I knew that motherhood would be a gradual process of letting go; I just didn't realise it would happen by the tender age of two and a half.
Gertie, who until today has needed me to do or at least to supervise and support with all sorts of jobs - like wiping her bottom, brushing her teeth, wiping her nose, doing up her laces, helping her to get dressed - has suddenly decided that she can do everything 'all by mySELF'.
I came to collect her from nursery this afternoon and she told me that she needed to go to the toilet before we left. "Fine," I said, putting Gilby's car-seat down and preparing to go in and help.
"No mummy, I don't need you," she informed me matter-of-factly, locking the door firmly behind her. I peered over the top of the cubicle to see her cope admirably with the task, but she happened to glance up, and caught me.
"No mummy, don't look!" she commanded.
"Er, right." After a minute or two, I heard the bolt draw back and out she came, head held high.
After supper I went to fetch her pyjamas, to discover that she had selected different ones and was already busily getting ready for bed. The pyjama bottoms did take a few attempts to get right, and it was very funny watching her put her head to the bottom of them to try and figure out why her foot hadn't come out, but after her earlier statement of independence I was loathe to get involved.
So, after a mere thirty months, it appears that I am largely redundant.