“Did you have a good day?” I ask as we are walking out of the nursery.
“Da,” she says. She nods her head.
“Umm… Did you sing some songs?”
“Da,” she says. “Da.”
I know it is a kind of make believe, that it is steps ahead of where she really happens to be right now. But I could do this for hours.
“Should we have a snack when we get home?”
I learned today, we are Doing It Wrong.
That is overstating things.
We are not doing some things exactly right.
I understand why there are growth charts and averages and normal distributions. I know, more or less, where she is now and what comes next. But that’s all. I have never had to chew my nails over whether she is or isn’t teething yet, crawling yet, walking yet.
Easy for me, it must be said, because we are so fortunate. There has been nothing to worry about. She is always hanging out comfortably under the bell curve, and I have the luxury of shrugging: Alice doesn’t need to pencil herself into my datebook. Baby, I have all day.
I can’t remember when exactly you are supposed to introduce the sippy cup. But whenever you are supposed to is when I did.
She didn’t get it. Not even close.
I put it away. A month or two later I bought a different kind, one that looked more to me like a bottle, and handed it to her.
Frankly, if she never drank from a sippy cup … Well, I hope it goes without saying: I could live with that.
Oh, but now she can drink from a sippy cup!
Only at dinner, though. And, let’s be honest, it’s really just a novelty.
She is 1. And according to the National Institutes of Health :
“By the age of 1, most children are off the bottle. If the child still uses a bottle, it should contain water only.”
In addition: Her diet should have less babyfood, more tablefood. More meat, less mush.
All correctable. Nothing a very big deal.
But, it is hard to shake the feeling that I have fallen behind. That I have not kept up with her. And that makes me nervous. Like there should be a growth chart. For me. And what percentile would it assign me, etc.?