Aplogies in advance… a bit of a rant
This doesn’t really have anything to do with reading, but is more a little rant of how sick I am with developmental milestones for children. I know, I know. They are necessary and they do flag up potential early problems for little ones, but still and honestly, they’re driving me a bit bonkers.
I read this article today in the Guardian about a new study that has shown a correlation between children falling behind in developmental milestones as early as nine months will still be falling behind in performance (ack – I hate that word in relation to little kids) when they are five years. Especially to do with gross motor skills.
I completely understand the argument that some children from poorer backgrounds might struggle later on in life and I don’t know enough about it to have fully formed opinions on the pros and cons of early intervention, but I am so sick of the idea that if your child is not up and walking and talking by nine months then they are falling behind.
In relation to the article Milo was failing on at least three of the examples they give for the nine month milestones that enable kids to progress and flourish. He was crawling but commando style, he wasn’t pulling himself up, standing or taking his first steps (he can only just now toddle holding onto my hand).
But, he was sitting unaided by four months, which is apparently way ahead of schedule, he understood simple commands by 11 or 12 months (go and get piggy for mummy – off he went) and he now drags his walker across the room to give himself more height so he can try to turn the ipod dock to the Charlie and Lola theme tune.*
He has no language yet (argh – failing again), but can sign for more, more raisins, bottle, sing to me mummy, flowers (though this is an hilarious version of the actual sign) and understands a whole bunch more signs which is making communicating with him great fun at the moment.
Where reading is concerned he will quietly sit with me and read before every nap, pointing out the dogs on each page of Each Peach Pear Plum as well as the frog, rabbits and ducks. He finds the mouse in the That’s Not My… books. He seems bright and sparky and interested in the world and laughs, plays hide and seek, pairs up all the animals in his Noah’s Ark and enjoys throwing his food on the floor – sigh. He is very sensitive to music. Sobs quietly to my Nirvana unplugged album, needing cuddles and a lot of reassurance to get through even one song and to be honest the same goes for anything else that sounds vaguely melancholy. He loves though to hear breezy, summer songs with a female singer and he really loves his motown classics!
What all of this means I honestly don’t know and even though the point of the article wasn’t to ram developmental milestones down the throat of parents once more, I think I am just one exhausted mummy from analysing my poor boy based on what he should and shouldn’t be doing by now. It feels like this is coming at parents from everywhere (or maybe I am listening to hard for it?) and sometimes it’s hard enough to just get these little ones through the day unscathed and not too grubby without all this added pressure.
There we go – rant over. Phew.
*A nod to a previous post. Turns out he is not in the slightest bit interested in watching Charlie and Lola on TV, he just LOVES the theme tune so we bought it off itunes to save me singing it constantly. He points at the telly and signs for music, i.e. theme tune, he points at our mugs, also Charlie and Lola and signs for the music, at our Charlie and Lola fridge magnet and at his books too… it gets a little tedious and I’m happy for the old ipod to take the brunt of it now!