Once, I was in the passenger seat in the car, seat belt firmly on, when my mum said: "Press the lock button down, I don't want you falling out of the car when we go round a corner." At the time I was, ooh, let's see...THIRTY EIGHT.
Now I'm a mother, though, I can see that letting go is tough. Somewhere inside every mum, is a deep and abiding need to spit on tissues and wipe faces, whether your offspring are babies or hairy 25-year-old lads with copies of FHM next to the loo.
It's clucky, it's icky, it's perverted - but it's entirely natural. Isn't it?
The thing is that milestones and changes happen so gradually in parenting that you can literally wake up one morning and realise your toddler's voice has broken and he's buying razors from Superdrug with the money from his bar job.
Plus, old habits die hard. I still wrap my son in a towel and carry him from the bath to the bedroom, even though he's almost six and I can barely lift him without crashing into the wall and having a hernia - just because we've always done it.
And with younger children, let's face it, life is often easier when you Do It Yourself. It's all very well teaching them to be self sufficient, but you don't want to die of boredom waiting for them to put on their shoes/walk to the shops.
Who hasn't waited for what seems like the entire duration of the Ice Age for a kid to zip up their jacket and stepped in at the last minute? It's torment, and sometimes you will do anything to get them out of the house - independence be damned.
"I still take my three-year-old around in a baby carrier, because he's SO SLOW," says Jenni. "My back and hips keep trying to remind me that he now a small boy, not a baby, but I ignore them."
"I sometimes feed my five-year-old with a fork, still brush my 10, seven and five-year-olds' teeth at night and still wipe all of their noses. Yet they can all make their own toast," admits Emma.
But some parents think taking this easy route is a cop out. "Kids are made helpless by dint of our own impatience," says Chas. "I'm watching my daughter iron as we speak. Or rather, I can't watch. But it's important to let them do things."
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