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milestones

October 21, 2011

You know how some mothers sweetly reminisce about the days their kids were toddling around in bibs and diapers?

Yeah. That’s not me.

The truth is that I’ve been hurrying Maya along from one milestone to another since the day she was born. And really, the only thing that’s stopped me from throwing a party when Maya achieves another step towards independence is the fact that I fear people will think I’m totally inappropriate.

But really, how could I not want to celebrate retiring the enormous car seat that took up half my car? And is it crazy that saying goodbye to the giant Bugaboo Strollerthat refused to fold properly and fit into my freaking trunk was the happiest day of my life?

Six years ago I didn't have a single gray hair. My how things have changed.

In any case, the milestones continue: just this past week I could barely contain my excitement because not only did Maya put on her own lotion and pajamas after I gave her a bath, but her teacher told me that Maya is now supposed to do her homework independently!

Imagine that.

I realize this post probably makes no sense to people who don’t have kids. It probably makes even less sense to all the dedicated and loving mothers who accidentally stumbled across my blog. To everyone else? Thank you for understanding where I’m coming from.

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116 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 12:12 am

    wait, who’s maya?
    😉

  2. October 21, 2011 12:55 am

    Yeah, i totally see where you’re coming from. We as parents don’t in essence ‘bring up’ the child, we just facilitate them towards complete independence and self-discipline, a sense of order that comes from within them.

    Kudos! Cheering you on until the next milestone…. Mehmudah

  3. Piya permalink
    October 21, 2011 1:00 am

    awww cute pic! my daughter is in preschool and i am already dreading homework…she hasn’t started getting any yet.

    • October 21, 2011 11:16 am

      The real HW starts in kindergarten…I was surprised at how much Maya got!

  4. October 21, 2011 1:45 am

    SHe is growing up 🙂 bless her… Beautiful picture .. God bless both of you

  5. October 21, 2011 2:34 am

    eh, I’ve got 4 kids, it totally makes sense to me. Congrats! She is beautiful.

  6. October 21, 2011 2:40 am

    I can’t wait to have kids someday (you don’t hear many 20 year olds say that), but I think I’ve been naively thinking that I’ll enjoy it so much it won’t feel like hard work. It’s nice to hear your honest perspective to bring me back to reality! And that is such a darling picture of you both Ameena 🙂 You should have that framed somewhere in your house.

    • October 21, 2011 11:18 am

      I thought parenting was all fun and games too…until I had a kid. And thank you for the compliment Nada!

  7. October 21, 2011 3:32 am

    I get it!!! Believe me…

  8. October 21, 2011 3:37 am

    Congratulations on those milestones! I think celebrating them is a way of giving personal freedom, and embracing change in life.

  9. October 21, 2011 3:47 am

    I see people with infants and feel badly for them, how’s that for inappropriate? Everyone says “it goes so fast”. You know what? I love having people versus babies. I love that these creatures can set the table and read real books. I’m with you but then again I usually am.

    • October 21, 2011 11:19 am

      The truth is that sometimes I feel bad for new parents too…and hten I thank my lucky stars I’m done with that stage.

  10. October 21, 2011 4:07 am

    Uh oh… does that mean she’s getting to the point where homework seems to be harder for the parents than the child? Not gonna lie- I was a stubborn/smug little thing and sort of enjoyed it when one of my parents also couldn’t answer a question I was trying to find the answer to…

    • October 21, 2011 11:20 am

      I will say that both Ali and I have been stumped by her HW already. Sometimes the instructions just baffle us.

  11. October 21, 2011 4:52 am

    I’ve never been a Mom, but I can see it from my Mom’s perspective. She was always proud of us and supportive of us at every step. Up until the day she died, she would always be the first person I’d tell when I achieved a milestone. You’re raising an independent young lady. That’s a good example to set. That’s the kind of example my Mom set. I love the photo, what a cutie she was and still is. Now if you want to talk about gray hair, I’m the one to talk to!

    • October 21, 2011 11:20 am

      Fran – I hope that Maya says the same nice things about me eventually!

