My son didn't crawl until right before his first birthday. He didn't walk for a few more months after that. His speech has been slower to develop than other kids his age (sometimes I feel like I'm 50% mother, 50% translator). He still sleeps happily in his crib. He wasn't potty trained at 18 months. At 3, he doesn't count to 50 or cook meals or spell his name. He's starting to string together some pretty funny sentences, he sleeps through the night, and he is a happy guy. Every time I meet with our pediatrician, I'm assured that he's a healthy, normal kid meeting his milestones on his own time.
I've had to be careful about the things I read too much of on the internet. I've been good about unfollowing fitness accounts that make me feel terrible about my body, which is strong and pretty and does not deserve harsh criticism. I remove hateful, close-minded political ranters from my feed because they leave me upset for hours. But moms are tricky. I always read Instagram and Facebook posts with a laundry list of academic and developmental milestones that people's kids are reaching that aren't anywhere close to what my kid is doing. They make me worry when I never would have otherwise. Is he dumb? Is he delayed? Am I not doing enough? And then I feel terrible for thinking that about my beautiful, funny, quirky, clever son!
I know everyone is proud of what their kids do, and I try to remember they're not trying to act snotty about it. So much of this is just me being sensitive because I'm a worrier. I will never understand the race to have our babies grow up so fast. I see so many moms rushing to get them on the toilet, out of the crib, off the boob, and I think...why? What's wrong with a baby?
I don't know, I opened this post to write about potty training and got sidetracked. But we did it! Joony potty trained in less than a week and I'm so proud, but I worried that writing about it might make someone who's struggling through accidents and tantrums sad. I don't want anyone to worry about where their kid is at right this moment. I have a late bloomer in every area, and it's taught me to enjoy every stage for as long as it lasts, and it's been a real exercise in minding my own business. In being happy for someone else and happy for myself at the same time.
(...and if you're offended by pictures of kids on toilets, well, you can just suck it)