My oldest child took her first steps at mummy’s work. Dragged in to visit me in the office by her dad, desperate for occupying outings, my beautiful, ginger one-year-old stood, wobbled precariously, gave a gappy grin and tippy-toe danced across the carpet to a chorus of oohs and aaahs from a circle of gushy, young women, most of whom were not yet parents.
It was a beautiful moment. A true milestone. Captured by phone for eternity or, at least, until rendered obsolete by a software upgrade.
Faces turned to me, expecting tears – my little girl was mobile! – but there were none. I felt no pangs of sadness that the crawling, rolling baby years were behind me. Watching my little girl grow and learn and delight in the things she couldn’t do yesterday that she can today has always been a source of joy, not melancholy for me. And now I get to go through it all again with my boy.
Holly with her young son. Image: Supplied.
There are the toddler milestones that are in all the books and then there are those we didn't see coming. The ones we didn't even know were the lasts and the firsts, and that only stick out with hindsight.
1. The first time they draw on the wall.
You swear your child will never, ever do that. "Only on the paper" has become a broken-record catch-cry of yours. And then, there you are, in the kitchen, when things have gone all quiet in the other room. Your Spidey-senses tingle and it's time to investigate, right after one more biscuit... That's it, your mini Michael Angelo has gone all Sistine on the hallway. And you can't remember if you did spend the extra on the wash-off paint. How to explain this to the landlord/mother-in-law/mother's group.