Suburban Snapshots

Five Lesser Milestones
(that will f*ck your sh*t up)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Once your baby starts walking, everyone goes apeshit telling you how much trouble they'll be now, into everything, never giving you any peace, pulling on the hem of your strapless sundress and exposing your bare breasts to everyone in the produce department...oh, was that just me? I found Anna's first steps to be liberating (more so even than bare boobs in public) because she could get to the things she'd previously needed a lift to, freeing my other hand to post about her hilarious faceplants on Facebook cook and clean.

What I learned as she grew was that there are other, smaller but more insidious milestones that will throw your routine out of whack faster than you can say, "CAN I GET A LITTLE PRIVACY?!"

1. Doorknobs
In the days of Anna's infanthood and well after she could walk independently, all I had to do when work called was don my sexy headset and close my office door. I vividly remember the day I heard those tiny hands wiggling my doorknob, expecting to hear Anna pad back down the hallway in defeat, when in she popped with a big smile and a "MAMA!" turned up to eleven. Thankfully my co-workers were amused.

Now she's in the bathroom, into the toothpaste, out in the garage playing with extension cords, walking down the basement stairs. Forgetting to lock my bedroom door at night is pretty much a guarantee of future therapy.

2. Light switches
When Anna grew tall enough to operate light switches, I thought, "Good, now I don't have to escort her to the bathroom so often." Well, the potty chaperone job is still almost exclusively mine, but now the living room becomes a flash rave as Anna flicks the switches off* and on until someone develops a migraine or the dogs are borderline seizing.

*Despite the evidence posed here, she insists she cannot flip a switch to its off position when leaving a room.

3. Logo recognition
The first logo Anna recognized was for Baby Einsteins. The second was for Dunkin' Donuts. She's since outgrown the Einsteins, but is under the impression that the sight of a Dunkin' mandates immediate strawberry frosted satisfaction. Because we live in New England, the second she recovers from her tantrum at passing the first store doughnutless, another one comes into view. That's some solid marketing.

4. Locks
If you've been a parent for more than .3 seconds, you know that a kid out of your sight is usually trouble; a kid out of sight with her three-year-old cousin locked in a bathroom is either a call to poison control or a plumber, depending on whether or not they've mastered Lesser Milestone #5.

5. Child Safety Device Removal
Once she could open doorknobs, we employed those plastic covers that not only prevent small hands from turning the knobs, but leave adults sweaty and cursing, the knob slipping from your grasp over and over until you just decide you didn't need to leave the house anyway. I can barely operate the mothereffer, so you can imagine my surprise at finding my kitchen door wide open, knob cover in two pieces on the floor, and Anna blowing bubbles in the yard. She explained, "Mama, I took it off so little people like me could get out it!"

And this is why I'll never have a pool.

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