- Halloween parades, Holiday pageants, etc. Part of this is purely practical. I don't have to worry about taking time off work to attend these events, I was always bored more often at these events than entertained (because of course, all I really cared about was when my kid(s) walked or performed), and I don't have to worry about buying/making party favors/foods for such events.
- No longer needing a stroller/baby seat/car seat. When we went to Disneyland, I updated my FB status that I so don't miss trying to wheel a stroller through the throngs anymore. I also don't miss heaving the baby seat from the car to the grocery cart, or checking a car seat on airplanes. I still hold my girls' hands when we cross a street, or even a driveway, but it's nice not to be wishing for extra limbs anymore.
- Grocery shopping with the under 10 set. One of the first blogs I ever read was the e-Bay listing from the mom who was selling trading cards that her child added to the conveyer belt without her knowledge. While I only have 2 to her 6, I could still relate all too well! I totally celebrated whenever the opportunity arose that I could shop without my "helpers." What's interesting is, I actually like to have them with me again. It's nice talking to them, and it's nice that they're actually of the age where they can help when I remember while checking out that I forgot the pesto sauce and they can go grab it for me!
- Trying to throw unforgettable, but fairly cheap and easy, birthday parties. Again, making me a Scrooge for bday celebrations, I used to do the trips to Disneyland plus the birthday party plus the birthday meal. Too, too much.
- Playing the Tooth Fairy and Santa. I still do to a certain extent, but if I forget to place the money under the pillow, I can just hand it to Riley the next day. I still put From Santa on one major gift to each and fill up the stocking, but I was never crazy about fictional characters getting all the credit, anyway. I like getting the hugs and thank yous, thankyouverymuch.
- The Tantrums. Oh, the tantrums. And Sylvia (sorry, hon) was a champion tantrum-thrower. And it's all my fault, really. I was also famous for my tantrums as a child. Well, Mom, I have been sufficiently paid back, and now we just wait and see if/when Sylvia will get her due!
- Being able to watch non-family programming. I like being able to watch the news in the morning without worrying what little ears might hear. For one thing, I like to see what time it really is (because I set all the clocks about 9 minutes ahead) and also, just in case something major happened. I also like that the girls and I can enjoy some of the same programming on prime time. And they might not love (or get) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart quite as much as I do, but hey, they can always leave the room.
- The Noise. Our house is usually peaceful these days. Without the tantrums, with separate rooms and separate space, our house isn't nearly as chaotic as it used to be. We may crank up the music sometimes, but our usual form of communication is at acceptable decibels again. We actually talk. We laugh a lot, but they can also appreciate that sometimes, Mommy wants to be alone for a while. I can tell them, "I'm writing" and they don't freak out. During homework time, I read. It's all very civilized.
P.S. How could I forget this one great perk? Sylvia's finally tall enough to reach into the top-loading clothes washer in our apartment building! Help with the laundry is a fabulous thing!