We’ve all heard it – blink and you’ll miss it. They grow up so fast. Cherish every moment.
Yeah yeah yeah. We know, we know.
But as hard as it is watching our babies grow up and realising that they will never be itty bitty cuddly balls of squishiness ever again, there’s also some pretty great things about exiting the infant/toddler/preschool phase and moving towards the tween zone.
If you have school age children, then join me as we count down our very favourite things about this very interesting phase.
27. Their taste in TV shows/music is less horrible
I’ll take Teen Titans over Peppa any day.
26. They can wipe their own butts
And no longer yell out, “Mum, can you wipe my bum?” Usually at the most inconvenient moment. Like as you’re in the middle of dinner or the moment you’re about to take that sip of wine you’ve been holding out for all day.
25. They no longer like glitter
Which means I no longer have to spend my afternoons cleaning up glitter and swearing under my breath. This also goes for Play Dough… thank god.
24. They can make their own breakfast and snacks
I officially relinquish my title as “Snack Bitch”. Woot Woot.
23. They know how to swear in context
When my son drops the F-bomb in a beautifully crafted insult, I can’t help but feel a little bit proud. Before I punish him, of course.
22. You get to discover there are NEW ways to do maths
Did you know there are like 16 different ways to do maths now? No? Well, you will learn this if you have school aged kids and they need help with their homework.
21. You don’t Google weird questions as obsessively
Instead of Googling things like “Why do my baby’s farts smell so bad?” or “How can I get my toddler to sleep in her own bed?”, you get to Google things like “Why the F did they change maths??!!”
20. They are fun to hang out with
Who needs friends when you have school-age kids to hang out with all the time?
19. They can carry their own sh*t
Which means you can leave the house with one purse that doesn’t hold an assortment of snacks, toys, ointments, spare clothes and nappies to last through Armageddon.
18. They can communicate via text
So when you can’t be arsed getting off the couch, you can text them to go to bed. #winning
17. They stop caring about the bump in the sock
You no longer have to spend your mornings trying to remove your kids’ sock bumps so they don’t have a meltdown. AND, they can tie their own shoelaces!
16. They make some pretty epic cards
Inappropriate drawings are the best!
15. They can sit in the front seat with you
It makes car rides less chauffeury and more chatty. Plus, they can be your Radio DJ and GPS navigator.
14. They can CLEARLY tell you when something hurts
In fact, they can clearly communicate all sorts of feelings. They may not be great at it, but, hey, they are better than toddlers!
13. They can be negotiated with
Negotiated. Bribed. Same same.
12. They (sort of) let you sleep in
As long as their iPads are charged or they can find the TV remote, you’re sweet for a bit of a Saturday sleep in. Unless, of course, they have sport, which, nine of out 10 weekends, they do. Argh!
11. They can sit through dinner without whinging about their chicken nuggets taking too long.
And, if the restaurant doesn’t have a kids’ club, it’s not the end of the world!
10. They don’t turn into miniature fire-breathing demon spawns if they skip a nap or go to bed late
You can have a late dinner without risking the wrath of breaking the routine or listening to the cries of a “hangry” kid.
9. They don’t need “uppy”
Which means you can take them on adventures without having to carry them, their pram or their scooter.
8. They listen
Okay. Not really. But they do listen better than toddlers! And, every now and then you can enjoy a heart-to-heart with your boy or girl.
7. They don’t give a sh*t about the colour of cup you give them
And, bonus! They are tall enough to reach the top cupboard and PICK their own cup. Although they will pick a clean cup for every single drink they have!
6. They do things that remind you of yourself at that age
It’s hard to get mad at them when you pulled the same stunts as a kid. Ahh. The ironic circle of life…
5. They’re funny as heck
Sure, they might not be as cute as babies or as cheeky as toddlers, but older kids are hilarious! They come up with the funniest, random comments that will leave you in stitches.
4. They can play outside without supervision
“Go outside, you’re annoying me,” is my most used term on weekends.
3. They leave you alone for 6.5 hours a day, five days a week
And when they do get home from school, you actually miss them. And want to hear all about their days.
2. They are individuals
With goals, and dreams and opinions. The pride and joy you feel watching from the sidelines as these things take shape, well, it’s a pretty amazing feeling, isn’t it?
1. They don’t rely on us for EVERYTHING. Yay
Sure, our school-age children may not cry when you leave the room anymore. They don’t fight you during nap time or demand you cut their toast into triangles. They may not require milk through the night or endless play during the day.
But even though the cuddles are few and far between and the glitter is gone (thank god), the magic of being a mum never goes away. It’s just not as constant or draining or time-consuming as it used to be. And this is why being a mum to school-age children is such a fun phase.
I’m not sure what the teen phase will bring, but I have a feeling glittery makeup, epic tantrums and daytime naps may be back on the table. (And that’s just me. Who knows what the kids will be like!)
So, let’s enjoy this glitter-free phase while we can, shall we?