01/12/2015 05:37 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2015

The Milestones You Remember (and Some You'd Like to Forget)

Christine Organ

When my first son was born, I became obsessed with milestones. First smile, first laugh, first tooth. When he could roll over, sit unassisted, crawl. The baby books all told me that these were the things I should keep track of, that I should remember. As my kids grew up, the milestones became more intellectual in nature -- when they could count to 10, recite their ABCs, read a few words. And I assume that as they get older, the milestones will continue to include all of the traditional childhood rites of passage -- first dance, first date, graduation.

But you know what? Looking back, the traditional milestones aren't the things that I remember. I can't remember what my sons' first words were and I can only vaguely tell you when they met any number of the typical milestones. And what's more, I don't even really care all that much about remembering these things. Because what I have come to realize is that the milestones that count -- whether they deal with children and parenting, a marriage, a career, or what-have-you -- are the ones that have personal significance, the ones that change you just a little bit.

The Parenting Milestones the Baby Books Don't Tell You About

  1. First time you're peed on.
  2. First time your kid poops in the bathtub.
  3. First diaper blowout that requires scissors and a shower to clean up.
  4. First time your child throws up in public.
  5. First time you child throws up on you.
  6. First time your kid bites another kid.
  7. First time you can shower uninterrupted -- while your kids are home and there are no other adults in the house.
  8. First time you see your child fondling himself.
  9. First trip to the emergency room.
  10. First time your kids wake up, make themselves breakfast and entertain themselves while you sleep. (Still waiting for this one to happen.)
  11. First time your child walks in on you and your partner having sex.
  12. First time your child says "I love you."
  13. First time your child says "I hate you."
  14. First call home from your kids' teacher.
  15. First time you cry at a parent-teacher conference.
  16. First time your kid drops the F-bomb -- in public.

What not-in-the-baby-book milestones will you never forget?

Christine Organ is the author of Open Boxes: the gifts of living a full and connected life. This post originally appeared on the author's website. You can also find Christine on Facebook and Twitter.