As Charlie inches every day closer to being a fully fledged terrible two year old, I list in my head all the new things I see in her. Sometimes it's something small, and sometimes it's huge and defining. All over the internet, you can find "Mommy Blogs" and webMD articles telling you exactly what is happening to your child and why it's bad if those things don't happen. But I have discovered a whole other list of milestones that your doctor might not mention during the next well visit.
The Throwing Milestone
I only have a few seconds to prepare for the moment. Charlie lifts her arm up and bends it behind her head, holding a book, fork, sopping wet washcloths, or maybe Mommy's half-full metal water bottle and starts to slowly count to three. If I miss the warnings or fail to react, whatever she has cocked into place will be hurled with surprising force right at my face.
The Tantrum Milestone
I take great pride in the joyful, easy going baby I have raised into a sweet funny little girl. But every now and then, I scold her for giving her crackers to the dog or drag her away from the hot stove with an exclamation of "Don't touch!", or just plain punish her for being a stinkpot. What follows is a screech and a "NO!" I then watch her frantically search for some flat object to smack her tiny hands against in frustration. If I laugh at her antics, she will then (very carefully) lay on the floor and pretend like she can't hear or see me.
So far I haven't seen much kicking and screaming. I desperately hope it stays that way.
The Cuddly Milestone
The day Charlie gave me an actual hug, with little arms wrapped around my neck and her baby cheek resting on my shoulder while she let out an "Awww" was a weepy moment for me. When she gets tired or is feeling sick, she crawls up into my lap and lounges for long stretches of time.
The Daredevil Milestone
Everyday I have to catch Charlie as she hurls herself off the couch or playground or hangs off the counter or tries to stand on easily-tipped things. Everyday! One of her new favorite games is to stand on my thighs while I sit on the floor with my legs out straight in front of me and jump up and down until she falls over. She also loves to stand on the couch and throw herself onto the floor. Maybe there are pillows and cushions. Maybe not.
The Yucky Milestone
One of Charlie's new words is "yucky" which she uses a lot. Sometimes I wonder if she doesn't just look for things to pick up and give me just so she can say "yucky." Stray hair in the bath water? Yucky. Goldfish crumb in the carpet ? Yucky. Half a grape under the table? Yucky. Old run, over plastic bottle top? Yucky.
She will point these things out and I will say, "No don't touch." She then picks it up anyway and hands it to me. I say, "Ew yucky" and put it right back on the ground.
Katelyn Floyd is the mother of a toddler who lives in Bluffton. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.