Monday, January 27, 2014

I had one very basic thought...



We spent Sunday at the beach. Just packed the car with a moments notice, drove an hour and plonked ourselves on the sand for the whole day.

We stayed until tea time, ate fish and chips and then drove home and put the kids to bed.

This week, Immy will start school. Deep inside I have those 'my baby is growing up' feelings.

I loved baby hood. I loved my babies. I struggled through Popps' nightmarish non sleeping years but still was pig in shit happy to have a baby.

On Sunday as we sat at the beach, a very family orientated beach, and I looked around at all the families still in the baby hood years, I had one very basic thought.

THANK FUCK THAT IS NOT ME.


There was the Mum in the car park changing the toddler in the back of the car, at that age when they don't really fit in the back of the car and really don't want to be changed.

There were Dads dragging strollers backwards across the sand, because we all know it drags on two wheels backwards best.

Mums of tiny babies with 45 bags surrounding them.

There was the Dad who asked his little boy if he needed to do a wee. The toddler nodded. Dad picked him up and had not remembered that those swimming nappies are no good for keeping in wee. Dad needed a quick swim.

Beside us was the cutest bubba boy happily playing in the sand, except when he needed to be lathered in suncream and the 47 moments his mum tried to tie his hat back on.

A baby covered in designer togs kept her parents up and about by crawling straight into the water over and over while they tried to build castles with an older child.

At afternoon nap time there was a big exodus of families, heading home for nap time.

But me?

I walked on the beach with the girls, we laid around on our towels and ate lamingtons. Mr H and Popps went walking around the rocks while Immy and I built a castle for a snake made of seaweed. We buried Immy and made her a mermaid. When the beach cooled down we drove to the next town, played at the park, ate fish and chips, played some more and finally drove home.

Days like this never happened when we were in babyhood. Or if they did, they required much more organisation from me, much more stress, more thought about the needs of the baby.

Babies are so sweet and lovely and gorgeous. They are hope, they are fun, they give so so much. Babies are hard work.

Little girls are also sweet and lovely and gorgeous. They are hope, they are fun, they give so so much. Little girls are not quite so much hard work.

So when I wave my baby off to school this week, I will be sad. I will be thinking about how she is taking a teeny step into a new world where so many other people will be there to influence her and I won't always be there to protect her.

But there are good times ahead, and I won't be carrying a nappy bag or pushing a pram during them.

27 comments:

  1. I had the the same thought when we were stopped in traffic for an hour on the weekend. I was watching the poor people in front of me try to amuse and soothe their crawling baby on the freeway.

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  2. Haha, yes! I have exactly the same thoughts. Now the kids are growing up (8 and 3) and are highly communicative and (for the most part) toilet trained, it's so easy to take them places and ENJOY them. Hoorah! Kx

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  3. It must be strange to adapt back into a more 'normal' life as your kids grow up.

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  4. Totally understand where you're coming from. Saw all the babies and toddlers at the beach yesterday and was so glad that was not me. My boys played independently in the sand and the shallow water and then we all had fun swimming and jumping through the big waves in the deeper water. So much nicer than dealing with babies.

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  5. Laughing very loudly! That my friend - is my life!!! Yes, I have the older lamington eaters and the fiddly, contraption-collecting baby! But I do love it so...

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  6. I too am still stuck with my pram and nappy bags attempting to keep a hat on a one year but also have my little miss starting school this week. I will bawl my eyes out I have no doubt.

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  7. What a bloody fabulous post Claire! I love it, and while I don't feel as happy about not having a baby, I definitely see the benefits. Gone are the nappy wipes, hundred nappies and kitchen sink. Yeah, baby!

    xxx

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    1. Babies are lovely Kym - you can always borrow one for a few hours (or work in a maternity hospital to see lots of them)

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  8. And this is where I am quite okay with owning primary aged kids and teenagers! How awesome is it to know you do totally love it when the kids are babes, but to also know how much you can spread your wings a little bit when they are older.

    Sounds like you guys had an amazing day together :)

    MC xo
    #teamIBOT

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  9. Ha Ha, I'm so with you on that one. It's only two years until all three will be at school and for me that is what I envision to be the best years of my life. we've moved on from nappies, prams and the like and I'm ever so grateful, loved my babies and all but.. you know.

