Let the record show that I know the SanctiMommies are gonna come out and tell me not to wish away time and that they all long for the days when their children were babies and that I should never have had kids and the government should take mine away and have me sterilized. I got your number, bitches. I can enjoy most of the baby and toddler things while also looking forward to a future where someone I love is less likely to puke on me and the only butt I have to wipe is my own.
Moms of big kids have it made. And this may be a case of the grass being greener because you have to worry about drugs and cartoon violence and One Direction, but this is still my truth, dammit.
1. School. Being able to stay home and raise my kids is the greatest privilege. But if you don’t think I have a countdown app on my phone to the first day I get to return home from school drop-off, throw my pants on the floor and slowly drink away the hours all by myself, you’re an ignorant fool. I’m gonna play with matches, unlatch the baby gates, leave all the sharp shit out, turn on some music with explicit lyrics and crank it up to 11 just because I can.
2. Sleepovers. You get a whole night to do whatever the hell you want, without running red lights to get home before the babysitter charges you for the next hour. Sending my kid off to another kid’s house, where he can laugh and have fun and eat junk and throw it up on someone else’s new carpet for a change: I daydream of this. I don’t even mind that I have to reciprocate if I ever want an entire night of pretending I’m 23 again, or else the shitty attitude the other moms give me is going to be almost as bad as the hangover I’m definitely going to have. Freedom isn’t free, y’all.
3. Potty training is done and over. Your kid wipes his own ass. Without you having to remind him. And he probably has enough control of his bowels to know he has to drop a deuce BEFORE you are backing out of the driveway. He probably doesn’t wash his hands, though. I may be jealous of your big kid, but I know better than to shake his hand.
4. Chores. I realize now that most of these just involve me fantasizing about doing absolutely jack shit zero things with my day. That revelation does not make me any less envious of your legal child labor. I’ve got a running list of crap I will no longer do once my kids can walk and handle large appliances. And to anyone that’s going to respond with, “Yeah GOOD LUCK,” this dream is all I have and you can pry it from my cold, dead dishpan-hands.
5. They dress themselves. They may not match. They may have their underwear on backwards. They may look like they dove into their hamper and were spit back out. But your big kids put their own damn clothes on, while mine can’t even figure out how to put on a hat without losing the gift of sight. I know that with being able to dress themselves come inevitable arguments about what idiot nonsense they picked out, but I will cross that shithole when I get to it.
6. Summers Even though I’m jealous of full time school, I can still be jealous of actual time spent with your kids, too. Right now, weekends, holiday breaks and summer vacation mean little to nothing to me because they’re EXACTLY THE SAME AS EVERY OTHER DAMN DAY. It’s hard to get out of a structured daily routine because then I have to get them back on it, and I don’t feel like dealing with that shit. But once we have actual break-breaks built into our weeks and year, I can look forward to them and hopefully make them more enjoyable. And by “more enjoyable” I mean sleeping in and no one has to wear pants.
7. They say the best shit. Your big kids say the weirdest, most inappropriate and most absurd shit, and it cracks my life up. Even when they’re airing your dirty laundry in public, it at least makes for a good story down the line. I’m starting to get some of it with my toddler, but if I have to hear one more nonsensical knock-knock joke with no goddamn point, I’m going to chop my ears off and wear them around my neck.
8. No more Disney Junior. Maybe the television choices for big kids are worse, I don’t know. But there needs to be some reprieve from the corner of hell occupied by Pirate Jake and Princess Sofia. They teach kids some straight-up bullshit about life, and I’ve got to spend the next ten years making sure the damage isn’t too severe. Sofia the First wakes up one morning and not only is she suddenly a goddamn princess with a flying fucking horse, but Tim Gunn is her butler?! She peaked at what, four? And no one shows kids that Jake grows up to steal Tom Hanks’ boat and hold him hostage. These are not characters to emulate, kids.
9. You can be humans together. The majority of my day is spent repeating phrases like, “Please don’t put your hands in there,” and, “Stop trying to ride your baby sister like a horse,” and, “Because cream cheese will make the carpet smell bad, that’s why.” You get to ask your kids about their day or what they learned at school and they can tell you things like, “I don’t know,” and, “Nothing,” and it at least makes sense. Or you can take your kids to the movies or out to eat and not have to hide the salt and pepper shakers or plan breaks to walk out of the theater to run laps in the lobby. Shit is somewhat regular when you have big kids.
10. No more baby gear. Babies are tiny, but all the shit they need is enormous. Bassinets are huge. Cribs are huge. Pack’n Plays are huge. Swings are huge. As a result of having a baby, I am huge. Real estate around the house is at a premium. We bought a way too expensive swing for our second baby, because it was small. Gave away our huge first swing. Well, guess what? The baby hates the expensive swing. She can smell the blood and sweat that goes into making money and gives us hell. So we have borrowed back the huge swing we gave away and don’t have room for, and now have two swings because I need to find a way to justify the purchase of the expensive one, and I can’t walk in my own house anymore. Big kids need nothing. Some clothes and a mattress. You can probably even get away with no clothes if you homeschool them.
Every single age has its own joys and struggles, all the way up to when your kids are asking you for a referral to get their hip replaced. But for every person who tells a mom to enjoy the baby stage because 9-year-olds are annoying as crap, there’s a 95-year-old who would trade it all to go back in time with her annoying big kid.