A thing you don’t realize until you’re a parent…

Pregnancy is counted in weeks, not months.

It’s emblematic of the whole new-parent system – the milestones are a lot subtler than you realize from the outside. Sure, there are the big ones too – rolling over, sitting, crawling. First steps, first tooth. But there are smaller ones nobody talks about.

Rolling over, for example, is two distinct milestones: tummy to back, and back to tummy. Also there’s a difference between doing it once and doing it regularly. Over the weekend the baby figured out how to sit without anyone helping her balance. She still can’t maneuver into a sitting position from a different one, so – can she sit up? Yes and no. She can crawl – but only backwards. She can get up on her hands and knees and rock, and she can scoot forward sporadically.

Then there are the milestones that can’t count for sure. Is that a smile, or just gas? Jack swears that she said “Mama” yesterday when he took her out to the car and she realized I wasn’t following them. (I was finishing a cable row on the second Fetching mitt. I do knit! Just not much.) But there’s no way of knowing whether she really understood that those sounds mean me, or she was just making noise.

I suppose there are subtle milestones in everything – when you can knit but not purl, for example. The first time you cable without a needle, or execute Jeni’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off without looking it up again. (Google keeps track of these things. You have visited this page 47 times, it says, silently judging. Really, user? You haven’t figured out how to do that yet?)

But eventually we all get there, and each skill becomes so unremarkable you forget that you used to habitually skip patterns containing intarsia or Fair
Isle or cable cast-ons. (Why is it called that? It would be less intimidating if it was called something else. In-between cast on, maybe.)

Some things you may always struggle with. Running. Blocking large shawls. Embroidery. But that’s okay too. If Google judges you for looking up Kitchener stitch yet again…well, you can always clear your cookies.

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~ by Amber on November 10, 2014.

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