Over the years our children have reached a lot of different milestones, some that have made me smile and some that have made me a little sad that they are growing up quite so quickly!
Graco have asked me what milestones my cars and car seats have seen over the years to celebrate their new seat. Their new car seat grows with your child for all their milestones as they grow until they reach the age of 12 (0 to 36kg). They’ve named it quite aptly The Graco Milestone All in One Carseat.
Our cars have actually played a surprisingly large role in our family milestones and I always feel a little bit of nostalgic sadness when we have to change cars. Admittedly that doesn’t last for long, as the new (to me) car excitement kicks in.
Living in Cornwall, we drive pretty much everywhere as even the boys’ schools aren’t within easy walking distance. We spend a lot of time in the car and mostly the boys are with us there. I’m having flashbacks right now of little toes peeping out of a car seat that looked as if they would never and could never possibly ever grow out of.
These memories make me smile a lot and I only have a teeny pang of slight sadness at how fast they have grown. Mostly I am just proud of the mini men they have become and the full grown hairy men they seem to be heading to.
Some of the milestones that our car and car seats have seen include;
Bringing them both home from the hospital as newborns.
One in 2004 when I became Mummy for the first time – I’ve been ‘Mum’ for a lot of years now gulp – and one in 2006 when I realised that I could love someone just as much as that teeny 2004 bundle of noisiness. Bringing my eldest home was quite frankly scary.
Exciting, but petrifying. At 21 I didn’t feel like a grown-up really and I was about to do the most grown-up thing there is and start parenting. Regardless of any other regrets I may have during my life, I will never regret becoming a Mum.
Driving to playgroups and schools for the first time.
My cars have seen me drop both of them off for first days at playgroup, primary school and one to secondary school. Each has seen me a ‘little’ emotional, although not in front of the children for obvious reasons.
The first day of playgroup and school for each of them had me in tears for different reasons. I won’t identify which child was which, as quite frankly I embarrass them enough for fun in real life without doing it here as well… However one of them went to playgroup and loved it so much they cried as they didn’t want to come home, I cried in the morning as they wandered straight in and didn’t want me to stay.
The exact same thing happened with that child at primary school – minus the crying not to come home bit thankfully. Honestly it was just because he was having fun painting, I’m not that bad to spend time with really.
The other child …. well he hated playgroup and hated his school. Having to have a child pulled from you so that you can run out of the door as they shout for you is really not a fun experience. I cried a lot at this one. Both times I was sat in my car trying to get my act together enough to drive home.
I wish I had read this tip before those days from Suzie Hayman, a top parenting expert from Family Lives;
Whatever you feel will be communicated to your child. Be apprehensive and your child may feel anxious. Be excited about the possibilities for both of you and they will be resilient.
The trick is to get your mind around your feelings beforehand and talk it through with family and friends. Rather than leave the first trip to the first day, practise beforehand.
Drive the route together, talking over when it’s going to happen, how it might feel, what you can both do to make it a positive experience.
First birthday party drop off and first sleepovers.
There have been so many of these since, that I sometimes feel slightly like a taxi service. However, I love that they are independent enough to do these things and that they have so much fun when they do. My car has also seen numerous birthday cakes and party supplies of our own rushed to our own parties.
It has picked up many a giggling child or tween and heard a lot of awful jokes and loud laughs over the years as well.
Some firsts I would rather forget.
I would love to say that all of the milestones reached via our cars were good ones, but that wouldn’t be real life. You have to take the rough with the smooth apparently. Some I would rather forget if I could.
At the top of this is my son being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and spending 5 days in hospital. The car got us there safely that night and if we hadn’t gotten there when we did, he wouldn’t be here now. Kind of a positive really I suppose.
I would happily forget the time my toddler niece projectile vomited milk all over my first car as well. It took at least 7 months to get rid of the smell.
First family holiday.
Our car took us on our first family holiday together, the boys myself and Si. It has taken us on so many staycations since, with the occupants in the back looking larger in their car seats each time.
They backseat occupants are still just as smiley, noisy and still want to know if we’re nearly there yet though … some things will never change. It has taken us to the airport for the boys’ first holiday abroad to Mallorca, with them pretty much bouncing in their car seats in excitement and with me doing the same in the front of the car!
More firsts and milestones to come.
In September it will also see me drop my youngest off to secondary school. He is more than ready, I am feeling slightly old and I suspect I may get emotional on the day. This quote/tip from Suzie Hayman has made me a bit emotional already. I love the last sentence especially.
On your way to the final assembly or day of primary school and you’ll realise you’ll never take that particular journey with the same feelings, the anxieties, the jokes or the questions again. It’s an ending for you both. You’ll lose those friendships at the school gates and say goodbye to being the parent of a small child.
For your child, it’s a giant step, maybe losing touch with some companions while keeping contact with others they’re rather avoid. And the move to somewhere bigger, more anonymous and with new teachers and pupils, will change those relationships so it won’t be the same.
The last day is the end of an era but it is the chance to look back and celebrate your child’s development – their triumphs and achievements but also the learning that might have come from failing, and getting up to try again.
Scarily my eldest turns 13 this year and that means there are just four years until another big milestone in his life is reached. Eek, that one will involve him being in the front of the car … driving. I have four years to psych myself up for the experience.
Our car will possibly take me to their weddings, christenings for their children (I’ve already put in an order for Grandchildren from them both in the far future), possibly dropping them off on dates or to job interviews. Basically wherever my children need me to be is where I want and need to be.
What big milestones have your children reached in the car over the years? Myself and Graco would love to hear about them.