  12. October 21, 2011 5:23 am

    I think when my children (of the future) enter algebra level math, I’m just going to pretend like I’ve gone blind until it passes.

    • October 21, 2011 11:37 am

      I think that’s a wise plan that I might adopt as well.

  13. October 21, 2011 5:34 am

    I love your outlook on things! However, I love the quizzical look on Maya’s face even more!

  14. October 21, 2011 5:53 am

    I think my mom would be in total agreement with you about this. I can just see her shaking her head “yes” as I type this. 🙂

  15. October 21, 2011 6:04 am

    Not a mother, but I totally understand. Btw–adorable picture of you two!!

  16. October 21, 2011 6:19 am

    I love that photo! So adorable.
    I wish I could be like you. I’m, unfortunately, a control freak and kind of bad at letting my kids being (too) independent. I know, not good right? Enjoy the weekend!

    • October 21, 2011 12:32 pm

      I’m the bad on here pushing independence…you are a normal, dedicated mother!

  17. October 21, 2011 6:38 am

    I totally get it even though I don’t have “real” kids – I have a husband and a high maintenance dog. Every time Salvador tinkles outside, I want to throw a party. Every time Forrest unpacks his own suitcase, I want to throw an even bigger party! 🙂
    PS – Love the picture!

    • October 21, 2011 12:33 pm

      Sometimes I think that dogs are more work because they really never grow up and stop needing your help!

  18. October 21, 2011 6:39 am

    I’m anxiously awaiting the day we don’t have a car seat or booster seat in our car…and our kid isn’t even born yet 🙂

  19. October 21, 2011 6:40 am

    i feel like your posts prepare me for what is to come in motherhood. thanks for keepin it real.

    • October 21, 2011 12:33 pm

      If I can help anyone temper their expectations then I consider my post successful. 🙂

  20. October 21, 2011 6:50 am

    I feel the same way. I never loved the baby phase and I love how now at 10 and almost 12 my two can do tons of things independently. That said though, I am surprisingly excited to have these two cooking inside me right now even though it means more baby years.

    • October 21, 2011 12:34 pm

      Because you are an amazing mother, that’s why!

  21. October 21, 2011 7:00 am

    I would definitely be ready to throw a party if I had a kid and that person could eventually entertain him/herself and do all sorts of other things without me. That may be one of the reasons I/we are not having kids – I’m totally selfish and immature. And the idea of someone being totally dependent on me? No comment!

    • October 21, 2011 12:35 pm

      When I realized that Maya was totally dependent on me (she was 2 days old) I totally freaked out. I’m not kidding you!

  22. October 21, 2011 7:08 am

    You definitely have Excellent Hair in that picture.

    I think that the Independent Homework milestone should probably be the happiest one so far, since all homework prior to that moment is really work for parents.

    Throw the party – I will celebrate remotely.

  23. October 21, 2011 7:15 am

    Aww, how exciting 🙂 I know my mom was excited when my sister was able to do her homework independently, I understand!

    • October 21, 2011 12:36 pm

      I think it goes in waves…I fear Maya will be coming to me with her math problems and I’ll have no idea how to do them.

  24. October 21, 2011 7:23 am

    Can I tell you, I’m kind of surprised at myself, but I am actually feeling a little sad at how fast Z is growing! Although the one thing I am looking forward to is how much “lighter” travelling will become once he is older.

  25. October 21, 2011 7:44 am

    Wow! See childhood goes faster than you would have ever imagined! Before you know it, Maya is going to be acquiring a driver’s license!

    • October 21, 2011 12:36 pm

      Just 10 more years until that happens…that seems crazy!

  26. October 21, 2011 8:10 am

    My psychology book says that children who are pushed to be independent and succeed from an early age are more likely to have high achievement motivation and be able to care for their parents financially and emotionally.

    You’re doing it right.

    • October 21, 2011 12:37 pm

      Yay! Studies back me up. 🙂 That makes me happy.

