I’m finding it hard not to compare my child to others her age. Reese is healthy, communicative, active and right where she needs to be developmentally. At her 1-year checkup, our pediatrician was pleased with her growth and progress. He assured me she is hitting all of her milestones right on target. That news was music to my ears because, just like every parent on the planet, all I want is for my little girl to live a long, healthy, happy life.
Still, though, I worry I’m not doing enough to encourage her in certain areas. At daycare, I see what Reese’s peers are able to do, and I see what tasks my friends’ children accomplish with ease. Reese is obviously a “smart cookie,” but I know there are a few things we should work on.
For example, I watch her little friends at daycare drink readily from sippy cups while Reese is still so picky about when she’ll take her “big-girl” cup. She has six different sippy cups to choose from, but we’ve had the best luck with one that has a straw. She’ll use the cup when she’s in the mood, but I need her to take it every day at every meal without fail. Why, you ask? Because that — along with the ability to walk steadily — is one of the requirements for Reese to “graduate” from the infant class to the 1-year-old class at daycare. Toddlers who still insist on taking bottles stay in the infant room.
It may seem silly that I’m already obsessing about getting my 1-year-old to drop her bottle habit but, like I said, it’s hard not to compare her to other children her age who have done so.
In the grand scheme of life, though, I don’t think she’ll miss out on much because she preferred a bottle to a sippy cup when she was 12 months old.
I also wonder frequently whether I’m emphasizing literacy enough. Reese has a lot of books, and I try to read to her every night, but I usually can’t get her to sit still on my lap long enough to get to page three of “Goodnight Moon.” As she toddles around the living room, I follow behind her, reading and pointing to pictures on pages, but she usually seems more interested in chasing our dog.
I have a friend who said her 1-year-old daughter sits still, pays attention to story after story and will actually retrieve books and request that they be read to her.
Again, I don’t think Reese’s inability to analyze plots and critique characters at this stage in her life will hinder her down the road but, I must admit, I’d love to be able to brag that she’s an avid reader in the making.
For now, I’ll just focus on being thrilled that I have a healthy, well-adjusted child. I suppose if Reese still refuses to drink out of a cup or read a book as a teenager, my concerns will be better founded.