We're moving on as a family and yet, there are certain things that I cannot stop doing even though my children are no longer tiny.
1. Buying baby wipes
Who knew that baby wipes were such an essential? Not only good for sticky fingers, faces and tiny bottoms but now I use them for cleaning things too. Polishing shoes when I don't have time, degreasing the light fittings in my kitchen. I wonder what's in them that gives them such magical grot removing powers? (actually it's probably best I don't know) I sometimes wonder how I managed without them - what did I use to clean things with before I had children and a need for wipes?
2. Shouting "look, police car!"
Picture the scene - I'm driving along in my Housewifes Choice (a big people carrier) and suddenly spot a police car, sirens wailing, racing the other way. I shout "look, police car!", then realise that not only are my children not really bothered about this kind of thing any more but they aren't actually in the car with me. The same reaction applies to any kind of emergency vehicle/tractor/digger. I am trapped in "mum of preschooler" mode, having done this for so many years and now I have forgotten how to stop.
3. Sniffing and stroking my children's heads
They aren't babies any more but they still have delicious smelling heads and soft hair after bath time (well, everyone except the teen - I'm not allowed to touch him). I can't help myself from going in for a quick kiss and a nostril full of that clean child smell. It's even better if you only buy baby shampoo...
4. Feeling grateful for every full night's sleep
OK, being honest, my children have always been pretty good at sleeping through the night. I would even go as far as saying that they haven't given us any trouble with lack of sleep in 14 years of being parents. That said, I still get that overwhelming feeling of relief when they are all asleep in bed at night. Maybe it's because they can't answer back or argue when they are asleep, or because the house becomes so peaceful but there really is nothing nicer than a sleeping child.
5. Automatically tuning into Cbeebies
Every morning when I walk downstairs, closely followed by a child or two, I automatically look towards the electronic babysitter to keep things quiet while I grapple with packed lunches and setting the table for breakfast. The channel number for Cbeebies is ingrained on my brain, my fingers press the buttons without even pausing for a second. This used to be OK of course but now my actions get met with "But this is for babies!". So swiftly I change the channel to restore the harmony. The thing is it is quite easy to navigate from Cbeebies to the other kids channels with the up and down arrows on the remote, and I can't remember the numbers of the other ones anyway. Or, maybe I'm just subconsciously missing Mr Bloom...
As I say, my family are moving on but there still all these little things that I can't let go of. Are all mums the same I wonder?
Still, I don't suppose it's a bad thing. I may be stuck in the past but at least I'll always have clean haired children and shiny light fittings...