I got an email through today telling me all about the delightful things my daughter is achieving now that she is 16 months old.
She is in fact NOT 16 months, not until next week anyway, so either this particular website is desperate to get ahead of the competition in breaking the good news to me, or else I forgot to change her due date to her actual birthday because as we have proven, due dates are something we mock in our family.
That aside, it was a good reminder to me that I haven't spent much time looking at the milestones my darling third born has achieved so I thought what the hell, let's see how she squares up:
"This is the age when toddlers love learning the names of different animals and the sounds they make."
No, this is the age where all animals make the same sound, and that sound is "RAAAAAAAAAAH". Also there are magician hands because as every toddler knows, animal noises must be conjured.
"Your toddler is probably in constant motion, and that's normal. But any unusual or involuntary movement, such as a tic, could signal a problem."
By involuntary movements are we counting poop faces? Because I'm fairly sure even a toddler wouldn't choose to make that face.
"If you want to help your child's writing skills along, provide the right supplies but don't force anything. Learn why it's best to let kids learn letters at their own pace."
What you mean as opposed to strapping her to a desk and horse whipping her until she can write in perfect cursive?
"Should your toddler share a room with a sibling? If your children have different eating and sleeping cycles, it's best to keep them separate if possible. Find out more about whether your kids could be good room-mates."
My toddler already shares a room thanks, she shares MY room and if by "good room-mate" you mean "karate kick to the neck at 3am" then yes, she is an outstanding room-mate.
"When children start to walk, most of them become less interested in food. Here's why you shouldn't worry about the drop-off in interest -- and how to fuel your toddler's appetite."
Oh I'm not worried, well not about a drop off in interest. I am worried about whether I am going to need to get a second job to pay for her food bill because DAMN that girl can put food away!
"If it seems like you say "no" to your child all day long, reduce your need for the word by making your home a safer place. That way your toddler can keep playing and exploring, which is great for development."
Why would I bother saying "no" to my toddler? The only thing that happens when I try is that she gives me a shit eating grin and goes back to whatever she was doing with even more gusto. By that reckoning "no" is the LAST thing I should be saying to her!
"Your toddler isn't yet capable of understanding that other children have feelings -- which is why hitting and biting tend to be a problem at this age. Find out how to cope with an aggressive toddler."
Oh no she knows, she KNOWS.
"The 15th month is considered a milestone period because 90 percent of toddlers are walking now. Your child is probably experimenting with different ways of moving -- climbing, jumping and running. Learn about other exciting developments at this stage."
Why yes she is, mainly running, jumping (without actually leaving the ground, it's more just a one woman Mexican wave really) and stage diving from the sofa onto piles of sofa cushions when I'm vacuuming the dog hair.
"Is your toddler best buds with the binky? Find out whether there's any need to worry, and what you can do to help your child let go."
We call them dummies and yes they are best friends. Clearly your emails are aimed at first time mothers because third time round I'm just grateful she isn't trying to suck on something she found on the pavement.
"Do you have the right safety equipment in your house? Learn about the four safety devices that should be in every home."
Ahahahahahhahahahaaaaaaa ... seriously?
I care enough to take these milestones seriously, and to record things like her first words ("boo" for boob, "moh" for more and "beh" for belly if you're interested) but one of the benefits of being a third time mum is knowing that there isn't a baby alive who fits the profile of these mails. They are much like a police photofit in that sense; best not used in isolation.