It’s not the number of candles on their cake or the fact that they are taller than you (although that is a hint) that clue you in to the fact that you no longer have little kids.
1. You feel hip because you are up to speed on all the new apps and social media networks, regardless of the fact that your only friends and followers are not old enough to drive.
2. The grocery cart no longer contains gallon boxes of Goldfish crackers. You are a bit bummed because they were yummy to snack on, but you will not miss the fact that they splatter into a million crumbs when stepped on.
3. Your own scrapes and cuts now sport regular old Band-Aids not Star Wars, Hello Kitty or whatever character used to magically make your kids stop crying.
4. You find yourself longing for the days of kid’s meals. Eating out now means four full-priced dinners. But at the same time, you feel a certain amount of pride that your daughter wants to eat mahimahi with an exotic sounding sauce.
5. You have the smallest feet in the house…
6. …but your children want shoes that cost more than your own shoes.
7. White socks are your nemesis. You have been tempted to color code your family’s socks with a Sharpie.
8. When you open a door for your kids, they can no longer walk under your arm. You now have to stand behind the door and hold it open like you do for grown-ups. Weirdly enough, this was quite a sad milestone for me.
9. You no longer have fruit snacks or Dum Dums suckers (for serious emergencies) when you need to bribe or quiet your kid. The fives in your purse do have an effect still.
10. Your purse contains lots of $5 bills to pass out as needed for movies and other entertainment. You have been tempted to design a personalized ATM logo to put on your purse.
11. There is a stink that permeates your life. It’s in your car. Your house. Everywhere. Nothing gets rid of it.
12. You have had a complete conversation via text with your kids while in the same house.
13. You no longer understand their math homework. And you are OK with that.
14. Playdates, excuse me, hanging out, is arranged through text without your help. You no longer are the cruise director of their social life.
15. You almost always pee by yourself. It is as amazing as you remember.
16. You have not stepped on a Lego in over a year.
17. The dog has been elevated back to almost pre-kid status with walks, playdates and the like. You even contemplated buying the dog a cute outfit, but you have resisted because you worry that is over the imaginary line.
18. The yogurt in your fridge does not have cartoon characters on it.
19. You have actually felt annoyed by how late your kids were sleeping.
20. The attic is filled with things that your kids haven’t worn or played with in years, but you aren’t sure what to do with it.
21. You no longer stress if a bad word happens to slip out of your mouth when you stub your toe.
22. You have uttered this phrase at least once: “When the kids leave….”
23. You have had at least one conversation that was so interesting and thought-provoking that you forgot for a moment that you were talking with your own kid. And you can actually picture future conversations with your kids as adults.
24. You are happy, sad, overjoyed and heartbroken all at the same time about the fact that your kids are bigger. You can’t quite figure out which it is. And that’s OK with you.