Both joy and sadness follow parenting milestones

There have been some major events in the Bardsley house. After months of work, my 4-year-old finished reading three full sets of “Bob Books,” the phonics series they sell at Costco.

We went out to lunch at the American Girl Bistro to celebrate. Afterward, we headed to swimming lessons at the Mountlake Terrace pool where finally (oh, finally!) she graduated from Tadpole to Seahorse.

As I sat on the bleachers watching my daughter dunk her head and speed underwater, I felt immense joy. But there was also a twinge of sadness.

My baby is no longer a baby. She’s a reader, a swimmer and a left-handed drawer of happy pictures that say M-O-M at the top, right next to the yellow sun. She can set the table, get out milk and pour her own bowl of cereal. Give her some gum and she’ll blow you a bubble.

The milestones are cruising by so fast, I’ve got whiplash. How did four years go by so quickly? Pretty soon I’ll be the mom driving after the school bus on my daughter’s first day of kindergarten. What will I do when I come home?

The other day we had friends over. They have an infant and I realized our whole house has turned into a baby danger zone.

We used to live in Fort Knox. Now we don’t even have a lock on the knife drawer. The only thing keeping my children from playing with steak knives is maturity — and I’m not even concerned!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m mighty glad to be done with wiping butts and unfolding strollers. No more 3 a.m. feedings for me. But it’s also hard to realize those days are gone forever.

Sleeping through the night, using the potty, riding a bike, walking home from school, driving, getting a job: All those accomplishments happen painfully slowly — until they don’t.

Right now my daughter is reading and swimming. Before I know it, she’ll be going gray and managing her 401(k). I just hope she picks out a nice retirement home for me.

My son is hitting milestones, too. The other day I was chauffeuring him in the car and he told me, “Mom! Guess what song this is!” He then proceeded to fart out “Ode to Joy” with his armpit.

Right now he has the most musical pits in the entire family. But before I know it, I bet my daughter will learn how to armpit fart, too.

At least she hasn’t mastered vowel-consonant-E words … yet. I still have that going for me. That’s why I’m spelling it. Later tonight we’re going out for some I-C-E C-R-E-A-M.

I only have 702 weekends with my daughter and 494 with my son before they head off to college. I want to make each Sunday count.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

More in Life

‘Last Jedi’ is the best ‘Star Wars’ movie since the first one

This instant-classic popcorn movie makes clever references to the past while embracing the new.

‘The Shape of Water’: 1950s creature feature meets 2017 allegory

Director Guillermo del Toro’s allegory bears his fetishes for monsters and surrealistic environments.

‘Ferdinand’ a modern take on the beloved children’s story

The lovable bull is back in an enjoyable but spotty animated film from the makers of “Ice Age.”

Art mimicks reality in engrosing ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’

The Korean film tells the story of an actress recovering from an affair with a married director.

Everett’s Michael ‘Scooby’ Silva is the leader of the (dog) pack

Since 2012, he’s built a thriving business walking dogs while their owners are at work.

Student winners to perform concertos with Mukilteo orchestra

This annual show is a partnership with the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association.

Seattle Men’s Chorus brings sassy brassy good time to Everett

The annual show, this year at the Historic Everett Theatre, has warmth of brass and pinch of sass.

This harp concert is worth the journey to Everett

Annual holiday show by Bronn and Katherine Journey is Wednesday at Everett Performing Arts Center.

Still looking for that one special recipe for the holidays?

Columnist Jan Roberts-Dominguez shares her traditional recipes for cheese soup and chocolate sauce.

Most Read