If the smell of banana sandwiches makes you come over all dewy-eyed about your children's childhoods, try talking to a new mum. It's a great reality check.
I met one the other day. OK, her baby looked adorable, and I envy her in so many ways: that mad besotted love, the burst of creativity, the way life's possibilities stretch ahead limitlessly.
But in so many other ways I really don't envy her: working on deadlines into the wee small hours, snatching a few hours' sleep before the 5 am feed, boxing and coxing with your partner instead of being romantic, searching for good childcare. Never mind the heart-wrenching anxiety when your child gets ill.
Having babies and small children was the best time of my life - no question. It made me what I am, it informs everything I do and think. I know how lucky I am to have had that time.
When my children first left I felt hopelessly nostalgic for their toddlerhood, full of regret for all the things I did and didn't do. I still do, a bit. But I really really wouldn't want to go back there.