“Ahem! Mom? Why isn’t she saying hi?” Max raises his bitty eyebrows and ponders the Target employee ringing up our diapers, string-cheese and Shout! My 2-foot man flirts with abandon, and he welcomes (errr … craves) the attention of neighbors and strangers alike. Aaron Rodgers, J. J. Watt, Prince Charles, Jake Gylenhall and My Max are all more popular than a flash-sale that crashes the Southwest Airlines website ($99 to Cancun!? Pack your bags, grab your bikini, email your boss and forget the dirty laundry … let’s go!).
The ladies (and sometimes the gents, too) flock to the carriage, and Max rewards them by batting his lashes, wiggling his toes and smiling like Curious George just stepped out of the television. He likes the ladies and the ladies like him, so this situation is confusing to him—why isn’t the blonde lady with the dangling earrings saying hello? She’s just ringing items up like—oh, I don’t know—it’s her job. “Mom? Can you explain this?”
I thought I could explain it … I really did. My reasoning? My bitty baby boy is a socialite competing with Paris and Kim for front-page coverage. Max is at Target? Call the paparazzi! And then, two days later, we’ll read in US Weekly that Max called the photographers himself so that he could be seen wearing his sparkling new baby Gap tee. Max!
Dear readers, I really did think we were unique. I thought God gave two introverts a social babe in order to get us to explore the world beyond our books and spreadsheets. And then, last night around midnight, Baby Center emailed to let me know that babies usually “become the life and soul of the party” at 6 months and two weeks of age. Max might not be such a unique flirt after all.
Do you get weekly updates from Baby Center? Or P&N bumpdates or Lucie’s List? I signed up when I was 12 weeks pregnant to learn about development (baby was the size of a pear!), and the emails kept coming after Max was born—he’ll start crawling this week, want to try peaches next week and, today, he’s going to flirt with everyone.
So Max is going to charm strangers, and I’m going to learn that babies are highly social at 6 months. So social, in fact, that a doting mama might consider getting Facebook ready for her son’s ever-growing network of fans and friends. I jest … but truly, I’m noticing a reciprocal relationship between Max’s development and my motherhood milestones; he’s learning new things, yes, but so am I.
Is there a milestone calendar for mothers? A daily update, perhaps? Your son will learn how to crawl, and you will learn how to multitask while always keeping him within your sight. He will look like an army man crawling around—and you, sweet mama, will feel like a tower patrol watching his every move.
If you’re reading blogs on Pregnancy & Newborn’s website, then I’m guessing you’re aware of your babe’s development milestones. But have you thought about your own accomplishments as a parent? I mused over motherhood milestones while sipping my morning coffee, and I noted seven ways that I’ve changed since becoming a mama:
1. Clean ain’t got nothing on me. For reals … I’ve got an arsenal of cleaning supplies to rival Merry Maid, and I can make spit-up, milk and poo disappear before your eyes. Maybe I should sell tickets to this magical cleaning show—step right up!
2. I schedule outlook appointments for date nights with my husband. Date nights sometimes involve a sitter (thank you, in-laws!), but they usually just mean quality time on the couch while Max sleeps. (Think wine-and-cheese flights while watching “House of Cards.”) Gotta keep the romance alive if we want baby No. 2! Kidding … and not kidding.
3. I can do just about anything with one hand: laundry, dinner, walk the dog and dress my body. This might actually be the first thing I learned—the first motherhood star I earned on my milestone calendar.
4. I’ve learned to ask for help—I’m now comfortable asking just about anyone to buckle my Ergo strap or help me get the stroller up the stairs. (Why isn’t there ever an elevator?) Oh, and would you mind grabbing the door? OK, thanks!
5. Oh, and speaking of elevators … I will find them. You can place them in corners and hallways and hidden behind trashcans but, using my mother-nose, I will get there and load the carriage and reach my final destination in no time. All aboard!
6. TLC don’t want no scrubs, and I don’t want no highways. Max truly hates riding in the car, so I’ve learned to navigate the city by sticking to side-streets. Google Maps can get me there in 20 minutes, but I can take a baby-safe route and be there in 45. So it goes.
7. Song calms Max like a steaming hot chai calms his mama … and I’d do nearly anything to increase his giggles and decrease his cries. In a few more months I’ll be ready for my “Glee” audition.
To all you parents out there: what have you learned from your little one? Do you have any new or surprising skills?