1. I’ll start with the obvious. You no longer have to wipe another human being’s butt and figure out how to dispose of someone else’s poo. They make it to the toilet.*
*Now, whether or not they remember to flush is a different matter entirely.
2. Communication. Allow me to illustrate:
Baby: Waaa waaaa waaa!
Older Kid: I have a stomachache and feel like I’m going to throw up.*
*True, the baby isn’t fibbing to get out of going to school, but the big kid’s fib is in the same language you actually speak.
3. Sleep. You get in your bed, say goodnight to your partner, and go to sleep. All the way through the night. There aren’t words powerful enough to describe this particular euphoria.*
*No, really. There aren’t.
4. “Bath time. Go hop in the shower.” And they do. Tell them where the towels are, they get in the shower, and wash themselves.*
*With specific reminders to get the important parts.
5. Buckle up! You all get in the car, and everyone buckles their own seat belt. No car seat acrobatics required. There is an entire industry built around teaching you how to install a car seat correctly, and you still can’t do it right.*
*No caveat here. It’s just beautiful.
6. The theme song to Dora becomes a distant memory. Your radio becomes yours again.*
*Until they decide they want to listen to “Uptown Funk” on repeat every time you get in the car. Different, yet kind of the same.
7. Actual conversation.
“Mom, what does this word mean?”
“Well, it means _______.”*
*This is the moment where you silently curse the kid on the playground for introducing F-bombs before you were prepared to explain them.
8. A hot meal. No holding a baby while standing. No wandering around bouncing and trying to nurse while your food sits there, smelling delicious and getting colder by the second.
8 ½. You can send them through the Mother’s Day buffet with their own plates, too.*
*They may come back to the table with a plate piled high with bread and dessert, but whatever. Your food is hot.
Lastly, my personal favorite, not numbered because it’s the best:
“I love you, sweetie.”
“I love you, too, Mom.”