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7 Better Childhood Milestones to Celebrate

Photograph by Getty Images

When you really break it down, who are the milestone celebrations for, really? Our babies aren’t doing anything extraordinary by holding up their heads or army-crawling across the floor. They’re just doing their thing. We’re the ones who jot down the date and story in our baby books (also for us). We’re the ones who wring our hands over whether our kids are measuring up when we all know that kids develop (and thus hit their milestones) at different rates.

But milestones are fun. They’re like tangible, black-and-white markers that our kids are growing and thriving and that life ticks on. But you guys, you’re missing the point. There are much better milestones ahead, long after you give up on the baby book. (Which you will. Accept defeat.)

RELATED: 12 Gross Childhood Milestones

There will be milestones that change your life for the better. Milestones that make you fist pump the sky, whispering yessss. Milestones worth celebrating because, hot diggity they were right—it does get better.

Photograph by Michelle Horton

1. When your kid can blow his own nose

Any parent who has used a nasal aspirator or has done the hard digging of boogers as I have will understand. This milestone deserves cake.

2. Wipe his own butt

Going “on the potty” sounds like a big deal, and yes, don’t get me wrong, it is. But only because it’s the first step toward bathroom autonomy, which, let’s be honest folks, is the real goal. When your kid first “tinkles on the potty,” it’s usually one of those small plastic ones that you still have to clean out. (Is that really any better?) And then there are the accidents, the pull-ups phase, the pooping in pants.

Now your kid can walk into a bathroom, do his business, wipe his butt, flush, wash—and you never had to take a whiff! BALLOONS FOR EVERYONE.

3. Fix himself a snack

I’m not sure when the daily “I’m huuuungry” groans will actually end, but the fact that he’s capable of opening the fridge, find himself a yogurt and then eat it on his own is HUGE.

4. Outgrow the car seat

THE FREEDOM!

5. Go into a room and come out fully dressed

Even down to the socks, people. It will happen, and it will be glorious.

6. The ability to wake up in the morning and occupy himself quietly

The fact that I can lay in bed, listening to him from afar, and not be jarred awake by screams and cries is quite the development.

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7. When he can do his share around the house

Motherhood is a selfless act of service and sacrifice, and that never really ends. But there also comes a point when encouraging your child to pick up after himself and do his part in the Family Team is called “good parenting.” All hands on deck. (And all mamas’ hands in the air!)

Oh and one more thing: Even though you already marked down the first time your baby “slept through the night,” every night you have a full night’s sleep from here on out is worth celebrating. Cheers.

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