth time, he fell asleep in the car on the way to the Y and I decided it was a sign, and we never went back.
Thus began the seven year fear of water for my lil Q. I'm talking like terrified of water...any body of water, really. In a tiny pool, "NOOOOOO, I'm going to drown. You're going to DROWN me...." (side note: have you ever noticed how echo-y pools are?) In a lake, "NOOOOOOOOOO, I'm going to DIE. Don't let GOOOOOOOO!!!!" Lakes carry sound pretty far too, interestingly enough. Not one to push things, after learning they usually come on their own...I mean, how many adults don't know how to swim? Okay, bad example...or at least not as good as the whole *potty training* one...but, still, I've just patiently waited for him to be ready. My only thing was I'd say, "Q, I just don't get it. When mommy was your age, she was swimming like a little fishy."
Last week, Q decided he wanted to go swimming. Within an hour, he had taught himself how to swim. Literally. It was one hour. Now, I'm not saying his technique is all that great. In actual fact, he looks a little (a lot, really) like he's drowning. His arms flail all over the place, his legs move this way and that. He likes to twirl his body around and around, like an aligator that's just caught its prey. Then, his body goes completely limp (from exhaustion? Experimenting? I don't know). Next, he does this little 'bum in the air' thing, and he's out of the water. I freak out the *whole* time, because until he actually comes up for air, there is this little voice inside me that says, "If he looks like he's drowning, he probably is..." but then up pops his head, a huge, proud grin on his face, and I'm reassured that he is alright.
I think swimming lessons are in our future this fall...