No longer a toddler or needy little kid and not yet an eye-rolling teenager, the big kid phase is what I call the parenting sweet spot. Now don’t get me wrong, a squishy newborn is delightful in so many ways… inhale deeply… but there are few things that beat the independence and adoration that comes from a big kid. So here are my top reasons why big kids RULE!
Big kids aren’t completely embarrassed by you YET. The big kid still thinks you’re pretty cool, and they love that you can fit all their friends in your super sweet mini van. They also haven’t started asking you to drop them off around the corner from school in the morning so they don’t have to be seen with you.
Big kid TV shows are so much less annoying. Right now my kids are obsessed with Cupcake Wars and How It’s Made. Way better than Caillou and Daniel Tiger in my opinion.
Big kids are funny. From perfecting their knock-knock jokes to experimenting with sarcasm, big kids are funny and they know it.
Big kids go to big kid school. Big kid school is typically free (unless you choose an alternative) and lasts most of the day. No more half-day preschool or paying for expensive daycare. Also, if you have multiple big kids, there’s a good chance they’ll all be at the same elementary school for at least a few years.
Big kids actually sleep. All night. In their own beds. With the exception of a rare nightmare or sickness, big kids redeem themselves for those sleepless nights you had when they were babies. Don’t worry, once they reach the teenage years, you’ll be up at night wondering when they’re coming home.
Traveling with big kids is so much easier. Big kids require little gear or extra equipment when you leave home, and most of what they need can be stuffed in a backpack, and they can carry it themselves. This summer was the first year we didn’t have to fly with a big 5-point harness car seat. Let me tell you, it was just as amazing as you would imagine.
You get to do fun things with big kids. Gone are the days of mommy-and-me music class that makes you want to poke your eyes out. Big kids get to do fun things like to go sporting events and plays. I’ll take a hockey game over toddler story time any day.
Big kids are pretty much self-sufficient. Big kids can dress themselves, fix a snack, refill their own water cup, buckle their own seat belt, and wipe their own butts. They no longer need you every second, of every day, for every little thing.
You can appreciate big kids more. Maybe it’s the fact that you aren’t so busy fixing snacks or wiping butts. Maybe it’s that they actually go to school during the day. Maybe it’s that you don’t get up with them a dozen different times in the night. Or maybe it’s that you can reminisce about when they were your squishy little newborn and wonder what where the time has gone. Whatever the reason, it seems a lot easier to sit back, enjoy the big kid and appreciate just how awesome they are.