This past week, Mary climbed up on the step stool to see what she could see on the kitchen counter. She espied a fork, stretched forth her little arm, and wrapped her pudgy fingers around it. Since she held it like she knew what she was doing, I placed a small bit of pumpkin bread on the counter. She speared it with ease and brought it to her mouth and ate.

It doesn’t matter that she is my sixth child. It doesn’t matter that I have seen five other children learn the fine motor skills required to do such a task. It doesn’t matter that it is a mundane activity. It thrills me anew every time.

I cheered. I clapped. I called out to others nearby, “Look what Mary did!” They cheered. They clapped. We all smiled for a few minutes as we returned to our previously scheduled diversions.


This past week, Fritz appeared one morning after breakfast in the kitchen. He was lugging his very full clothes hamper behind him. “Hey, mom,” he said. “I put on the last clean pair of pants in my dresser, so I brought up the laundry.”

I wanted to cheer and clap. I wanted to shout to the world, “Look what my son did!” This milestone of thinking ahead, preparing for the next day, recognizing a potential problem and taking steps in advance to ensure that the problem doesn’t occur is surely a greater accomplishment than using a fork to feed yourself. Does he not deserve the highest praises?

But somehow such antics seem facetious when directed at a 10 year old. Instead I calmly, but enthusiastically, said, “Great thinking! Thanks! I’ll make sure your laundry is the next load!”

And then I smiled for a few minutes as I returned to my previously scheduled diversions.

5 thoughts on “Milestones

  1. I would say this is <>bigger<>! Everyone with normal functioning motor skills eventually learns to use a fork (not that I’m knocking it! I can just imagine her chubby little hand holding that fork for the first time.) But, I know adults who don’t think to wash clothes just because they’re out of clean clothes.

  2. I can’t wait for the day my kids learn to recognize they’re running out of clean clothes.Both mile stones are awesome, congrats!

  3. Yep, I’d be grinning from ear to ear on BOTH of those occasions!

  4. Hmm, I have a 6-year-old who hasn’t mastered the fork yet. 😛Great job to Fritz. Initiative is hard to come by.

  5. Barb,I suspect the laundry, like fork usage, will be one of those “threee steps forward, two steps back” situations.

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