Over the last few weeks it seems she has been hitting milestones left and right. It seems like every couple days a new skill is learned. This is such an exciting time for her, and for me as a mom.
I have worked with children most of my adult life. Between nannying and babysitting, working with preschoolers with Autism and other communication delays, and watching my friends' kids grow up I feel like I have learned a few things to prepare me for motherhood. (Or as much as you can be "prepared", ha!)
Watching so many of the kids I work with hit milestones, like rolling, walking, and potty training, always made me so proud and so excited. I would often tell their parents that I couldn't be more proud. I felt like I was celebrating it as if they were my own children. Yet now as a mom I am learning there is an even higher level of pride at seeing my own daughter hit milestones.
Perhaps this pride is because it was so long in the making. I have anticipated being a mom since I was six years old and I had ached to be a mom since a miscarriage in 2006. I now recognize that each milestone I celebrated with a child I worked with and loved had a slightly painful undertone that I was not conscious of at the time. Now that it is my own daughter, my heart just soars.
So what has sparked my most recent soaring pride? On a whim yesterday, after cleaning up a blowout diaper that soiled my daughter's outfit, I placed my five month old on the toilet. I like to explain things to her even if she may not fully understand. I explained about the toilet and how it helps when we use it so our clothes stay clean. I blew a raspberry sound because that is what she does to alert me that her diaper is dirty.
My daughter smiled at me and then proceeded to pee on the potty. I have offered the potty six times in the last 24 hours and she has used it every time, including pooping in the potty three of those times. The most recent this morning she even gave me the clue that she needed to go poop and I took her in to go.
Some people say that it is the cold air that makes babies pee. And some even say that it is fear that makes them poop in a situation like this for the first time. That may be the case for some but I think overall we don't give babies enough credit. My daughter does not look scared on the potty; on the contrary, she smiles and laughs. She doesn't like a dirty diaper and now she has another option as much as I stay aware of her cues.
I'm grateful for this "on a whim" experiment. I'm grateful for the awesome surprise it gave us both. I'm grateful to celebrate these milestones with my daughter. I'm grateful for each child that helped train me in my past. I'm grateful for my daughter's easy going, yet determined, personality. I'm grateful to be a mom and to experience all of the beauty that motherhood brings. And yes, I am even grateful for the parts of motherhood that have proved more challenging than I anticipated because the truth is I am over the moon with gratitude to have finally been given this blessing.
What makes you proud? What makes your gratitude soar?
May we all experience the full extent of joy in our lives. May we find gratitude in the milestones we reach. Have a beautiful day!