I stumbled on a cool web site for milestones recently while doing some health writing for my new job (which is going awesome, thanks). The CDC has put together a list of developmental benchmarks for kids ages 2 months to 5 years. I used to follow these lists obsessively as a new(er) mom in my “What to Expect the First Year,” making sure that my son was roughly on track with the big things, like rolling, sitting, smiling and babbling.
Once he passed a year old, however, he had fewer physical milestones and more mental ones. I also started to chill out a bit and pay less attention to what the experts said he should be doing and just concentrate instead on whether he was making steady progress. Our well-baby visits always included answering questions about what he was doing well and what he needed help on, too. But I still can’t resist seeing in black-and-white the lists of toddler accomplishments.
He’s doing fine. But one on the 3-year-old list caught my eye — “separates easily from mom and dad.” We’ve gone up and down with him and separation anxiety when we drop him off at day care. Sometimes he runs to his friends without a second look, and some mornings he clings so tightly that I have to peel him off of me.
Recently, though, he has been responding almost a little too well. Now when I give him a hug and a kiss and tell him I love him and I’ll see him later, he’ll give me a hug back and then take a step away and say, “Now go.”