  27. October 21, 2011 8:10 am

    Haha, that face on Maya is too cute. 🙂 I don’t have any kids but it’s astonishing to me to see how fast my cousins are growing up!

  28. October 21, 2011 8:41 am

    What an adorable picture!

  29. October 21, 2011 8:45 am

    Oh believe me, I understand where you’re coming from. The day those booster seats are out of the car, I’m throwing a party! I thought I might cry when I held a garage sale to rid myself of the playpen, crib, strollers and baby clothes, but I came away from it feeling about a hundred pounds lighter. Having an autistic child has made me realize exactly how important reaching those developmental milestones are. Don’t feel bad for feeling happy about it!
    Have a great weekend!

    • October 21, 2011 12:38 pm

      If we had a garage I would have sold everything and then thrown a party with the money. But due to condo living I just gave it all away instead.

  30. October 21, 2011 8:52 am

    Oh honey I think you are right on point. Independent child-raising is definitely the way to go. Maybe now Maya can independently pick a thank you bouquet of flowers (from the neighbor’s yard) and deliver them to her teacher as a thank you on your behalf.

    • October 21, 2011 12:39 pm

      Great plan! I’m putting her to work after school. 🙂

  31. October 21, 2011 9:17 am

    As much as I adore my kids, getting rid of every toy, stroller, baby jogger, car seat, high chair etc. was such a happy day. I completely understand. And from my experience you have a small window (2 years) where they do their homework on their own, then suddenly they need help again and you wind up googling everything because you forgot it all.

    • October 21, 2011 12:39 pm

      I’ve heard about this window and I fear it already.

  32. October 21, 2011 9:30 am

    Go Maya!!!
    That is such a pretty picture!
    *kisses* HH

  33. October 21, 2011 9:40 am

    I’ve had 2 gray hairs since high school (im a stress ball) and now i’m still child-less but I have at least 3-5. Does that make you feel even a little better? hehe

    Go maya go! er… actually go you! enjoy maya’s growing independence! ❤ whoo!

  34. October 21, 2011 10:29 am

    That is such a lovely picture of you and maya!!! I know how you feel about kids being independent. Even I am waiting for Purvi to start eating on her own, or bathe on her own!!!

    • October 21, 2011 2:26 pm

      I feel like Maya should be able to take her own bath but for some reason I think she still can’t handle it? I wonder what age they start doing that on their own.

  35. October 21, 2011 11:13 am

    How awesome! Yay Maya! And yay for you too Ameena. Love love love that photo. Makes me want a little girl of my own 🙂

  36. October 21, 2011 11:38 am

    —Ameena,

    It makes complete sense…

    This is the reason have so many readers. You are expressing precisely what they are thinking.

    Gorgeous photo. X

    • October 21, 2011 2:27 pm

      Thank you for the compliments – you are the best.

  37. October 21, 2011 11:44 am

    So how long until Maya’s able to drive? 😉

  38. October 21, 2011 12:30 pm

    I think encouraging your kid to be independent is the best thing you can do for her. I was always independent as a child, and I like to think I turned out pretty awesome. My brother took a little longer to kind of do things on his own, and he’s the one living at home right now. Not me. That says something right?

  39. October 21, 2011 1:07 pm

    I am so JEALOUS!!! Besides the fact that Alexa still needs a little help with the instructions of her homework, I have a 4 year old to contend with! We’re in the process of teaching her to brush her teeth by herself. There are some days with pretty bad stinky breath, but at least I’m not there scrubbing twice a day.

    • October 21, 2011 2:29 pm

      I should really be more hands on when it comes to brushing Maya’s teeth but I trust she does it the way the dentist tells her. And so far…the dentist is happy!

  40. October 21, 2011 2:52 pm

    Six years?!? We’re at six weeks and I’m already counting the days 🙂

    PS: Why do you look so gorgeous and well-rested with a baby? I haven’t showered in four days and believe me, it looks like it :S

    • October 22, 2011 9:27 am

      6 weeks already! The fact that you can get out of the house at 6 weeks amazes me. I think Maya was 6 months before I made it to the park.

