Thoroughly Modern Mammy Maria Rushe discusses how time flies during motherhood

This weekend, Thoroughly Modern Mammy is Thoroughly Feeling Old.

Yesterday, my baby sister turned 18.

The BABY of the family is now an adult.  I’m not sure WHY her birthday has made me so suddenly aware of my age; maybe because I was 18 when she was born.  Maybe because I realised that I am exactly DOUBLE her age.  Maybe it’s because as I looked at her yesterday, in all her youthful, glowing, wrinkle-free beauty, I realised that although I might THINK I’m only 18, I’m not. Now that all of my siblings are officially adults, I am officially the oldest adulty adult adulting in our all adult family!

I don’t like it.

Time is flying…

My appreciation for time and how fast it goes, was already an issue this week.  You see, my own little Princess started creche.

So what?

Well, as all Mammies know, putting your Baby into the care of someone else is one of those emotionally harrowing parts of being a Mum that isn’t covered in the Baby Books.  I’ve done it before. It didn’t matter.  It didn’t make it easier.  But I’ll give you a giggle.

We arrived and met the manager.  The conversation went like this:

Her: I’ll bring you down to the room she’ll be joining.
Me: Oh? Is the Baby room not that one? (Points at the door next to the office, which is indeed the Baby room.)
Her: Yes that IS the Baby Room S-Mum, but she’s not going into the baby room.
Me: Why not?
Her: Erm…because she’s not a baby? She’s going into the Toddler room Honey.
Me: …

Her: S-Mum?
Me: (pretty sure I’m squeezing Princess too tightly. She’s squirming.)
Her: S-Mum?
Me: Oh OK… (follows like a 10 year old who’s arrived, recently orphaned, at a boarding school in a foreign country where no one speaks her language…)


She’s MY baby?

Yes, granted, she’d EAT the other ACTUAL little babies, or sit on them, or think they were dolls and put them in a box (her favourite), so OBVIOUSLY she is too big for the Baby Room. But this fact had never crossed my mind.
All week, as I’ve been mentally preparing to drop her in to the BABY room, I’d never even CONSIDERED that MY BABY is actually now a TODDLER… Who TODDLES and everything!

And it has FREAKED me out.  We spend our lives as parents marking milestones and celebrating new phases. If anything, we look forward to the next stage and we are so proud of them when they reach it.  And that’s life.  But every so often, we find ourselves stopping for a second.

Maybe it’s a sudden growth spurt where we realise that she’s grown 3 inches in front of our eyes without us even noticing.

Maybe it’s when your 3 year old announces 1+2=3 Mammy.  (How do you even KNOW that?)

Maybe it’s when she suddenly eats her full dinner without your help.

Maybe it’s when he waves out the window at you as you drop him at school.

Maybe it’s when she suddenly announces that she can dry her own hair thank you.

Maybe it’s when he starts Secondary School.

Maybe it’s when she turns 18…

No matter what the milestone, our little miracles remind us everyday of the brevity of life.  It’s fleeting. It’s a whirlwind. It goes so fast that we sometimes feel like we’ve been hit by a speeding truck.

But that’s how it is.  And even though this week has indeed reminded me how quickly they turn from little babies into little people, as well as slapping my wrinkly, “not-quite-as-youthful-in-the-mirror-as-it-is-in-my-head” face with a savage age-truth blow, it has been a good one.

And we must celebrate the milestones when we get them.

Happy birthday Baby Sis.  Now hurry up and learn to drive.  I need a chauffeur don’t I?

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