This afternoon I had an epiphany about my experience as a mom of an only child. I was rocking Caroline in her room, giving her a bottle before her nap. I was thinking about how big she was in my lap (97th percentile for length) and that while she meets all of her milestones within the “normal” range, she usually hits them very close to the late end.
At fourteen and a half months she’s cruising and just in the past two days she’s started standing alone for several seconds at at time. Table food is still a slow go except for anything related to bread or crackers or coffee cake or any other fab carb. She’s all about carbs right now! Milk is a no go. I am pretty sure she has an issue with milk such as an allergy or sensitivity. (Any suggestions from those who have gone before in this area?) I’m sure we’ll still be doing formula in the bottle when we go for her fifteen month appointment later this month. The only area where she seems to be on the early end of the curve is her vocabulary. She is saying new words all the time and is already well past the average of five words by eighteen months.
These things don’t bother me most of the time because I know she will do everything she is supposed to do when it is the right time. She’s just her own little person! But like most moms, especially a first-time mom, it is easy to feel that subtle pressure when people say, “Oh, isn’t she walking yet?” or “Isn’t she eating regular food yet?”
While I was thinking about what the pediatrician was going to say when she’s still not “there” yet at her fifteen month appointment, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I know it was the Holy Spirit because it went straight to my heart and made me weepy. It was this.
God has made Caroline to hit her milestones a little later because it is allowing us more time to enjoy the baby/toddler times since this will be our only walk through them.
If Caroline had jumped to regular food early, walked early, and did everything early I think David and I would have felt like it flew by so quickly that it was over before it even got started. Instead, we’ve had time to really experience each stage with Caroline. Yes, there have been days I’m tired of washing bottles or I wish she would just eat what we eat, but this season is such a brief one in our lives. Each bottle is a precious reminder of what a sweet gift we have been given.
I was sharing my epiphany with David and he wrote back, “If it was all easy and quick, we’d be saying, it’s been too quick. Don’t you think these situations have forced us to focus on her and the moments instead of allowing us in our quest for efficiency and achievement to just ‘get by them’ and get down to business?”
I think David is absolutely right.
So I felt like this insight was such a precious gift from God. We’ve made it a priority to enjoy each day with Caroline. I think we’ve done a very good job. While thinking about all of this, I realized that sometimes what I write here might make it seem like we aren’t enjoying these times. I tend to write about issues as they come up instead of just writing about all the daily joys we experience. So I did want to share about this blessing from God and share this picture of us enjoying a fun moment on Sunday. Caroline is such a fun little girl and blesses us daily with her cute ways, hugs, and laughs. We are so thankful.
I stumbled upon your page doing a word search in Google (a post you wrote in 2005). I enjoyed your thought process and clicked to find this as your most recent post. I want to encourage you in the epiphany you have had regarding the time with your child. My own child, whose name *is* Epiphany btw, didn’t even crawl but “runted” (scooted) until her fifteenth month and then, without a how-do-you-do, she stood up with two rubber toys in her hands (for balance?) and made her clumsy but perfect first steps towards me. (OK, her 1 week old sister was getting all the oohs and ahhs in the doctor’s office, and I think this drove her need for attention, LOL).
The HS is correct, this time will all too soon be a wispy warm memory. Enjoy each splendid tear and laughter filled moment.
Ah, this post brought tears to my eyes as well. Thank you for sharing.
I absolutely love getting to catch up on sweet little Caroline! What a precious picture! Don’t worry about milestone timelines – it will all happen in due time!
As my beloved said the other day ” Parenthood isn’t for wimps!”
This was such a beautiful post, Sallie. Our little ones are growing so quickly — too quickly. Lena is 15 months old and still on formula (stage 2) because she is so petite and the doctor wants her to beef up a little. She eats three meals a day, but still drinks bottles too.
Caroline is such a beautiful, bright child and I can see what a blessing she is to you two!!