Since one mini member of our household started school and the other moved up to the toddler room at nursery, it seems like we are firmly out of the baby days. No eye-wateringly bright Lamaze toys litter our floorboards, we no longer have lengthy debates about how to pronounce Lamaze and our cupboards are completely free of clothes that require fastening with poppers.
I know we have been technically out of the baby days for ages, but it seems like something that takes a while to get your head around. I still think I have babies (kind of) and still think of myself as a new mum (because what’s the alternative? Mum mum sounds like my mum. Old mum is…well, unappealing, for obvious reasons).
It’s also unchartered territory as this far into toddlerdom last time I was pregnant again and preparing to be in baby central once more.
And it’s likely that we will stay in unchartered territory as we will be clearly debating this for infinity (Usually me, with myself, mainly in my head, because my head says one – sensible – thing then my hormones say another, usually ‘you must have another baby! Noooow!’ Always at completely inappropriate times. Followed by this frenzied conversation. ‘Me: Shall we have another baby? SHALL WE?! My husband: It’s the middle of the day! I’m in a meeting! Don’t text me now.’)
But while where we are at is bringing up some conflicting emotions, I can totally see the benefits of being here. So here’s the things I won’t miss as we wave bye to the baby days:
The everlasting empty day: People who say ‘the days are long but the years are short’ really aren’t kidding, are they? I’m standing here now looking back wondering where those years went but also reeling at the memory of those early baby and toddler days that start at the dawn of time and stretch on forever, where it’s always raining and someone’s crying and you’ve done everything and already eaten lunch and it’s only 9am. Followed by a long stretch of time topped off by the time from 6.50-7pm that lasts at least 24 hours. The school run now gives us two hard stops and more structure, which, as annoying as it can be, means we leave the house and it breaks the day up somewhat. It’s now a novelty to do nothing.
Never knowing what was wrong: Despite the reason usually being wind / viral / hunger, you can’t really ask a baby what’s up and ever get a satisfying response, can you? Which can you leave floundering. Now if a distress signal sounds I can ask the question and get an answer (which is usually ‘I’ve lost my Barbie!’ or ‘We need more snacks.’)
The massive baby bag: I do not miss constantly lugging around the massive baby bag of stuff up and down stairs and in and out of the house and on and off the pram (the giant bag that contains ten changes of babygros and 500 nappies and wipes but never any wipes when you need them, the usual things). It’s so much easier to travel light now. Apart from ten changes of clothes, a million crayons, drinks, snacks…
Having no-one to chat to around the house in the day: Both of my children are now fully formed little people who have opinions and you can hold actual conversations with. Often for hours without getting a word in edgeways. They are fun and brilliant to be around and do random stuff like agree to pose for photos with me (about 2% of the time). And they play, with each other. This doesn’t happen for AGES with second children, but when it does it gets really good. The other day they played together for a really long time. I *gasp* read a magazine.I went to make a cup of tea. I drank it. I tidied some things in a pile. They played on. I flexed my empty hands and got out my phone to text my husband…oh wait.
In the interests of balance though, here’s the things I DO miss about the baby days:
The excitement and promise of pregnancy / tiny babies and meeting them for the first time / the awe and wonder of all the firsts and watching them unfold into life / tiny babies, asleep on your chest. Tiny…
Oh, baby. Must not text my husband at work…must not text my husband at work…