PARENTS are often cautioned not to wish the years away while raising their children.
But there are certainly some milestones which, I feel, truly call for celebration.
1. Sometimes it’s the little things.
Toilet training is the obvious front runner.
But let’s not forget the smaller, but significant milestones, such as when one’s child learns to blow their own nose unassisted. Good times.
2. Getting out is so much easier once kids can do more things for themselves – albeit not without some nagging.
Going anywhere becomes much more streamlined when children can put on their own shoes and buckle their own seat belts - even if a fair chunk of nagging always - always - precedes it.
3. The pleasure of shamelessly watching a kid’s movie only lasts so long.
Some of us consider it a real perk when children are old enough to sit through a Disney flick at the cinema.
Biological drivers aside, why else do people have children at all if not for the opportunity to watch kid’s movies without judgement?
The penance for that, of course, is having the likes of Let it Go, or You’re Welcome, constantly on repeat in one’s head, and having to sit through the film many, many, many times, until any and all enjoyment has been well and truly sapped from the whole experience.
4. Children are great teachers.
When I became a parent, I expected to teach my children many things.
I did not expect to learn so much from them.
For instance, I now know that hell hath no fury like a threenager denied use of the iPad.
I’ve discovered that under-6s sport is simultaneously the most adorable and frustrating thing you could ever hope to witness.
I’ve learned that a usually even-tempered adult can completely lose their shit within seconds of a jutted jaw being accompanied by a dismissive eye-roll.
5. Buyer beware when buying music.
I have also discovered that when downloading music, to never buy the “explicit” version of a song. Ever.
Because when those tunes inevitably pop up during a playlist shuffle - aka the musical equivalent of Russian roulette, your children will be chanting, “You the hottest bitch in this place!” before you know it.
You might find yourself walking that blurred line between being quietly impressed that they nailed the refrain, and sheepishly wincing with embarrassment at their new trick.
6. Even innocent words can take on new meaning out of the mouths of babes.
I’ve learned the hard way that “funk” is quite a challenging word for young children to pronounce.
Especially when they are singing along to Uptown Funk - specifically, the bit that goes: “uptown funk you up, uptown funk you up.”
Kids, kids, kids, it’s fun-k. Funnn-k. There is an ‘N’ in there. It’s not meant to be silent.
I’ve learned that anyone who uses the saying “like taking candy from a baby” has never actually tried.
Similarly, anyone who says they “slept like a baby” must be implying they had a rough night. Be gentle.
7. It is inevitable that your children will pick up some of your habits, the good ones and the not-so good.
I’ve learned that while my children may not look a whole lot like me, there are certain traits they have inherited - much like a genetic marker - that link us.
Like their penchant for Cheese Supreme Doritos.
Even Superman had his Kryptonite. Doritos are our Achilles heel. Resistance is futile.
8. The kids are alright, and totally worth it.
But, I have also learned that despite the steam that seeps from my ears in frustration so readily, and the nerves that fray a little further every time the kids compete for attention with their relentless refrains of “mummy, mummy, mummy, MUMMY!!!” - these little people have taught me that a set of little arms wrapped around your neck, accompanied by a whispered “I love you,” is just about the sweetest thing in the whole world… even if it does happen at 4 in the morning.
On Mother’s Day, all I can hope for is a - slightly later - morning snuggle, and sharing a bag of Doritos with my little ones before they inevitably stop being my biggest fans.