My baby is 2 (and an important half!). She can’t really be classed as a baby anymore. Although she will always be my baby. As there is no other impending arrival (when both my other kids were 2 I was pregnant with their sibling) I am moving away from dealing with babies.
I have noticed a few signs that have signalled the end of my parenting a baby and have made me realise my kids are growing up:
1. There is no longer a nappy changing unit in the house;
2. There are no bottles or sterilisers on my kitchen counter – the only bottles are empty wine bottles;
3. My kids can all dress themselves including putting shoes and coats on when we are going out (although it’s not always a good idea to let them);
4. Two of three can do their own seat belts and the third will give it her best shot. They can all undo their seat belts when we arrive somewhere.
5. They can feed themselves
6. They can go to the toilet by themselves including wiping their own bum, flushing the toilet (most of the time) and washing their hands;
7. The stair gates have been removed;
8. A buggy is no longer an essential piece of kit when going out;
9. There is no high chair at the kitchen table;
10. I can go out without bringing luggage i.e. a handbag and a full size changing bag with nappies, wipes, bottles, toys, food etc.
11. They can all tell me what they want (but they are still not getting it)
12. They have become more technically literate than me
13. They have developed a better social life than me – between sports, parties and play dates they beat my measly social life hands down.
14. I am no longer a slave to nap time – we can enjoy a full day without working around naps. Although our baby is like a bear with a sore head come 6pm but she is getting there!
15. I have a number of hours to myself three mornings a week as they are all in their respective educational institutions (ok, my baby is in pre-school but she still heads off for the morning). Another 2 years and I will have all of them in “big school”.
Amongst all of these wonderful signs of a developing child is a tinge of sadness that I will never parent a newborn baby again (not intentionally anyway!). My final baby is growing up. That said I will look forward to more wonderful times ahead as my three lovely kids develop into fully fledged adults. Can I just skip the teenage years???!!!