It might take a village to raise a child, but when it comes to first milestones, parents definitely want to do things on their own. By Lisa Witepski
When you were pregnant, you probably spent many hours wondering what your baby’s first smile would look like – how amazing it would feel to watch him take that first step towards you, how incredibly rested you’d feel after a full night’s sleep for the first time in ages.
Every parent relishes those first milestones, which is why stealing a first ranks among the highest of the crimes you could commit against a parent.
Don’t be that person – let your friends and family enjoy every one of these special first moments.
The move away from milk is surely one of the most poignant first milestones. It’s a definitive end to that “fourth trimester”, and just a short step away from family discussions around the table (at least, that’s how it feels). That’s why the first meal isn’t just a bit of rice cereal – it’s a rite of passage (plus, let’s not forget how absolutely awesome it is to watch the look on a baby’s face when she experiences a new taste for the first time).
When you’ve been responsible for manufacturing every cell in someone’s body, you feel that no one knows those cells quite as well as you. Pointing out the growth of the first tooth might seem like a small thing, but it robs a mother of her realisation that the landscape of her baby’s face is changing.
Don’t even go there.
First bedtime story
Reading with your child is one of the very best things you can do together. Being part of the joy of discovering the world of books is incredibly special – small wonder every mother wants to be the navigator of that world.
These moms had their first milestones stolen!
We asked some Living & Loving moms if they’d had any firsts stolen from them. Here’s what they said:
“My father-in-law popped a Salticrax in my exclusively breastfed baby’s mouth.” – Mara
“I went away on holiday with my husband and my second baby started walking while she was with her grandparents, and they cut her hair. It was her first haircut. I nearly died!” – Kerry
“My mother-in-law cut my son’s hair for the first time, without asking me. Apparently my husband gave his consent. I wasn’t very impressed. At least we have always had a good relationship so I could just be honest about how I felt from the moment I found out.” – Louise
“I went away for the first time ever since having children for four days, and that was the weekend when my second baby decided to walk. At four days short of 16 months! As much as I enjoyed the relaxing getaway with my sister, I was very upset to have missed that.” – Olerato
“My son was born early and I had an emergency C-section. In the hospital, I started getting congratulations messages about how gorgeous he was from random people. I realised my mom had posted a pic of him and me (the first) on Facebook and announced the birth to everyone. I’m still mad.” – Alison
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.