Joe Boughner: The Naked Dad


Top 5 Overlooked Developmental Milestones

Somehow these never make the "by now your child can do this" lists

Ah developmental milestones. Specifically, the kind of developmental milestones that are conveniently delivered to our email inboxes from the time our kids are barely more than a chick pea of chromosomal potential deep in mom's womb. "Pregnancy Week 28, your little eggplant-sized bundle of joy is finally rocking some crazy eyelashes!"

Oh and in case tracking the growth of your child through various vegetablely-comparable sizes in utero isn't enough, these in-no-way-arbitrary declarations of average progression take on an extra element of intrigue after our children are actually born, catering as they do to the parallel parental predispositions to pride ("Honey! Little Timmy already started conjugating regular verbs in the past tense! He's not supposed to do that for another two months!") and paranoia ("Honey! Little Sally can't tie a half-Windsor yet! Babypalooza says she's supposed to be doing that already!"). 

And yet, despite having four years' worth of monthly emails to fill with accomplishments and achievements, a few very notable developmental milestones don't appear on any list that I can find. In the interest of science, I'll even share when my kid hit them herself. You're encouraged to share your stories in the comments!

5) Baby's first two-syllable "Mom"

(h/t to the brilliant and hilarious @FayeARoberts for introducing me to the expression "two-syllable Mom")

Everyone gets very excited at baby's first "Mama" or "Dada." But let's be honest, that's usually rudimentary repition. Hardly an oratorical marvel. Busting out an extend, multisyllabic, angsty or exasperated "Moo-oooom" on the other hand? That requires both the mental capacity to be annoyed and a flair for the dramatic that marks a real evolution in your child. Congrats Mom, your child is well on her way to being a moody teen! Our kid hit this one pretty early - right around her third birthday, I think.

4) Baby's first incident of soiling herself because she's so busy throwing a tantrum she doesn't realize she's peeing

Yea this happens. We got there at three-and-a-half.

3) Baby's first contextually-appropriate delivery of a favourite punchline

Kids love telling jokes. Often poorly. But when they get it right? Nothing finer. Case in point. We're big fans of vintage Sesame Street in our house. As such, my kid was exposed to the classic banana-in-the-ear Bert and Ernie gag. You know the one:

A few weeks ago we were hanging out on a weekend and I made up a goofy song in which various members of our family had various odd items in various parts of their body:

Daddy's got a pickle in his nose
Oh Daddy's got a pickle in his nose
I guess it's the way things goes 
Cause Daddy's got a pickle in his nose
Oh Daddy's got a pickle in his nose

Etc. So when I sang a song about the kid having turnips in her ears, the kid started giggling as normal. But then she started saying "what? What? Daddy, I can't hear you, I've got turnips in my ears!" And I've never been more proud. Another three-and-a-half milestone in our house.

2) Baby's first sharing of an embarrassing anecdote

Amazingly, we've dodged this bullet so far (at least as far as we know). But with four-day-a-week preschool starting next week, our days are numbered. Kids love to tell stories and kids love to get a laugh. When they realize that stories about embarrassing things their parents have done get them those laughs, the floodgates will open. This I know.

1) Baby's first "I don't love you and I don't want to live here anymore"

We got this at three years old. Three. Not 13. Three. That's gotta be WAY advanced, right?