this post is in partnership with little tikes
ever since arlo started preschool, he has been growing so much!! he is talking nonstop, he can clean up after himself, he has manners, he’s just so independent in general. he’s like a little man suddenly and we are loving it. there have been so many chapters in his almost 2.5 years on earth, it seems like he is doing something new weekly.
one of the biggest changes is how he now plays on his own. it’s so nice to not have to watch over him constantly and let him play solo — he’ll do funny voices, sing, come up with what sounds like very crazy scenarios and it’s so insane that his brain has developed like it has and he’s so curious and explorative and hilarious. watching him play and seeing his imagination igniting has become my new favorite thing to do, so i’m excited to be partnering with little tikes because they make some of his all-time favorite toys.
while he used to play with cars and trucks by just driving them around and saying “vroom”, now he seems to come up with full on plot-lines. these dirt diggers trucks have become his favorite thing to play with outside while he hosts his make believe truck parties, performs truck themed sing-a-longs, etc. (ps these are the perfect backyard toys if you have a sandbox or a basically “full sand” backyard like we do with decomposed granite)
it seems like there’s a big developmental milestone when kids go from not playing with little guys to being obsessed with little guys. i guess because they sub in for mommy/daddy, school friends, or his favorite cartoon characters in a world where you can tell he feels free to get silly and weird and creative. immediately after we gave him this little baby bum farm block set, he named the farmer “madonald” (hey, he’s only got a small set of references haha) and he introduced him to the cow and sheep in a very formal ceremony. this world of make believe is such a leap from where we were and it not only makes him seem more independent but me too. i am worried about him so much less these days playing on his own, and it’s such a nice change of pace.
generally speaking, arlo has been pretty slow to reach milestones— he was slow to crawl, he didn’t walk until 14 months, he didn’t talk until very recently, he’s still in diapers… and all the while i’ve remained pretty chill about all of it. over the years i’ve gotten so many questions like “are you worried about arlo’s speech?” “will you send him to speech therapy?” “when are you planning to transition to a big boy bed?” and my answer is pretty much always the same for all of them — i’m not worrying about it (ok obviously i need to worry about the potty training soon lol, but the rest is pretty much out of my control). i did spend the first year of his life on the apps checking what was coming that month and making sure he was hitting his milestones and when you’re a new parent with zero experience this makes total sense. but our pediatrician always helped ease any concerns for us— she is really matter of fact and never made us worry much if he was behind (granted he was never super behind actually, he had 8 words by the time she said 8 words, they just happened to be animal noises hahaha). he has always been super smart in comprehension so i was less worried about the verbal skills.
i feel like parents place a LOT of emphasis on reaching new milestones all the time. whether they’re so excited about feeding them solid food, they’re changing the nursery to a big kids room, etc— everyone seems to be obsessed with reaching the next chapter. i agree those moments are fun and exciting and new and great, but it also all goes by so quickly as it is that i don’t want to rush anything. i feel no need to switch him to a big kid bed until he explicitly asks for it— if it ain’t broke!? he sleeps so well in his crib so why would i introduce the concept of getting out of bed!? i didn’t worry about arlo not talking much because everyone warned me that once they start talking they’ll never shut up so why rush it hahah. it was true.
he’s now at the age where he doesn’t want to play with the neutral minimal wood toys that do nothing, he seems to want to only play with real toys and i’m not going to deprive him of it. i guess that’s just another milestone :) little tikes makes it really easy to shop for toys by age group— which makes it so helpful knowing what he’ll truly enjoy playing with and what is too young or old for him. i know i’ve struggled with that in the past.
anyway, the point of my post was not to preach about how relaxed i am as a parent, because i’m actually a super controlling crazy type of mom, but i do believe that if you’re always focused on the next milestone, you might be missing the fun things that are happening at that exact second. there’s something to appreciate at every single milestone.