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.
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.