This weekend Adam and the kids took me out to dinner. Although I thought about going someplace different, I picked The Cheesecake Factory because I knew we would all enjoy the food and, hello, cheesecake!
While we had dinner, it dawned on me that we can do this now- we can take the kids out to dinner and expect AND GET decent behavior out of them. Sure, there was some shoving and some rude burping (ugh! tween boys!) and some of this:
Cole: Mommy, we eat dat? Mommy, we share dat?
Me: Yes, Bear, we'll share that!
I failed to convince Adam to drop me at the bookstore while he took the kids grocery shopping but we still had a pleasant time. Cole unleashed his Light Saber in Trader Joe's, which lead to me taking it until we got to the car. (Even Jedi Knights answer to their moms.) When we got home, I bathed the kids while Adam cleaned up the kitchen and put away groceries.
This is first summer in fully "big kid" mode. No one naps on a regular basis. The last of the cloth diapers went to a co-worker of Adam's. I'm sorting through baby toys and 3t clothes for a garage sale. The little slide, tunnel and sand box are going to a teacher friend for her grandkids. We have one stroller for long trips and even the cheap umbrella strollers are gone. When I took Cole into the cry room during Mass, I realized we don't belong in there. Everyone else had bottles, binkies and diapers. We no longer need any of those.
I know I should moan that I miss it- and I do, to a degree. But I am also excited about this phase of life.
I know if we were blessed with another baby, I would love an embrace that child. I am confident in my baby-caring skills and would whip out the cloth diapers, nursing bras and swaddling blankets with no second thoughts. But this phase- the phase where we read Percy Jackson together, talk about serious things, have friends over for sleep overs and where Mommy can sleep in a touch, knowing they can get their own cereal- is pretty wonderful and amazing too.
This Mother's Day, I have the gift of knowing we are entering the next phase in parenting, the big kid phase. It's pretty cool.