Raising little ones is never easy. It wasn’t easy in the paleolithic period (all the rocks and sabre-toothed wildlife!); it wasn’t easy during the Renaissance (have you tried keeping a toddler away from oil paints?); and it certainly isn’t any easier now. However, there is still a lot to be celebrated in parenting – especially exciting things like all the great “firsts” parents get to witness. There are the classic firsts: first smiles, first steps, and first words, but there are also some amazing firsts that don’t always make it to the top of the list - but should! Let’s have a closer look at some amazing but underappreciated childhood firsts:
Congratulations! You’ve just been given a slice of your old life back! Your child can open and close the van door on their own and can be trusted to properly fasten themselves into a seatbelt in their booster seat. Sure, they’re probably four years old and so you’re still doing a double check everything is done properly, but the loading and unloading process is exponentially easier now. Celebrate, for this is what freedom tastes like! Your daily commute has just been slashed by 35% in time and 76% in frustration and struggle level.
There are a few things about toddlers and young children that are universally true: 1.) They are always sticky somehow; and 2.) they are always hungry. This is why the first independent snack time is such a big hairy deal for parents and caregivers. A fantastic “do-it-myself” first snack is Dare’s My First Bear Paws cookies. They are built for small hands, convenient, and even BETTER – they contain only 5 grams of sugar per serving, are made from whole grains and simple ingredients, and include no artificial colours, flavours, or sweeteners!
My First Bear Paws cookies are peanut free, too, so they make a great snack to share at playgroups or the park, and the resealable stand up pouch is perfect for easy at-home and litter-less snacking. They are truly a first-place contender of firsts in our book.
Is there any parenting moment more glorious or sweeter than the first time a toddler uses the bathroom with no help? It may even go unnoticed if your little one doesn’t make the announcement that they’re even headed to the bathroom. I can recall hearing a flush one day, and then noticing my three year-old’s pants were on – backwards, but on - signalling that she had taken care of her needs on her own for the very first time. This doesn’t mean a complete end to help in the bathroom of course, and toilet help will likely be required at some level for a while to come, but the day your child just “gets it done” is going to be even sweeter than the day you said CIAO, diapers!
From the time your wee babe was only 6 months old, any outing that took place for more than 10 minutes was likely prefaced by an epic sunscreen showdown. And to be honest, we get it; sunscreen can be sticky and slimy and never seems to dry properly and don’t even get us started about how it feels in your eyes. So the first time your child just dutifully sits or stands still while you both suffer through the nightmare is sweet. It’s a necessary and temporary pain to apply sunscreen, but sunburn is never an option worth exploring. This fight-free day can come anywhere from year one to still-waiting-at-5, but when it does arrive, the sun will seem even brighter and warmer somehow.
We know the journey to firsts is not always perfect, but better firsts are always welcome and needed in parenting. They foretell growing independence and showcase all the amazing things your child will do in the future. For example, Sunscreen Fight-Free Day has a beautiful twin, and she’s coming your way soon, hopefully this winter: “No-Meltdown-About-The-Snowsuit” Day!