Is she walking yet? Is she potty trained? Can she talk?
Contrary to popular belief by the childless or rookie parent, developmental milestones for babies lack perfect distinction. They don’t point to a bottle of milk and say “milk” with decipherable diction when the day before they would look at the same milk bottle without so much as a gesture. Two wobbly steps before falling can’t be misconstrued as a child’s first steps. For those who wonder when they can proudly inform others of their child’s achievements, I’ve developed the following milestone definitions. You may ask, what qualifies you to be the one who has the final say on such classifications? In response to such petty incredulity, I assure you that my gut tells me that these findings are true, and no one can debate another person’s beliefs that are based on instinct. Please strictly adhere to the following scientific guidelines ascertained via my gut.
Talking – A child must be able to crawl or walk over to a certain object in question, point to it, and repeat the name of the object when prompted. The word must also be discernable to the perfect stranger. Some might say, “Hey, my kid can say mama or dada, but they just can’t crawl or walk yet. Why can’t this be counted?” I don’t know what to tell you other than the fact that I didn’t make the rules.
Okay, I guess I did make the rules, but those are, in fact, the rules, and obeying the rules is vital if we’re all to use the same measuring stick. However, if your child is like mine, and has made it clear in their own special way that they are devising their own language, any gesture or uttered verbal response to any given object at any given moment can be counted as speech, and your child should be heralded as a genius.
Walking – The child must be able to walk backwards. Why does simply walking forward not count? The answer is quite simple. If your child can walk backward, no reasonable person would doubt his or her ability to walk forward.
Potty Trained – You know when your child is potty trained when they begin to mock other children who are incapable of the skill. It stands to reason that the major reward of being potty trained is the elite feeling that coincides with the achievement. Children are naive and haven’t learned the merits of dishonesty at this age. Therefore, no child would make fun of another’s lack of bowel control unless that child truly exhibited mastery over it themselves. Think about it.
Feeding Themselves with Utensils – My gut hasn’t informed me about this one yet. I’ll get back to you on this as soon as science prompts an emotive response.
Tyler H is a guest blogger and father to Emi. The Three BayBChicks have asked him to shed light on a Dad’s point of view under the stern supervision of his loving wife. His writing has been said to be a cross between Stephen Colbert and Hemingway. (Tyler is the one who said this.) If you have a question for Ask A Dad feel free to submit it in the comments section. Please keep in mind that you may receive a response from Tyler only if it inspires a clever response.