Months matter

Before my child-rearing days, I got annoyed whenever I asked someone how old her son was and she would reply, “He is 12 months old.” I can only imagine the confused look on my face as a tried to translate that into years … hmm so there are 12 months in a year, so I guess he is one? Just say he is one, lady!

Shopping for my friends’ kids was even worse. There are newborn sizes, sizes for infants, sizes for toddlers, all in different areas of the store, mind you. I still don’t know the difference between the 24-month and the 2T size, just somehow they are both for 2-year-olds. I would just pick out something cute and hope for the best.

When I got pregnant and became, like many new parents, more interested in child development, I learned that each month of a child’s early life is so important that there is a real need to distinguish between a baby of four months, for example, and a baby of eight months. Once my baby was born and as he grew, I found myself constantly looking at milestone charts hoping that he would be on track, happy when he was ahead and fearful when he seemed to be falling behind.

I am lucky to have a son that is developing “normally, ” so I don’t look at those charts much anymore. I’m starting to see his growth more in years instead of months, weeks or days. And when someone asks me how old he is, I usually say, “a year-and-a-half. ” Of course, I know my audience, and I revert back to months around other parents or caregivers.

Still, I am sure I told more than one childless person that my son is 18 months old and was met with the same annoyance I once had for moms. For that I apologize and promise my referring to my son’s age in months isn’t some weird attempt to hold on to his babyhood. I am just proud of each month of his life and all he has accomplished in that time.

The next time you hear someone refer to her 18-month-old, 26-month-old or even 36-month-old, know that she is most likely so focused on her child’s growth that she has to think of age in terms of months and not years, because months matter.

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