I realised the other day, rather randomly while shopping for tights for Lottie, that we have all of a sudden moved on to the next stage of parenting. The baby and toddler days are behind us and I have hardly even noticed. I thought it would be something I would grieve, but the trade off of things finally feeling that little bit easier far outweighs any sadness I feel about reaching this 'end of an era' milestone.
A pair of tights might seem like a funny trigger for this realisation but looking for age 3-4 tights meant that we had no need to go into the baby section of all the usual stores for the first time in nearly 7 years. We've also barely used the pushchair recently, except as a bit of a donkey on our days out to carry picnics, coats and spare clothes and have no real need for it other than that. I also very seldom have a child on my hip these days... Lottie still likes to be carried occasionally when she is tired but it's definitely becoming a rarity, I often wonder when the last time will be.
Other than the tights we just bought and buttons or buckles, Lottie can almost dress herself like her big sisters do which is quite liberating given that not so long ago we used to have to physically dress all three of them. We are a nappy free household after Lottie potty trained earlier in the year, the beakers in the cupboard haven't been used in ages as they all drink from a regular cup and I have a large pile of outgrown clothes in the corner of my bedroom. When I eventually organise myself there will be very little traces that we ever had babies in the house apart from the three little girls they have grown in to and two slightly jaded parents who are still recovering from all the lack of sleep!