My Toddler Is... How Old?
Today, Matilda turns 18 months old.
This feels like it should be a big milestone. So much toddler advice talks about "18 months plus" (while the baby advice, unhelpfully, stops at a year) that I was half-expecting a huge, noticeable developmental leap right about now. Perhaps she would start making puns, playing recognisable tunes on her xylophone or could sort out the tension on my sewing machine?
That doesn't seem to be the case.
It seems to be impossible to generalise about 18 month olds. They're all doing their own thing, as far as development goes. They're all focusing on the skills which interest them the most (in Matilda's case: parkour).
So, her 18 month birthday turns out to be nothing more than an excuse to eat some cake.
But it has raised a big question in my mind: how old should I tell people my child is?
This isn't the first time I've been through this, of course.
I stopped telling people how many days old she was at two weeks because, to be honest, I was a bit hazy on the correct answer (was she one day old on day two? How could that be? I'M TOO TIRED FOR THIS SORT OF PhD LEVEL MATHEMATICS!).
I stopped telling people how many weeks old she was when she reached three months. I know people who carried on for the whole of the first year but three months felt right to me. Anything past "thirteen weeks" and there's an awkward pause in the conversation whilst people try to mentally convert your answer into something which they understand.
But, on those occasions, there was an obvious progression. Stop the days, start the weeks. Stop the weeks, start the months.
Stop the months, start... the years? What does that mean for the gap between 18 months and two years? Do I tell people she's "a year and a half and a bit"? "Three months shy of two"?
Or is it normal to keep counting in months until the second birthday? Have I just been confused by all the books and groups which lump anything between 18 months and four years into the category "toddler"?
I do realise this entire post should be filed under "First Time Parent Overthinks Things". Possibly it would have been better placed on a mothering forum, but I can't be bothered having people tell me that the answer is to add Nesquik to some expressed breastmilk and leave her to cry it out.
I did try googling for an answer but when you type "18 month toddler age count" into a search engine all you get is checklists for establishing whether or not your child's a mathematical genius (evidently: yes).
So I'm going on the assumption that the only people who have made it this far are parents of similarly aged toddlers and that they either know the answer, have the same question or hadn't thought about this and are now cursing me for giving them yet another thing to fret about at three in the morning (you're welcome).
So, tell me, other parents of similarly aged toddlers: how old is my child next month?
Hi! I'm a 30-something stay-at-home feminist mother-of-one. I live in Aberdeen, Scotland with my toddler, boyfriend and two black cats. I talk a lot about this stuff: