Recently, Elise wrote a post about the anxiety and/or frustration that can come from well-meaning friends, family and strangers when they ask about your baby's milestones (and they haven't reached them yet). It got me thinking about something that I do that *hopefully* prevents causing that anxiety in others.
Several of my friends had babies around the time Dashiell was born and I also met a lot of new moms through my breastfeeding group. So I've had a lot of moms to compare notes with during Dashiell's development. On the one hand this is awesome because it's so comforting to connect with others who know just what you are going through and to marvel at how our kids are changing. But it can also be hard if your child hasn't done that exciting thing yet (rolled over, crawled, walked, talked, taken to solid food, et cetera for infinity). I also became aware of talking about a milestone that Dashiell had reached and then asking, "Is your baby doing that yet?" because if the answer was "No" then I might be making the other parent worry or feel that their baby is "behind".
So, instead of asking, "Is your baby doing (potential-anxiety-inducing-milestone) yet?" I ask,
"So, what exciting things is s/he doing lately?"
I love this because it doesn't suggest to a parent that their baby should be doing anything specific. I also think that by focusing on those big milestones that we diminish other things that a parent could be excited to share like, "He grabbed a toy on his own!" "He doesn't seem to hate the car seat any more!" "She didn't cry at daycare drop off!"
If someone asked me this question about my boys right now I would say:
Dashiell is parroting nearly everything we say and the multiple syllable words just about kill me with the cute; he loves to see and hug his brother as well as random other children we meet at the playground and sings "Keeen up!" (clean up) as he puts his toys away (and then sometimes dumps them right back out).
Cedric is sharing some smiles with us, is becoming more alert and has the most impressive burps of any baby I have known.