Well that's it, this year marks my end of being a mum to kids, as the youngest turns 18 and enters the world of work.
I've been parenting for 25 years this May. In a way I'll never stop parenting, I'm still and hopefully always will be the first point of call when the 5 kidults need advice and support.
Over the years, we've managed to lose children, had battles with schools, illnesses and a few broken bones, hearts broken, disappointment, falling-out with friends and dealt with petty squabbles that have escalated beyond our control.
When we manage to get a few of us together we spend hours talking about holidays and days out and general events that have happened in our lives. At times it's been hard work and often felt like the end of the world, but we now reflect and laugh about certain events, that we've shared over the years.
Our best holiday escapades are summed up in one blog post, Peter and I are both crying with laughing reliving these times. Peter and I have tears rolling down our eyes reading this post from 2010 'when holidays go wrong?'
Losing various kids has never been funny, but these incidents are ingrained in our memories and we often talk about these situations also.
Child 4 wandered off in San Francisco, he was missing for an hour, found on Pier 39, none the worse for wear and oblivious to our panic.
Child 5 has always wandered off in various locations and the one we've had to call the police out to on several occasions. He walked out the toilets whilst under the supervision of child 2, aged 18, and was found an hour later wandering over the Golden Gate Bridge.
He ran away aged 2 in France and was found by the boys after a frantic 20 minutes, hiding under an ice cream sign. The police were called in Abergavenny and the park sealed off, whilst I left him in the care of child 2, aged 13, while I went to the loo. And once for 2 hours he was missing on Perranporth beach aged 8. BBC seaside rescue were politely told to go away after following me around with a camera no less than 2 inches from my face, he was finally found by one of his cousins wearing a black wet suit with a turquoise spider on it, that they'd given him earlier that day and I had no idea what he was actually wearing, he'd been safe the entire time, but I hand't known that of course, again I'd left him in the care of someone else while I went to the loo.
In no particular order here are some of our funnier times:
Child 5, aged 8, drinking fizzy pop as we drove from Oregon to San Francisco, a 9 hour journey plus stops. Eventually Peter got fed up with endless stops and the child being so desperate to pee, in moving traffic, opened the side door and proceeded to take a pee as we were driving, child 2 grabbed hold of the back of his trousers, for dear life.
Child 5, aged 3, wanted to buy a large fire truck while in France, we said there was no where to put it, he said we could leave child 2 behind and spent the rest of the holiday shouting 'you're a crap mummy'
Child 5, aged 5, in France, go this head stuck in a bench, was yelling 'mummy I'm a duck' it was 10 minutes before I fully investigated to discover his head was wedged into the A frame of the bench, he soon learnt to say the letter 'S'.
Child 2, aged 10, arguing that as the oldest child he should have his own room on holiday and a fight broke out, in the morning he willingly offered the room to child 3 who he'd beat up the previous night, because it was next to the cesspit and smelt like chicken shit.
Child 3, aged 10, who got left behind at home and locked in the house when we went on holiday and we got a mile down the road before child 2 asked where his brother was.
Child 4, aged 5, who refused a bath and was unceremoniously dumped in the bath fully clothed and turned into the tasmanian devil, spinning around in the bath and screaming his head off for half an hour, yet refusing to get out once he had been washed yelling 'you can't do this to me'
Child 2, aged 17, coming home at 2am drunk one night, denying he'd been drinking and he's fallen in the fountain and it was chlorine I could smell, was woken at 6am, made to clean up his mess and sent to collage. Following weekend same occurred and rather than face a telling off he opted to sleep in the shed.
Child 2, aged 10, asked at every meal time for ketchup, before the meal was brought out, despite refusing to help lay the table, so one day when all the plates were served, apart from his, I just squirted the ketchup directly onto his placemat, full melt down ensued.
Child 3, aged 13, the police turned up in the street, assuming they were there for the neighbours child (again) we were shocked to hear our bell ring. Son had witnessed a friend throw a tennis ball, almost 100m's hitting a teacher on the side of the head and knocking him out.
Child 3, aged 16, got into a fight with a mate and was punched in the face and was on route to the hospital, husband dispatched after ambulance crew informed me son was adamant I wasn't to attend so he didn't get a telling off.
Child 4, aged 13, phone call to say son had been in rugby scrum, which had collapsed and he needed hospitalising, the first of 3 occasions where new sports kit was cut off and had to be replaced.
Child 4, aged 13, phone call from school at a rugby match. 'Your son is Ok, we're just waiting for the air ambulance to arrive'
Child 4, aged 15, phone call from paramedics 'we need permission to give your son a tracheotomy' after he was hit in the neck by a cricket ball.
Child 5, aged 11, fell over his own feet and broke his wrist, I gave him 2 paracetamol and an ice pack and finished drying my hair before taking him to hospital.
Child 5, aged 12, got a black eye after crashing on his heelies (wheeled shoes) whilst being towed by a golf cart.
Oh and the poo accidents, where I'll not assign a child number, they know who they are.