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5 Reasons I'm Thrilled My Kids Are No Longer Babies

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When my younger daughter turned 3 last month and we said farewell to her pacifier once and for all, it hit me more acutely than the pain of being 10-centimeters dilated that she’s not only not a baby anymore, she’s also not even a toddler.

It’s barely been a couple of weeks and I’m already nostalgic for the times when she gazed drowsily at me first thing in the morning while her body was still warm with sleep, blond curls tousled just so with that pacifier joyfully wedged in her mouth. What I’m not going to miss, however, is hearing her panicked wails at 3 a.m. when the pacifier would fall under the bed and she couldn’t manage to go back to sleep until it was retrieved for her and popped safely back in the confines of her greedy little lips.

The dreaded late-night pacifier hide-and-seek isn’t the only reason I’m tickled that my baby-having days are over. Here are five others:

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1. Big Kids Might Let You Sleep In

My 3- and 6-year-olds were up before 7 a.m. on Sunday, but they played together kind of quietly until my husband and I woke up at 9 a.m. Sure, we came downstairs to discover strawberry stems littering the kitchen floor, an entire half-gallon of milk that had been used to moisturize exactly three Cheerios, and I’m not sure if we’ll ever get the crayon off the coffee table. But we slept until 9 a.m.! Babies who are up before 7.a.m. require proper care and feeding. Because they’re super annoying like that.

2. Big Kids Can Actually Tell You Before They’re Going to Throw Up

And sometimes they even make it to the toilet before they do it. Granted, if they don’t, the mess is even bigger. But still. Buh-bye unannounced projectile baby vomit. Ditto the explosive diarrhea.

3. Big Kids Drink Cow Milk from the Fridge, Not the Breast from the Mom

See ya, nursing bra, breast pump, My Breast Friend and Hooter Hider. Helllooooooo Horizon Organic DHA Omega-3 2-Percent Milk from a carton.

4. Big Kids Go to School

It’s lovely to be home with babies. For an hour or two. Then they have nuclear meltdowns that can only be tamed by entertaining them around the clock and wanting to be fed on the quarter-hour, every hour, until forever, or until they suck every last breath from your soul (whichever comes first). Kids, on the other hand, go to preschool and elementary school and come home just in time for dinner, bath and bed. Good night, Irene — it’s wine o’clock somewhere.

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5. Big Kids Tell You Why They’re Crying

It’s so hopelessly sad when the baby is fed, dry and freshly napped and still wails like the sky is falling directly on his head in the crib. They can’t tell you what’s wrong but something clearly is. Bigger kids, on the other hand, will tell you until the cows come home exactly what’s wrong. Of course, then you have to listen to a litany of complaints, which you know you can never solve — but at least you’re not left wondering what precisely the problem is.

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