Friday, 13 April 2012

Firsts and lasts

One thing people always impress upon new parents is to keep track of baby’s first tooth, step, word, sneeze, favourite toy, etc. How you are meant to do this through a haze of sleeplessness, nappies, mountains of bottles and neverending laundry is beyond me. Clearly there are glaring blanks in our own baby record book. I always tell myself I’ll remember when she first started giggling but to be honest, I was probably too involved getting her to do it again or trying to capture it on video. Running off to get the diary wasn’t top of my list.

To make me feel worse, Google Chrome made this beautiful video ad which never fails to reduce me to floods of tears. 

Such a lovely idea and a much easier way of keeping track of landmark moments using video and photos (bit tricky sticking a video into my Beatrix Potter record book). My only concern with online records is that by the time my little one is able to appreciate them, technology will probably have moved on to such an extent that these files may no longer be accessible. 

Possibly more poignant than firsts though, is remembering ‘lasts’. In this beautiful article Jonathan Sale talks about the ‘final’ moments of parenthood: the last time your child wanted to be read to, the last time your boys played football with you before moving on to more worthy competitors. 

On the evening when I read the last bedtime story to the youngest child, I was not aware that this was anything more than another instalment of a Swallows and Amazons novel.
"I think I'd like to read to myself from now on," she said politely when I appeared after bathtime the following day, Arthur Ransome in hand. And that was it. She had closed another door and, indeed, book. If I'd realised in advance how significant the previous evening was going to be, I'd have hired a brass band and got Michael Morpurgo in to do the reading, with a film crew to record it for the family archives.

So I’ve dug out the embarrassingly empty baby book and am trying to fill it in – bearing in mind firsts and lasts. I’ve also transferred any videos I’ve taken of her to a dedicated file on my laptop. It’ll be interesting to see which of the paper or digital she finds more relevant in the future. I guess we’ll have to wait and see...

Have you kept a diary/record of your child's milestones? Where are you keeping the videos of first steps etc?


  1. I did it more first time around. Having twins meant second time round meant I can never remember when they did things. I don't know if a date is all that important anyway. Does it really matter when they got their first tooth? I pref to have lots of pictures and videos instead. That's more important to me, but I guess everyone is different.

  2. I guess for me it's quite nice to know when A does things so when the next one comes along I have an idea of what to expect - or maybe it doesn't work that way?! ;) I love hearing from my mum when I did things (bum-shuffled before crawling, silly names I gave my bottle etc). Pics and videos are fab, I agree x

  3. I read that article too about lasts...
    My baby books are full of holes and I keep meaning to get my blog printed into a book for my kids. But to be honest now I am big I don't really like to look back so much, so I figure I don't need to go too mad documenting stuff!