As my girls get older I realize that many of the small things in life that used to be so hard...are getting to be a lot easier.
It started with me leaving the house without a diaper bag. How liberating to be out in public without diapers, wipes, toys and snacks. Next it was being able to drop them off at birthday parties and lessons instead of having to stay within arms reach.
Don't get me wrong...there is a part of me that is slightly disappointed when they make it clear they don't need me. But that part of me is getting smaller and smaller as the years pass.
Take the dentist for example. At age 3 my youngest took everything aspect of a trip to the dentist in stride. She opened wide, said ahh and watched the TV on the ceiling without a peep. Which meant I was completely unprepared for what happened at age 4 - a total, friggin' gong show.
She fought against everything. She squirmed and cried and kicked and screamed. I think in the end they managed to clean about 3 teeth. It was a nightmare.
So - no surprise - I was not looking forward to her dentist appointment on Friday. I knew my oldest would be fine - she always is - but I really did not want to deal with another tantrum. Turns out I need not have worried...because one year older meant one year wiser. And way easier for me...
She let them clean, polish, scrape and exam. She even let them take x-rays...well...x-ray.
After the success at the dentist I was definitely less apprehensive about the next appointment on the schedule - kindergarten shots. She said she was okay about it...even joked about being excited about them. But I could see the cracks in her little 5-year-old facade. She was nervous.
A 30 minutes wait at the doctors didn't help that. Every minute that ticked by her bravado faded just a little more. In the end...I think the doctor came in just in time. Just before she was ready to call it quits on the whole thing.
And she rocked it. No tears...no screams...she even watched the needle go in.
Happy and healthy and proud to show off her double bandaids. And a sushi lunch and trip to Kidsbooks for a reward made it a perfect day indeed.
These are the moments where I simultaneously miss my baby and rejoice in the freedom and ease that comes with them getting older. I know the future brings challenges more difficult than a little sleep deprivation. I fully expect that in their teen years I will be curled up in the fetal position just wishing we could go back to potty training.
But for now I will take these little victories. I will relish the pride I see on her face and hear in her voice as she recounts her tales to anyone and everyone.