1. You will remember the days when you could dress your newborn in cute outfits very fondly. When you buy them clothes now, they take one look at your selection and decide they’d rather accompany you to the supermarket in their superman pyjamas.
2. You still have to make just as difficult parenting decisions – but this time, they have an opinion. And they’re not afraid to share it.
3. Remember how much your newborn slept? Just when you get used to a regular chunk of quiet time in the middle of the day, your child decides that naps are overrated. So you suggest that ‘nap time’ becomes ‘quiet time’ and they nod in agreement, climb out of their bed obediently and plot up on the sofa with a book. Five minutes later, they are sprinting laps around the house and demanding a full rundown of the afternoon’s activities – and you realise life will never be the same again.
4. Middle of the night nappy changes and poo explosions are nothing compared to the sinking feeling in the car when you have just set off and the three year old announces he needs a wee. And a poo. And he needs them that very second.
5. The days of pulling down your top to feed or preparing bottles of formula will feel like a doddle compared to the task of cooking three meals a day that a) taste nice b) are healthy and c) are not rejected within a second for not being the right colour.
6. They couldn’t move. And now they just won’t stop.
7. Days at home with a newborn were long and sometimes boring, but you could flick the TV on and sit together cuddling as you caught up on a box set. These days, you have surrendered the TV to Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol and spend most of the day on your hands and knees picking playdoh, squashed peas, and unidentifiable crusty objects off the living room floor.
8. If you lose a newborn’s favourite cuddly toy and they will have no idea. If you lose a three year old’s favourite cuddly toy, you will not sleep for a week.
9. If they’ve started nursery or school, memories of lazy mornings hanging around in sick-stained pyjamas seem like a holiday compared to the horrors of the school run.
10. You still deal with meltdowns and tears when you are in public, but nobody thinks it’s cute anymore. Nobody.