Today, something momentous happened.
Let me explain.
I had to go shopping for some new clothes for my eldest today, because I noticed this weekend that he had grown like Hulk and was literally busting out of his stuff. He must have grown about 2 inches taller over Christmas alone and his jeans unintentionally looked like hipster ankle grazers. Not cool when you’re 8, almost 9, apparently and he isn’t able to grow the signature hipster beard just yet.
Anyhow, I went into H&M, threw a load of stuff into a basket and went off to pay. I then remembered that both me and Luke needed new socks. Just black ankle socks, nothing fancy. I rummaged through the sock bin and found a pack of 8 black ankle socks, size 1.5 to 3.5. “That’ll do nicely”, I thought. I then went to look for some for myself but in the process of walking to the checkout I got distracted by the sale rack (oops! I promise I didn’t buy anything*…ahem *bullshit) and forgot all about my own new socks.
Once I got home, I sorted out Luke’s clothes drawers. I took out all the trousers and tops that were too small, which revealed his ankles and belly, and replaced them with the new ones. Age 10-11 in most instances. Age 10-11?! He was only born a couple of years ago dammit!
(No, he wasn’t Gemma, he was born in 2008, that’s verging on 10 years ago love).
And that’s when it hit me, like a poo falling and hitting the water in a toilet. You have been a mum for almost a decade. 10 bloody years!
(And yet I still don’t know what the sodding hell I’m doing!)
I then looked at the socks I just bought for him and noticed the size of them. They were enormous! It then dawned on me that we could now do the unthinkable. We can share socks. He has got that big that we can now divide a pack of socks up between us and share them. It’s just utter madness.
I know it’s a cliche, but time really has flown, though it didn’t feel like it when he was a newborn. I remember those early days with Luke all too vividly – forever etched in my brain. Some days I couldn’t get dressed because I was so overwhelmed. The thought of leaving him in his cot just to shower stressed me out. I was adamant I should try and feed him myself, but this meant the entire burden of keeping this little dude alive was entirely on me for 6 months, and when it was pointed out to me that he was ‘quite small and skinny’ I took it really personally and blamed myself. He hardly slept and I was exhausted (Sidenote – this kid didn’t sleep through the night until he was 19 months old. 19 months of broken sleep!) and yet, through all that baby chaos and stress, you still look back on it and wish you were back there in an odd way. Well, I do anyway. As tough as the baby years were, I do miss my cuddles with little baby Luke, when everything was so new and we were finding our way together (and he didn’t answer me back). I also can’t believe where all those years in between then have gone. Those first smiles, rolling over for the first time, crawling, going off to pre-school, their first party invite, their first sports day, starting ‘big school’, their first fall without you there to pick them up and hug it better, their first school disco, the first time they say “you’re the worst mum ever!”
The list of firsts grows ever longer.
He’s 8 now, almost 9, and I am fast realising that this is a very difficult transitional age for a kid (and parents!). They act grown up one moment, full of compassion, understanding, very articulate and reasonable and then in the next moment, bam! Teenoddler mode is initiated. Yup, you read that right, Teenoddler. It’s half teen, half toddler. It’s one of the most terrifying things I have witnessed as a parent thus far (I know there are more terrifying things to come but so far, this is the worst). Screaming, crying, insults, hysteria, anger, punching things, name calling, you name it, it happens during a Teenoddler tantrum. Most of our meltdowns are due to homework at the moment, it’s a constant battleground. Don’t get me wrong, Luke is doing fine at school and is VERY eager to please his teacher, but at home? Pah! Not a chance. I even mention homework and I end up with Kevin the teenager on my hands…
“This is so unfair! I hate you!”
It’s frightening how quick they change once they start school. I keep going into panic mode that he only has 2 years left at Primary school. That’s 2 more Christmases, 3 more sports days, 2 more ‘carefree’ summer holidays. When I say it like that, it fills me with dread. I don’t think I am ready for those teenage years if I can’t cope with the stroppy, almost 9 year old, phase. I foresee lots of gadget bans and pocket money deductions…
I am sure once we hit those teenage years I will look back on those chaos filled baby days even more fondly. I have deluded ideas of being a ‘cool mum’ who has a wonderful relationship with her teenage son, but the way things are going, the silent strops, the Teenoddler tantrums where he’s walking off into school without saying goodbye to me that we often have nowadays, I honestly worry that this won’t be the case. We try our best as parents don’t we. But sadly there is no guidebook, nobody to tell us we are doing it right (but there are plenty of people out there on the world wide web who are all too happy to tell you when you’re doing things wrong).
…but we wouldn’t change it for the world.
There will come a day pretty soon that we won’t be able to share socks again, because he will have grown too big and his socks will swamp my little feet. I just hope I have done a good job by then and I’ve got my cuddly boy back.