Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,

If you're concerned act early!

I despise most parenting books and therefore have not been checking milestones of what Margaret ought to be able to do on a month-by-month basis. Warren recently looked some up because he was curious after her 18 month check-up, and yesterday when she built a tower that was ten blocks tall we looked at them again. The results were…. interesting.

Not only does Margaret already have all of the two year milestones, she’s also made heavy inroads into the three year milestones. This is not exactly surprising to us. It may not be very PC to say so, but we expected her to be smart. On the other hand, looking at the list causes me a certain amount of concern…

Many of the milestones are innocuous enough. Margaret’s correct use of certain plurals (shoe/shoes, puppy/puppies), her ability to follow two and three part commands (when it suits her), and her ten block tower are milestones I’m more than happy to accept and brag about. Some of the other milestones I have much more mixed feelings about. For example, “turns rotating handles” is a tad problematic. In theory Margaret knows how to use doorknobs, and her increasing height is making it easier and easier for her to do it in practice. In fact, I have a sinking suspicion that the only thing keeping her in the bathroom with me while I take my morning shower is the fact that our house is nearly a century old and that particular doorknob has been known to thwart college educated adults. She’s also too close for comfort on the “screws and unscrews jars lids, nuts and bolts” milestone. Sure, at some point she is going to have to open jars for herself, but I’m not excited about the prospect of her being able to open every jar in the pantry at nineteen months.

The CDC site has an area that says “If you’re concerned act early,” and all sorts of links to resources if you’re worried that your child has a delay. Alas, there is no little area labeled “OMG, she may destroy us all,” with handy hints on how to keep a toddler with many of the skills of a three-year-old from wreaking havoc long enough to teach her about the potential consequences of her action. Yeah, yeah, I know there are many folks out there who would much prefer to be in my shoes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be nerve wracking. I imagine that most of my friends with small children have similar issues, so if you have tips on how to keep an 18-month-old who understands what a step ladder is for and isn’t afraid to use it from burning the house down, do please pass them on. I am lucky in that Margaret is a very sweet girl who wants to be helpful, she’s just extremely curious and resourceful and not aware of many potential consequences to exploring certain things in her environment.

(I wrote this post at work during lunch, before I'd read today's Salsa in China post which is in a similar vein. My concerns are less climbing specific, but the basic idea is the same -- I have a baby who is perfectly capable of thwarting my puny child-proofing efforts.)
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