I have one child, so every milestone feels monumental because I know I'll never experience it again. My girl is 7 now and just started second grade. It wasn't until she started telling me she wanted to play alone without me that I realized I didn't have a baby anymore.
Here are 7 things I miss about my baby now that she's in elementary school.
1. Mispronounced Grammar
Sure, I still have to correct her verb tense now and then, but even with her precocious verbal skills, she always had those cute grammatical mistakes in her speech that reminded me of how little she was. I remember one of her first words were "baby anana," despite me repeating "banana" back to her. I couldn't get enough of it.
2. Play Requests
We still play together, but more often than not her response has been, "No thanks, lady," when she goes off to play with her dolls. Apparently, my character dialogue isn't up to par compared to that of her friends'.
While it's certainly nice to have a break, when your kid dumps you at playtime, you'll long for the days when you made goofy noises and played "that game" over and over again.
3. Sheltered Circles
Preschool was a nice little bubble in which we all existed. I was the school bus, the playground was smaller and the kids were fewer in number. My daughter didn't have to deal with the big world of recess and its social dynamics.
Well, then your kid gets bigger and has to deal with mean kids on the bus, and suddenly, the timeouts he got at preschool seems like a breeze. You miss when you could keep the circle of injuries and headaches smaller, but dealing with adversity is the only way your kids will grow.
Then, suddenly, kids evict themselves from your bed and would rather not cuddle. You kind of miss being wanted.
4. No Embarrassing Moments
Just wait for it: The day our kids tell us we are embarrassing is coming. We will all sob for the days when our preschoolers didn't want to leave us without giving us 50 kisses and never found us embarrassing.
Now, my kid will still let me kiss her goodbye before getting on the school bus, but she'll wince if all the boys at the stop are staring. And when it's a drop-off birthday party, I get the "Go now, Mom. See ya!" look.
Yeah, you'll miss being on that pedestal a little bit.
5. Controlling Wardrobes
OK, so your toddler may have demanded to wear two different socks and a bathing suit to Target in the middle of winter, but you still had a relative say in what your kids wore. You could still dress your kids up in the most ridiculous and matching fluffy outfits without anyone planning your funeral or giving you the death stare.
Once your babies are grown, you will watch as they go through some horrific fashion stages, all with your hands covering your eyes.
6. First-Day Photos or ANY Photos
As toddlers, they may run away as you try to take their photos, but that's only because they're are distracted by anything with a high-pitched voice or glitter.
In comparison, your big kid will look at you and say, "Not another photo, Mom." He'll give you the eye-roll and his back, not because something shiny came his way, but because you are an embarrassment. (See No. 4.)
Thankfully, my little entertained me with a first-day photo, but only if I did it quickly. Apparently, she had grander things to do at the bus stop.
When they're little, they only want to sleep with mommy. All. the. Damn. Time. With a foot in your face or crotch, you don't sleep for most of your kid's early childhood years.
Then, suddenly, kids evict themselves from your bed and would rather not cuddle you unless they feel needy. You kind of miss being wanted. The bedtime routines, like reading book after book, that you both cherished ? Gone. Now my daughter reads alone without wanting me to tell or share a story.
The reality is, one day, my daughter won't swim across the pool just to hug and kiss me like she did all summer.
She won't even stand for that first-day-of-school photo.
She won't do many things that she still does today, but our relationship and love will grow and evolve anyway.