Friday, April 24, 2009

28 months

I was in the supermarket the other day, and a mother asked me "How old?"

"16 months," I said. "And how old is your boy?" I asked, because it's part of the protocol.

"28 months," she said.

Which got me thinking.

At what age can I stop doing the whole month-thing? 28 months seems excessive, to be honest. I actually had to do a little calculation when she said that.

So I told my wife about it, and she said we could probably tell people our son is a year and a half, even though he's only 16 months.

But that's a different problem, because we were in a restaurant, and a couple with a baby asked us The Question. My wife immediately jumped on the opportunity to say "A year and a half," and I immediately panicked, because now people were going to think he was slow to develop, maybe even say, "Ours talked a lot more when he was that age."

But that's what we do. We panic. We panic when we wait for the milestones, and we panic when the babies take their time reaching the milestone. And we panic when we compare our babies to other babies. And we're scared of the idea that someone might look at us and think, "That baby would have been better off with other parents."

Or maybe it's just first time parents.

Or maybe it's just me.


  1. 2 years is when you can go from months to years.

    I learned there is actually a reason for this. Before two years, every month brings significant changes in a kid. A 20 month old is different from an 18 month old. But after 2, the changes slow down.

    Though it is kind of annoying to go by months. I was glad when we got to years. Easier to remember.

  2. I actually thought I would be different, you know? I saw parents using months and it annoyed me, because I'm not a mathematician. But then I had my own baby, and now I'm just like them.

    I do hope I stop when he's two, though. Saying "28 months" is really pushing it.

  3. Have you cleaned your kid's face with your own saliva yet? Because I always thought I'd be different and not do that either.

    I stopped with the months around 2. And then I just round. My daughter is 29 months, but I say 2 1/2. My son is a few months away from 5, so I either say 4 1/2 or "he'll be 5 in September."

    I had someone tell me once that their daughter was 46 months, and despite my college degree, I had a hard time with the calculation.

  4. It's easy. Let's say a year is 12 months. You then multiply that number by three and get 36 months--3 years. Put that number aside for now. Now you deduct 36 from 46, which gives you 10 months, that you now have to add to the number we put aside earlier (remember?). The total is 3 years and 10 months!

    Cleaning baby's face with saliva. That's nothing. I used to boil the pacifier every time it fell. Now I put it in my mouth, as if my mouth is cleaner than the floor.

  5. I think when we keep saying months it helps us to pretend as if our kids are still little babies. Once you start using years that magic kind of wears off. I started saying 1 and a half when my kids were 1 and a half.

    If the kid is 28 months, I think saying 2 years old is quite fine.

  6. 22 months is the cut off. Because you'd not say 24 months, you'd say 2.And you'd not say 23 months, you's say he'll be 2 next month. After that, the halves kick in. As in "he turned 2-1/2 last month, etc.
    It's a personal thing, though.

  7. Beer Soap, that could be the reason I used to say I was twenty-three and a half (about 15 years ago, when I was twenty-three and a half). So it could be because we need to cling to the younger age when we grow up or when our babies become toddlers. Or it could be just a habit. I used to say, "and a half" as a kid, but finally, 15 years ago, when this woman I liked made fun of my answer, I changed it to "Twenty-three."

    Joe, I bet there are some parents who say, "23 months." I know it's a personal thing, though. It's just that, well, before I had my kid, when I used to ask for a baby's age and get a mathematical equation, I used to say, "I will not be that parent." But when we do become parents, I guess we have bigger things to worry about.

  8. hi, i love this post. here in seoul, i am always ready to answer my son's age by month. koreans have a different way of calculating age. so, my son who is 30 months old is actually 4 years old here in Korea. but i feel incompetent as a mom (you know, toddler development) when i declare that my son is 4 years old instead of hs actual 30 months old age. i'm a foreigner here so i suppose they don't mind:-)

  9. Wow, Wendy. I had no idea. I'm so obsessed about development and about the way his development reflects on me (sad, right?), that if I were you I'd probably end up always saying, "He's 4-years-old, but not really."



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