When your kids are babies, it seems as though they're hitting new milestones every day. If you're organized enough to have a baby book, you're probably getting writer's cramp from documenting all of their amazing feats -- sitting up unassisted, creeping, crawling, standing, walking -- it's an incredible time to be a parent. You might think that wide-eyed wonder is over once your kids have hit those all-important points in their development but that is where you would be wrong. Older kids have milestones too and they might be fewer and further between, but no less exciting. Here are the top 10 "big kid" milestones that will stop you from pining away for the baby days:
1. Losing Their First Tooth
My children have both lost a few teeth each but that first one was so bittersweet -- there is no denying they're getting older when they have gigantic adult teeth invading the space where their teeny baby ones used to be. If this one makes you feel sad about how old they're getting, comfort yourself by making them say words like "Chipotle" with their new toothless situation. If nothing else, you can be entertained through your tears.
2. Solo Butt-Wiping
The day you are no longer responsible for another human being's ass cleanliness is a glorious day indeed. I still have to help my son occasionally so this one is hopefully on the horizon for me soon.
3. Tying Their Shoes
No more back-breaking morning routine or leaning down to tie tiny shoes! I can't wait for my son to get the hang of it because he is aging out of the sizes where Velcro is a guarantee. He needs to figure this out because Mommy's too old and tired.
4. Riding A Bike Without Training Wheels
If you're prepared for a good Ugly Cry, teach your kid to ride their bike without training wheels. I don't think many things are as poignant as watching your little one take off on their own.
5. Ditching All Sippy Cups
It's very freeing to not have to deal with valves and spouts and straws and whatever other equipment your child's sippy cup involves. Just pouring drinks into regular cups and (mostly) having no one spill is a big lifestyle upgrade after spending years keeping track of all those annoying pieces.
6. First Phone Conversation With A Friend
Not just saying "hello" to a grandparent, I'm talking the first time they come home from school excitedly clutching their BFF's phone number and then calling them from their bedroom to giggle and chat. It is adorable and also, heart-wrenching.
7. Learning To Read
This is the end of an era, really. You can no longer spell things out to your spouse. And obviously, it's amazing to see your kid making all those connections that lead up to being able to read fluently.
8. First Day Of Kindergarten
Get out the tissues. This one's a doozy. I've been through it twice and while the second time was a little easier because I knew what to expect, I still couldn't help but tear up watching my baby confidently walk into his classroom for the first time. Ugh, The Feels.
9. When They Can Pour Their Own Cereal
Hello, Saturday morning freedom. Once your child can assemble an easy breakfast and turn on the TV, your years of waking at dawn are over. Hallelujah.
10. Booster Seats
The day you can stop fussing with that 5-point harness is basically the best thing ever. The first time I shouted "kids, get in the car" and did not have to help anyone, I nearly fell over with joy. And also, a little bit of sadness. Because no matter how amazing their new-found independence is, it's still pretty heavy to realize that they need your help less and less each day. Welcome to parenthood.