  41. October 21, 2011 2:58 pm

    I LOVE the picture. So adorable.
    Milestones must be a big deal. I don’t understand because I don’t have kids (as you know), but I applaud both you and Maya for “moving on” from the car seats and assisted homework sessions. Fingers cross that independently really means independently.

  42. October 21, 2011 4:06 pm

    Solidarity, sister! I’m with you about being excited to kick diapers to the curb. Will I miss the bonding time that comes with gently laying my baby down and cooing at her as I change her diaper? No. BECAUSE THE DIAPER IS FULL OF STINKY POOP.

    That’s why.

    • October 22, 2011 9:28 am

      Well said. Not sure the words “gentle” and “diaper” can ever really go together.

  43. October 21, 2011 5:12 pm

    Hehe – laughing at Eden’s comment. Oh how you ladies make me smile. Some milestones I look forward to and some I dread, and I must say, I cannot wait to kiss the car seat goodbye!!!!

  44. October 21, 2011 7:08 pm

    I may not be a mother (thank god) but I do work with disabled kids. So, I understand completely. I offer up the praise and get way too excited when my kid spells any word without me sounding out every letter…twice. “You spelled ‘bike’ all by yourself!!!” Hell yeah! Good for you.

    • October 22, 2011 9:30 am

      The milestones you deal with must be 1000 X more rewarding than getting rid of a car seat. Thanks for the reminder…

  45. October 21, 2011 10:10 pm

    Hahah Ameena you remind me SO mch of my mom! When I was younger, I used to wish my mom doted over every little accomplishment of mine. Now that I’m older, I’m so glad she didn’t and I know I’m going to be just the same when I have kids. Ooahing and aahing too much is a recipe for overly needy children.

    • October 22, 2011 9:30 am

      Our parents didn’t dote either and I think that’s why I’m the same way? History repeats itself, right? It’s inevitable.

  46. October 22, 2011 4:38 am

    This childless woman loves every word that you write. It’s like a glimpse into my future self. I like you… so I will have to like me too… right!?
    p.s. Props to Maya on the lotion. Difficult even for me to remember 🙂

  47. October 22, 2011 6:03 am

    as much as i cant wait for kids, the thought of carrying around a stroller, carseat, diaperbag, toys, etc… makes me want to find a nanny ahead of time,

    • October 22, 2011 9:32 am

      I recommend starting the search now! A good nanny takes a while to find. 🙂

  48. October 22, 2011 6:43 am

    When my son peed standing up at the toilet for the first time and then wiped the seat clean and then flushed and then pulled up his pants by himself then washed his hands…I felt a sense of parenthood accomplishment.
    I totally get what you’re talking about.
    Preach on sista.

    • October 22, 2011 9:32 am

      Boys are a whole different ball game, aren’t they?

  49. October 22, 2011 8:06 am

    Oh, I completely understand. Completely.

  50. October 22, 2011 9:07 am

    Does it make me a horrible mom when the only reason I’m looking fwd to my kids growing up faster is so I can go on more vacations with less hassle? And have I ever told you that your blog is like my cheap therapy? Teehee. I mean that in every good way possible of course. Your sarcasm keeps me sane.

    • October 22, 2011 9:33 am

      Thanks for the compliment LeQuan! And really, I refused to travel until Maya was old enough to lug her carry-on behind her. Anything prior to that was more hassle than fun.

  51. October 22, 2011 2:54 pm

    hahaha… your posts are always so funny. yeah, i don’t have kids, but i can totally relate to your excitement. i have 6 nieces and a nephew and i see the stress they cause the parents, but of course, there are rewards too. i still think you should have 1 more kid because Maya is just sooooooooooo cute.. you owe it to your genes!
    🙂

    • October 22, 2011 7:34 pm

      Maya is a cutie…I say that with the utmost objectivity of course. 🙂 On her behalf, thank you!

