1. You discover that the box of baby wipes that used to always be on the kitchen counter and was used multiple times each day, is all dried up. Apparently, you haven’t used it in over a year.
2. Getting out of the house is as easy as “OK, put your shoes on and let’s go.” No need to take a diaper bag filled with diapers, said wipes, snacks and toys.
3. You wake up in the morning before they do.
4. They have lost their baby fat and have become tall and lanky – in fact, almost as tall as you are.
5. They still need your approval, but friends’ approval is slowly becoming just as important.
6. They are more interesting. They ask thought-provoking questions that you no longer always have the answers for.
7. They don’t want to go to the playground anymore. That surefire way you had to make them happy, suggesting “Let’s go to the playground, then for ice cream” doesn’t work anymore. They’re only interested in the “ice cream” part.
8. Looks are very important to them.
9. Being “cool,” or at least not being “lame” or “uncool” is a top priority, even though the exact way of achieving a “cool” status is fairly vague.
10. Their love is no longer unconditional. They sometimes scrutinize you closely, and you can see fleeting disapproval in their eyes. Yes, it hurts. They might even do the teenage eye roll from time to time.