1. Now she can make her own waffles! (She eats them frozen straight out of the box and leaves the freezer door ajar, but still). No more wrestling with your kids over sunscreen.
2. She mostly has the toilet thing worked out. You’ll be indoors now, so no more ethical conundrum about whether to let your kids pee in the woods (right next to the t-ball diamond) or off boats, or whatnot.
3. Daycare is now school, so it’s free and not you doing it. This is huge. The hugeness of this cannot be overstated. Teachers are the damned heroes we all need to celebrate constantly. No more guilty feeling in your stomach when the TV asks your kids nine hours into viewing, “Are you still watching ‘Pokemon XXOLKQ: Dawn of Dumbness?’
4. No more fewer temper tantrums! No more pressure to constantly be outside, doing things. Doing things is the actual worst. Just sit down inside like normal mole people, thank you.
5. No more being pregnant, trying for pregnancy, worrying about pregnancy, squeezing anything that weighs multiple pounds out of any of your holes….also, just thinking of this, no more pregnancy-related constipation. Once you’ve decided you’ve had your last kid, there’s a sense of grief about the change in your own identity/loss of youth…UNTIL you realize that you’re done feeding any person with your body FOREVER, so now your body can just become one long fleshy wine glass. Fewer bubbles and those too-short bubble wands.
6. That new skin smell and constant cuddles is nice when they’re babies and all, but come on, having conversations with the real people they’ve become is WAY better. For my money, a large kid made of nothing but elbows, climbing on you and telling nonsensical knock-knock jokes is where it’s at. (Spoiler alert: it’s almost always ‘buttface’ or ‘poop’ at the door). No more arguing over whether they can go swimming when it’s 71 degrees out and having to explain that they live in the Midwest because their great-great grandparents settled in this frozen tundra many years ago, all like, “Hmmm…dark and chilly. This is perfect.”
7. Soon everyone in the house will know how to read! What fun adventures we’ll have. How quickly we’d better remove the text receipt function from the iPad. Bugs.
8. It’s nice to have professional educators involved in the raising of your kid. Feels like a village! A team! Also, it’s a little scary when they weigh in on how your kid is doing academically and…you know, as a person. It’s a bit like taking your kid to the dentist. There’s no hiding from their shameful plaque or personality flaws. And, yeah, you’re to blame for both. Every time we go to a parent teacher conference, we give ourselves a pep talk in the parking lot, “Be cool, man. Teachers can smell fear and if you sweat, they’ll know that this whole mess is our fault.” No more pretending that Rosé is a fun summer drink and not just less wine-tasting wine.
9. What a joy it’s been to watch her grow up this far. We’re incredibly proud of who she is and feel so blessed to be along for the ride for whatever comes next! It’s cider season, bitches! And Thanksgiving is soon. Get out your biggest, comfiest sweaters and eatin’ pants, and stuff that swimsuit way to the bottom of your thoughts and drawer. Huzzah!
10. Now that your kids aren’t babies or toddlers anymore, it’s officially time to get yourself back! But even better, now you get to develop the happy, wiser, more eccentric, freer, older version of yourself. You don’t have to look reproductively viable anymore, so get comfy. Consider just wearing blankets for a while. Maybe take a pottery class or get really, really into growing tomatoes. If one or both of you and your heterosexual sex partner are fixed, you can even have all the sex you want just for fun! If you could still accidentally get pregnant, sleep in separate rooms. Or houses. You don’t want to start all this over again. For the love. And finally, no more wrestling with your kids over sunscreen.