My second kid turned eight months old yesterday. He has a few teeth, we’ve started easing him into baby food (with disastrous results), and he’s looking to crawl any minute, which is going to severely complicate my life and increase my stress level.
Meanwhile, the original kid started first grade last week. He is about to lose a few teeth, tried oysters for the first time over the summer (loved them!), and, most significantly, is dangerously close to being able to read the channel guide, thus preventing me from lying about his shows not being on.
This is all very momentous, obviously, but when do my kids’ developmental milestones start benefiting me?
Sure, it’s exciting to see your kids grow up and start to morph from useless wormblobs to useless miniature human beings, but if my five-year-old is any indication, most of the skills kids acquire usually end up making your life more difficult. Like I said: lame!
I’ve compiled a list of underrated milestones; milestones that actually improve the quality of your life, rather than make it worse.
- Can hold own bottle – My arms are tired, bro. (I just turned 40.) Pick up the slack already!
- Can hold own head up/sit up without being held – Finally, you don’t have to worry about his head falling off and/or concussions. Plus you have a hand free for your phone, or your beer, or to stop your other kid from doing something stupid.
- Can turn on the TV – Detective Munch reached this stage shortly before we had The Hammer, and it was glorious. It allowed Mom and Buried and I a few extra winks while he gorged on (a maximum of) two episodes of some insipid children’s show. Then we had The Hammer and I literally can’t remember a time when I wasn’t awake so it’s hardly matters anymore.
- Can get dressed – Not only does this one also buy you a little extra time to yourself in the morning, it’s also often hilarious. It also allows me to blame my son whenever I accidentally dress him in something that clashes. I’m colorblind, get off me!
- Can wipe own butt – This could be the entire list. It’s basically all I care about anymore. There is nothing more humiliating than wiping another person’s ass, unless you count wiping his ass after he prefaces his trip to the bathroom with his customary “I wipe then you wipe!” process, unless you count being summoned to the bathroom for your portion of the wiping process with shouts of “Ding dong! Ding dong!”, unless you count being summoned to the bathroom for your portion of the wiping process with shouts of “Hot dog! Hot dog!” because for some reason that’s the code word he chose to let me know it’s my turn to clean his feces because parenting is a goddamn DELIGHT.
- Can go to bus stop alone – This happens eventually, right? I can just send him down the street alone? Please tell me this happens eventually. Today I stood there for 30 minutes (bus was late) while he and his friends repeatedly ran up and down the block, screeching as they passed, long before I had any coffee.
- Can get own breakfast – Another entry in the “please let me get five more minutes of sleep” category. I should probably just start putting his cereal bars and mini-muffins somewhere he can reach them. God I’m an idiot.
- Can cook my breakfast – Just stand on a stool and put some bacon in the microwave, dude. Help a brother out.
- Can catch – Detective Munch can throw like a champ. (He often reminds me by whipping things at my crotch.) But unless you’re talking about colds, or the Dothraki virus, or a whipping, he can’t catch anything to save his life. It won’t exactly improve my life when he acquires this skill, but I’ll at least stop having to make fun of the goofy little butterfingers!
- Can Google – BECAUSE ENOUGH WITH THE QUESTIONS ALREADY.
- Can stay home alone – Babysitters are expensive!
- Can take care of younger siblings – Babysitters are expensive!
- Can pick me up from the bar – Uber is expensive!
- Can do chores/do homework – I didn’t make it to 40 just so I can repeat the crap I hated doing when I was a kid. Why do you think I had kids in the first place?!