Somehow the cute little cherub who once clung to you for dear life is dangling from the top level of the monkey bars with pride. The high chair has left the kitchen, and now we pack a school lunchbox. When exactly did the newborn haze turn into the elementary school hustle? There is nothing to do to stop it, only to help lead them to make good decisions, encourage them to lean into mistakes, and still give us kisses whether they like it or not. Here are the 20 moments that make us realize they aren’t babies anymore:
20. When a trip to the grocery store includes more conversation than crying.
19. When you get uninterrupted sleep more than twice a week.
18. When they can eat whole grapes.
17. When they can no longer fit into pajamas with feet.
16. When you forgo a full background check on a new date-night babysitter.
15. When they boycott any kid-sized cutlery with a plastic handle.
14. When they are too heavy to lift out of the top bunk.
13. When you don’t need to vacuum the kitchen floor after every meal.
12. When you can stay in a hotel without having to push their bed against the wall.
11. When they show you a new function on the iPad you never knew existed.
10. When you can stop letting them win at board games.
9. When they put on your makeup without asking.
8. When you have purged the last loud talking toy.
7. When you can safely leave the house without a diaper bag.
6. When there are no more water toys in your bathtub.
5. When they can walk a block at a semi-normal pace without complaining you are walking too fast.
4. When you stop feeling intense panic anytime they go near the stairs.
3. When they go to their first drop-off birthday party.
2. When you stop saving every piece of artwork they create, but still save the special ones.
1. When they say “please” and “thank you” unprompted.
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