Like every year when my kids birthdays roll around I find myself wallowing in nostalgia and asking myself, where has the time gone? As they turn 9 and 11 this week the scary reality is hitting, that although not quite teenagers they are definitely not my babies anymore.
While there are certain bits of their younger days I definitely don’t miss; changing nappies, sleepless nights, potty training and weaning for starters, here are the 5 things I miss the most.
1. Holding Hands – when the kids were toddlers I was usually fighting with them to get them to hold my hand, to protect from busy roads or getting lost in a crowd. Sometimes though they would willingly slip their hand into mine for the walk from nursery or round the park and we would swing our arms together. Just this week I was up the town with my son while my daughter was at choir practise and I suddenly felt the urge to take his hand, surprisingly he obliged (for a while). It made me realise just how much I miss the feeling of that warm little hand in mine.
2. Bathtime Fun – These days the door is firmly locked when my son and daughter are finally bullied into taking a shower and woe bedite anyone wanting in the bathroom. Long gone are the days of me sitting on the toilet while they shared a bath, sporting bubble bath beards and playing with rubber ducks. No more nursery rhymes about dogs/frogs or any other suitable bathtime creatures and certainly no scooping them up in hooded towels to rub them dry. Now the only thing I scoop up is the damp towels left abandoned on bedroom floors.
3. Bedtime Stories – Much as there was many a night when I thought I would be really happy if I never, ever had to read another Charlie and Lola story, or that I prayed for a short story to be picked so I could get downstairs to my telly and wine, now it’s gone I miss it the nightly ritual. Every evening we would cuddle up on one childs bed (alternating in the manner of all things fair) and read our one or two (depending on how long a day I’d had) stories. Funny voices were my speciality while the kids took turns in acting out the story, before being tucked in and kissed goodnight. As they learnt to read for themselves and moved on to Jacqueline Wilson and Derek landy instead of Shirley Hughes I have become redundant and merely receive a yelled “NIGHT” before lights are turned out. Still it’s not all bad at least I get peace to watch Masterchef.
4. Morning Cuddles – I have always liked my bed to myself and listen in horror to stories of people who choose to share their bed’s with the kids. I like my sleep and my space and apart from when the kids are sick or have bad dreams they tend not to disturb their sleeping mum, a little like people have learnt not to poke angry bears! But I do miss morning cuddles. Most mornings when they were younger the kids would rush through and jump into my bed for a cuddle and a tickle, there is nothing like cosy little pyjama clad children to provide a feel good cuddle. These occasions are now few and far between and tend to be limited to birthdays and Christmas when we gather to open presents in bed before a good old group hug.
5. Tooth Fairies and Easter Bunnies – Santa Claus is still hanging on by a thread in our house but sadly the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy have both had their day. I was devastated when I missed my daughter losing her first tooth because she was at her dad’s house but delighted to see her face the next time the tooth fairy visited leaving her £1 and a personalised note. Often my daughter would leave presents or notes for the tooth fairy who would duly respond to them. On one occasion when the tooth was dropped down the plug hole my daughter went to bed in tears. The tooth fairy still left a coin and a note explaining she had heard what happened and managed to don her scuba suit and retrieve the tooth from the waste pipe. Some people may argue that this is lying to your kids and of course it is, but when else can we believe in fairies and magic if not when we are children.
So these things are mostly gone, along with the nursery rhymes and annoying talking v-tech toys, but I think I’ve still got a few years of them being children left and I intend to enjoy it (and no more carrying extra vests and wet wipes so it’s not all bad).
What do you miss most about when your kids were younger? I’d love to hear your comments below.