This evening I was taking the girls to their swimming lessons and, as we got into the car, I reminded them that they can now clip their own safety belts and that we cannot leave until they’re strapped in safely.
I then realised with a shock that this is probably one of the few remaining basic things that the girls still needed to master. I remember when they were babies and we had 3 kids in nappies. I won’t lie: it was damn hard doing pretty much everything for them. We didn’t mind at all, but some days it was tough going being outnumbered by 2 babies and a toddler.
I thought of all those basic things like feeding them, changing nappies, wiping poo bums, then getting them off night nappies, being able to dress themselves, pour their own juice and take their plates from the table. And tie their own shoelaces.*
We celebrated all the little milestones that they achieved because it made them independent and gave them confidence, but also because it meant that there was one less thing we had to for them, but tonight I feel a little sad.
We have these three beautiful children that still need us, but they don’t *need* us anymore. They are bright and funny and independent and courageous and affectionate.
And I just want to hold them each close and whisper ‘Remember, Mommy and Daddy will always be here if you need us’.
‘Except to wipe your bum, we’re very much over that.’
* after (mostly Etienne) trying since last year trying to get Daniel to tie his own shoelaces I eventually lost my marbles yesterday and banned him from any and all electronic devices until he decided to knuckle down and get it done. It took a whopping 2 hours for him to master it and the look of sheer joy and victory on his face made it 100% worth being the baddy.