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:
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
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
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.