Hi my name is The Perfectionist Mom and I am a development stalker.
As a parent you want your children to not just hit their developmental milestones but you also want them to excel. At least that is how I am. I have an 18-month-old daughter as of 3 days ago. She is wonderful. She is extraordinarily empathetic, kind, a good sharer, and is very social. These are all things I have never worried about because she has been ahead in learning them. When she was first born I watched everything. I think most first time parents do. You stare at them to see when they first smile. You wait with bated breath as they attempt to sit up alone and cheer them on when they take their first steps. These are all milestones that are huge in a little ones life. Gross motor skills are easy to see and recognize. They are the skills which use the big muscle groups; arms, legs and torso. Fine Motor skills are more delicate using the smaller muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. While these milestones might be more difficult to recognize, they are just as important.
I have read when a child is so consumed with one skill they tend to ignore or even seem to forget others. So if they are busy learning to walk or run they might slow down on talking, even if just for a little while. This is an important fact for parents to realize. I know there are moms out there like me who are consumed by making sure their child reaches each goal even if it is a little late. I get a lot of advice in the “relax, you are a good mom, she will get there” category. While this is true it never helps to hear. I know I need to relax but my daughter is 18 months old and not saying Mama! That’s right, she can say Dada (of course), hi, dog, duck, bear and host of other words but Mama has come out of her mouth maybe 10 times in her entire life. So, yea I get a little paranoid that something could be up. She is a gross motor skills champion. She runs, climbs, jumps (already) and dances her little booty off. She falls like every kid but is super stable to the point strangers think she is well over two.
Here is a list I found of developmental milestone that most 18 month olds should have in their repertoire:
- Shows affection to familiar people
- Helps getting dressed and undressed
- Has perfected two words, vocabulary of around 10
- Follows simple instructions
- Eats with a spoon, drinks from a cup
- Points to show something of interest
- May have temper tantrums
- Points to body part when asked
- Explores alone but with a parent close by
- Understands what pretend means and exhibits signs
This is a very short list of a longer version, from CDC.com. I picked out some of the most widely agreed upon.
With that said I guess my little buggy is doing just fine. She is ahead in a lot, like she already flips through books as if she is reading them (usually happens around 20 months), and has eaten with a spoon since she was 9 months. I am just a little bothered by some of what she doesn’t do; here is the Perfectionist in me.
My amazing pediatrician gave me the best advice, she said, “Work with her on what’s bothering you, but don’t put your fears of her being behind on her. It will turn her into a crazy neurotic kid and she is so sweet you don’t want to ruin that!” She is right. There are lists of things to watch out for and she exhibits none of them.
As long as she is on track I guess I will just have to wait a little longer to hear those sweet words in the morning of “Hi Mama!” For her sake, my inner Perfectionist can wait.
The Perfectionist Mom
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