As we park in the driveway, John announces with great bravado, "I knew the way how to get out of my seat belt!"
Yes, sweetie, I am all too painfully aware that you have mastered this feat of fine motor skills. Suffice it to say, this is one milestone we don't appreciate. I wrote about milestones here, eighteen long months ago when Ainsley first began to explore our world.
Among our favorite milestones:
1. Sleeping through the night.
2. Putting on shoes. Gotta love that Velcro!
3. Getting dressed independently. Of course this brings with it a huge onslaught of laundry as some toddlers change outfits six times per day. It also means plaid shorts with striped shirts and muscle tees accessorized with a Thomas the Tank Engine tie.
4. Putting a straw in a drink box without power washing the floor with juice.
5. Spitting toothpaste more or less in the direction of the sink.
6. Potty training. Of course.
7. Saying please and thank you.
8. Developing a healthy respect for that concrete strip out front we call the street.
9. Coming when called.
10. Making it through Mass with a noise and restlessness factor that allows parents to maintain reasonable blood pressures and to catch a whiff of both Gospel and homily.
11. Saying "I love you."
Milestones we'd be a-okay if they mastered at twelve:
1. Opening doors. Any doors. The refrigerator is bad. The front door is worse.
2. Climbing out of the crib.
3. Taking off a diaper (unless this is accompanied by quick mastery of number 6 above).
4. Figuring out what scissors do. Figuring out what markers do. Figuring out that mom keeps the extra special markers (code word: Sharpie) on top of the refrigerator.
5. Figuring out what else mom keeps on top of the fridge. Figuring out alternative hiding places that obscure everything from snack foods to Christmas presents.
We adjust as needed for both safety and sanity. Always, always, we look for the joy amidst the challenges.