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  10. Oh, this made me laugh! I have kids aged 9, 3 and 1 - and every incremental change as the tiny one becomes more independent has me thinking, "That's the last time I will ever have to do that shit." They are little and scrummy and delicious - but so high maintenance (and I saved my most difficult child for last). I love that I can hang out with my big one and talk about stuff, go shopping, eat a meal in public without wearing it, and let her go to the toilet on her own. I have loved having babies, but I am ready to just have children now. Let it commence! Go team #IBOT.

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  11. It's lovely when they have just that bit more of independence than completely being reliant on parents! Hope your baby's first day went well!

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  12. Amen tot his post! Loved my babies but love my little boys even more! Babies are hard work, tiring and demanding....little boys can still be all of those things - but they can also be independent, run around all on their own and free up your hands that were once spent juggling that baby nappy bag and pram!

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  13. Yep, we are so far past that stage now I can't imagine going back there. Although we both wanted a 2nd child desperately, and would probably still be thrilled if it happened (not gonna without a miracle), but I see those things too and think "Thank God!" as well. Big kids are so much easier! I hope you and your baby go off to school just fine. xo Aroha

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  14. Excellent thought! There are many things I love about my delicious baby girl, but knowing she's my last baby is a wonderful thought too. The feed yourself phase is not one I ever want to revisit again after this!

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  15. Ha ha that's kinda me - well with a 2yo as my youngest, I suppose it could be worse. My older two 4 and 5.5 are much easier but still sand magnets and always need to poo just as we unpack the SUP and want to head out on the river!

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  16. I'm glad you had a lovely time.
    I do miss sweet babies but 7yr old boys are much easier too.
    We went (walked mostly) to the beach and still had to lug bogie boards, buckets, spades and an extra shovel, hats,water and shelter, towels ...t'was exhausted by the time we got there.

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    1. But no nappy bags, no prams, and they kept their hats on and don't run off!

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  17. I hear you on this Claire! We camped at the beach last year and it was amazing! A year before it wouldn't have been possible, but with the kids all that little bit older, it was just the best thing ever.

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  18. First, everyone knows strollers and beaches are no good together ;)

    Because of the age gap between my two, I have a foot in each of those worlds. One starting school on Friday and one still needing me so much. On the holiday we just had, things were pretty divided: it was often one of us doing something fun with A while the other looked after the baby/stayed with her while she napped/ran off to change a gross nappy/gathered a pile of things that she "might" need while we were out. It's hard work and I have to say that while I'm enjoying this time with her I'm also looking forward to the next couple of years when things will even out a bit between the two kids.

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  19. So true! As hard as it can feel at sometimes to watch our babies grow up so quickly in front of us, there are benefits that come with leaving babyhood behind.

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  20. Wow sounds like you have everything well in hand and under control. They grow up fast but the rewards are great, aren't they?

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  21. I was trying to be polite in my last post about our recent camp trip when I wrote about the other Mums & Dads pushing their babies around the campsite in prams around nap times and how glad I was that we waited till Flynn was past that stage but I like your style so much better - Daniel and I were both saying the same thing, so glad it was them and not us. And we still have a toddler! But the older 4 are all self-sufficient and lots of fun so it's all relative I guess. I agree, as much as I love babies, I do also love it when they get older. Great post Claire! Mel x

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  22. Absolutely Claire. I have this thought often. I much prefer looking back on the baby years with fond memories than experiencing them again. Our babies are both big girls and little girls now and the road ahead, although bumpy at times I'm sure, is exciting and full of wonder.

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  23. I hear you sister! All at school here too. A whole new chapter. I hope your first week has gone well? xx

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  24. yes me too! I look back with a sweet nostalgia but not with any desire to do it again. At all.

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  25. Oh boy this one hit home. I have a 3 and a half year old. All that stress you're describing caused by parenting a toddler/baby is so true. Everything requires planning. Toilet training is a nightmare. Tantrums as regular as clockwork. I'm so worn out. I was in tears yesterday while cleaning poo off the wall (not mine!). I'm taking it one day at a time, hanging out for the day that I can have a nice time together with my family without the fear of impending doom!

    It's funny, I originally wanted three kids. During the newborn stage I decided maybe two would be better. Now I'm in monster toddler stage I'm thinking one may be plenty. I remember before I fell pregnant my Mum would say, wait until your first one is in school before you plan a second if you want to keep your sanity. My son will start school next year and having another baby couldn't be further from my mind!

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