Watching your children grow up is hard. With a capital ‘H’.
Harder than I ever imagined. Just as you begin to get used to one age and one phase of their life, another one comes along and BOOF hits you straight between the eyes.
And each one seems to be more challenging than the next.
The baby and toddler years are nothing compared to this!
My gorgeous, sensitive young man is on the verge of 11 and he’s changing.
I can see it happening right before my eyes; subtile shifts, tiny alterations, barely perceptible differences. But I see them and over the past few months they are increasing. He’s pushing boundaries, seeing what he can get away with, challenging me, questioning me, stamping his authority where he can.
We argue more and his arguments are well thought out and stump me. I can’t get away with ‘because’ any more. I have to explain why ‘because’ and it’s not reasonable for me to just say ‘because’; it’s like talking to an adult.
And that is exactly how it should be; it’s a part of growing up. He’s dipping his toes into that murky void between being a child and turning into a young man.
I want him to enter this phase; I know it’s right. But urgh.
Then last night hit me. He went to bed, turned his light out and turned to face the wall giving me the cold shoulder.
No kiss goodnight, no chat, no hug, no ‘love you, see you in the morning’. And it’s left me on the verge of tears. So bloody silly really. It’s one night, one incident. But it’s the first time he’s ever done it and it feels like a huge kick in the guts.
It all stems from a conversation where I’ve said I don’t want him wasting his birthday money on ‘gems’ for a game he plays on his iPod called Clash of Clans. It’s SUCH a waste of money and I’ve asked him to think about it.
Instead of thinking about it, he’s thought about how mean I am and how he’s now not going to speak to me because I’m “dictating” to him and if he wants to “waste his own birthday money” then I should let him do it and let him learn.
And he’s right and I’m right too. There are arguments for the merits of both sides of this little row. But right now I don’t care who is right or wrong because I just feel like a heel.
Of course all will be well in the morning and he’ll say he’s sorry for overreacting and I’ll hug him and say ‘let’s not row, let’s talk’.
You’re never prepared for how hard this is. The growing up. The boundary pushing.