  52. October 22, 2011 5:04 pm

    I admire you sweet lady. Your a wonderful mother, and I think it’s fantastic you celebrate all the steps towards Maya’s independence. 🙂

  53. October 22, 2011 5:46 pm

    People always think I don’t like kids, but I actually just really don’t like babies. I will be hurrying mine along to age 5 at least!

    • October 22, 2011 7:36 pm

      I love babies but I just don’t like how much work they come with. If I could have a full-time nanny (who did nights too) I might reconsider…as sad as that sounds.

  54. sri permalink
    October 22, 2011 8:36 pm

    I was thinking i saw this pose of yours somewhere…………….it’s your profile pic right next to it.

  55. October 22, 2011 9:21 pm

    Ya, there are a lot of things I look back on and think–I am so glad to be done with that!

  56. October 23, 2011 7:58 am

    I don’t have children, but this makes sense to me. When we acknowledge the way we grow and develop, and when we see this in kids with increased functioning it is somewhat inspiring. And that you get more freedom, is that a plus!

  57. October 23, 2011 9:05 am

    Friday morning, I went downstairs to find that my 7 year old was pouring himself a bowl of cereal and my 5 year old was making herself a cereal and yogurt parfait in a glass. I’m with you on loving the independence (Although I do sort of miss snuggling with my little babies. Just don’t miss the diapers or sleepless nights).

  58. Ninu permalink
    October 23, 2011 11:34 am

    Oh ameena.
    I have a month old baby BOY.
    I say boyspecifically causeThey pee everywhere. Especially when u decide to change the nappy.
    You never know where the pee will go .
    I look like a zombie and I cannot for the life of me fathom why I decided to have a child or even get married in the first place.
    It s just a month now and yet everyday I ask my sister when will this phase end?
    I envy her no end cause she has a 6 year old . Though she tells me that s a totally diff ball game.
    I so envy you. Heehee

    • October 24, 2011 10:04 am

      When Maya was a month old I felt the exact same way. So much so that I could have authored the exact same comment you left! I remember my cousin coming over and bringing me lunch and telling me that it would get better. And that time would fly by. And that I’d forget how hard the beginning was. She was right about the first two things…but 6 years later I still remember how hard an infant was and I have no plans to do it again. Anyway, my point is that I’ve been where you are! I feel your pain. It gets easier Ninu, hang in there!

  59. October 23, 2011 5:20 pm

    I love the picture, Ameena. So sweet 🙂

  60. October 23, 2011 7:35 pm

    Makes sense to me, I have twins they are still 3 and have to put on their own pajamas, I don’t care if they are inside out backwards. I need sanity. LOL.. I am glad Maya will no longer need your guidiance for homework or when she does you can gently remind her about what her teacher said, anyway: SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE ALI on this photo, not anymore but back then.

  61. October 24, 2011 7:05 am

    I don’t have kids but I completely understand what you mean. I pushed myself to grow up and gain that wonderful thing called independence. Because it took so long and I wouldn’t ever repeat history, I chose to be childless. I love our friend’s children, though!

    • October 24, 2011 10:06 am

      I envy you because at 35 I am still trying to figure out that thing called independence. Somehow I have an easier time teaching it than practicing it!

  62. October 24, 2011 11:27 am

    That’s a beautiful pic! She was such a cute baby! 🙂 And I echo the views of Just Beachy (above me!)

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

  63. October 24, 2011 2:48 pm

    such a cutie! her hair is so shiny & healthy 🙂

  64. October 25, 2011 2:48 am

    My two oldest have been showering and dressing independently since the youngest was 4 (ha ha ha). However (here you have your revenge) parents are expected to help their kids with their homework every day until they graduate. They ensure it by giving things like dictation, which is impossible for the kid to do alone. I will never be free – never!

  65. October 26, 2011 7:32 am

    Nothing beats the moment they can finally wipe themselves after #2. Nothing.

  66. October 30, 2011 3:56 pm

    homework independantly? mine rarely did that even in highschool…in fact it got worse in highschool, I was very indignant when I was only getting B+ !!!!

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