Reaching new milestones has been much of the fun of raising our infant into her toddler years. During this time the milestones are exciting and cute. That must be why you see them written about in so many parent blogs; first time eating solid food, first steps, first time using the “potty”. Yeah it’s cute now, probably to buffer the teenage year milestones; first time saying “I hate you Dad,” first time sneaking out, first time crashing the car.
So our latest milestone is all about Sweetie’s vantage point; how she sees the world. She has graduated from her high chair to a booster chair. And in the car we turned her child seat to face forward. Okay, at face value, these are no big deal. Admittedly, there is a small voice in my head threatening to slap me for making a post about these things. But for us parents that is the beauty of milestones – there is so much more to it.
Changing Sweetie to a booster seat has brought her down to our level at the dinner table. This presents many new experiences for both her and us. Obviously, she feels a whole new level of inclusion and she likes being closer to Wife and I. From this seat she can choose to eat Wife’s food over her own (even though we all eat the same dinner). On our part, we are learning all of the ways that a toddler can move food and tableware around the table. Despite the challenges of keeping everything on top of the table, it is nice to have her closer. It’s not only easier to feed her it’s nice to have her right with us.
Turning Sweetie around in the car has been a new source of humor and inspiration. The first day we tried it we had to drive down our snowy and pot-holed streets. Quietly from the back I heard “wheee” and knew that she approved. That was pretty great, but I’ve found that logistically this is better for checking on her. Most importantly, with her facing forward it is easier to make eye contact with her. So when a jam comes on, we can rock out together.
This is going to resurface continually as Sweetie’s vantage point shifts throughout her life. And here lies the lesson. Sweetie is going to have to learn that the way she sees life may seem good, right, fun at the time, but that can, and will, change. And just because her seat might work well this year, that will change as she grows up. So here is the balance that Wife and me to figure out. We get to learn how to validate Sweetie’s viewpoint while also letting her know it’s limited and transient. I am fairly certain I was not receptive to my own parents’ advice on this, so I’m sure it will go well with my daughter. Oh boy, I can almost hear it now. Wheee!