Milestones like a first step, first tooth lost, and first day at school are widely celebrated, but it’s the little things that we often look back on with the most gratitude. Here are 10 unspoken, uncelebrated, but painfully sweet milestones of siblings that you can either look forward to experiencing, or look back on fondly:
There is so much talk about sibling rivalry, but brothers and sisters are truly one of our first real relationships. This is where kids learn to share, communicate, negotiate, navigate, and cultivate strong relationships. Those with older children know that siblings are often fighting one minute and then best friends the next. While siblings relationships can be difficult to parent, they also open up a richness and bring many smiles to a family. If you are expecting a second child, or recently had baby #2, you are probably already looking forward to watching them grow up together. You can’t wait to see the baby in big brother or sisters old sleepers, and you’re excited to watch your older child develop into an older child…but what about the unspoken milestones?
The Unspoken Milestones of Siblings
- Bathtime & Bubbles The first time they sit up together in the tub. When you bring baby home, you’ll likely bathe them separately at first. I highly recommend getting a bath seat and once the little one is a few months old, plopping her right in the tub with big brother. They will love splashing around together and this is often one of the first places where they really interact.
- Sibling Squabbles: Their first fight – it’s cute the first few times!
- A Plethora of Plates: The first time you serve two plates of the same meal. It’s all baby food at first, but there’s something that just pulls at the heart strings when you begin to serve up two (or in my case, three!) of the same plate for dinner.
- Conversational Cuties When the youngest starts talking and it opens up a whole new world of rich imaginative play as they truly become friends. Listening to your littles ones chat with each other is often hilarious, sometimes sweet, occasionally irksome.
- Walking the Walk Walking together holding hands. Get your camera ready – what is more adorable than two brothers walking hand in hand while mama wipes a tear and takes a photo?
- Morning Sunshine! Ah – the ultimate milestone! Eventually, so I’ve been told, children will become independent in the morning, opening up a whole new world of sleep for snooze-starved parents. My boys have just started going downstairs together and attempting to make their own smattering of breakfast. I’m on high alert – but at least it’s from my bed!
- Back off, Bully! Your mama heart will cheer the first time you hear big sister says “Hey! That’s my little brother!” at the park.
- Helping Hands: Watching your children help one another is a moment for which we all wait. Whether it’s grabbing a diaper, fixing a transformer, or kissing an ouchie, seeing your kids help one another is a great feeling.
- Activity Overload: Everyone knows kids keep us busy! If your children are close in age, you may get to sign them up for the same activity. Even if they are not close together, there are often opportunities to book back to back sessions in sports like soccer, gymnastics, or skating. Seeing both kids out learning something new is such a wonderful feeling!
- I love you. Thought there was nothing sweeter than hearing your little one tell you he loves you? Think again! Hearing these words murmered between siblings is simply the best.
I’m sure there are many more unspoken milestones as the years go by – but their first car-ride alone together, sneaking out or covering for each other at night, and visiting each other at college are all milestones I don’t mind waiting a long time to experience! How have your children warmed your heart with an unexpected milestone?