What a weekend…and what a Monday morning. I awoke with good intentions and vowed I wasn’t going to raise my voice today, but that went out the window at 7:30am (yep, that early) when all 3 boys decided to bicker and recreate wrestle mania in the living room. I ignored it to a point, but there are only so many squeals and shouts you can let go before your boiler blows.
Seriously, Dry September was a bad idea.
Do you know what, it wasn’t that long ago in a time BC (before children) that I used to look forward to the weekend – lazy mornings and leisurely breakfasts followed by a spot of shopping (without a child going off their head as soon as you cross the threshold in H&M) or a leisurely walk somewhere (ok, by somewhere I mean to a pub) – but these days, as terrible as it sounds, the weekends can be more of a battle ground than a time of relaxing and tranquility. Now, I’m not solely blaming my 8 year old for this change in my feelings for the weekend but I have to tell you all, he really isn’t helping much at the moment.
When you’re expecting your first baby, you often think about what the baby will look like once it’s here, you imagine how things will be with a new little person in your life and you look forward to the baby/toddler milestones, starting their schooling and then them becoming an adult. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but (maybe rather ignorantly) the ‘no man’s land’ of 7-12 year old’s I never really gave much thought. I’ve come to the conclusion that at the age of 7, children (well mine anyway) change. They’re at a an age where they think they are grown up but they aren’t really at all and that, I think, is what I’m finding really tricky.
Luke is a lovely lad. He will be 9 in February.
He’s always been a thinker, perhaps an over-thinker if truth be told (I’ve no idea where he gets that from…ahem) and he’s also very caring. This personality combination however, as lovely as it is, now he is 8, seems to manifest itself as worry most of the time and worry, these days, can often turn to anger. I know, “What on earth does an 8 year old have to worry about?” I hear you ask. Well, lots it would appear.
Now Luke is 8 (so old) and in Year 4 at school, the expectation and what is required of them has ramped up to a point that even us parents are in shock. At the age of 8, they are expected to relay important information from the teachers to us (yes, we laughed too, I don’t think Luke could remember what he had for lunch let alone some very important information from his teacher), remember their belongings and personal diary (after school/lunchtime clubs etc) do at 30 minutes of reading/homework per night and also cope with the daily demands of being in the midst of a ‘I think I am grown up but really I still need my parents’ phase. It’s pretty tough.
The weekends are now often spent trying to snatch family time in between the mundane necessities of modern life as well as juggling homework and other social commitments. The calmness of the weekends that once were have been replaced by a chaotic cycle of waking up, me ranting, having a bit of fun (we do have some believe it or not) and then going to bed for it all to start over again.
The lack of ‘down time’ for the kids can be so tough (always rushing somewhere, always being asked to do something) that it can often get too much (especially for a ‘Super angry 8’ year old) and that’s when the shit hits the fan (you know, whilst said fan is on full speed and on rotate setting. Mass shit, everywhere). An 8 year old often thinks they know EVERYTHING, that Mum is an idiot and that we have just been put on the planet to feed and clothe them whilst shouting orders at them like a demonic Sargent Major. I think we have almost reached a point that, some days, I’m (quote) “The worst mum ever”. Quite an accolade to achieve isn’t it – I might get a badge made up…
You never think about that happening, well, at least I didn’t, until they’re teenagers but sadly, it does seem to start earlier than that. The hormones start whizzing about much earlier than I had anticipated and I have most definitely been caught sleeping on parade with regards to this parenting milestone.
A moody ‘pre-teen’. And from what I’ve heard thus far, the teenage years don’t seem like they’re going to be particularly golden years either.
Yay for Gin!
Being a kid in 2016 (Christ, is that really the year?! Toy Story is 21 years old guys, 21!!!!! How the feck did that happen?!) is tough. Technology gives us opportunity and connects us in a way never before possible, but it also creates impatience. An ‘I want it now’ mentality which is part of the reason I think we have some of these mega ‘pre-teen’ strops.If something doesn’t go Super angry 8’s way, he goes to cloud cuckoo land at warp speed 10. I’m not saying it’s the iPads fault, I am the master of the iPad and I have the power to give and take away, like an almighty technology god, but I really don’t think it’s helped any with his here and now attitude he seems to have at the moment. It seems to be one of the only things I have control over these days…oh, that and my bladder, thankfully. And that’s saying something after 3 kids. The ipad is the oracle of the Super angry 8’s world and it’s my trump card to play if metaphorical shit has been splattered by that fan. That’s how I hit him the hardest after a mega strop (and earn the accolade of worst mum ever) but needs must and right now, that’s one of the only ways of drilling home how cross I am when my super angry 8 has gone kaboom.
I understand a lot of it is development. They’re finding their voice, gaining independence and beginning to understand more about the world (and what buttons to push to piss mummy right off) but there is a very fine line between finding their voice at this age and being damn right rude. Luckily for me (I suppose) super angry 8 is normally impeccably behaved at school and at other peoples houses etc, his worst strops are reserved only for me. Aren’t I lucky.
My husband often says it’s because I allow myself to get worked up that he does it more, because he can see it annoys me, but I think it’s more to do with the fact that I am the one that is doing the disciplining on a daily basis.
I’m ‘Bad Cop’.
Another badge to add to my sleeve.
I know it’s ‘just a phase’ and I know it too shall pass, but then there will be a new phase. A gross Teenage boy phase (when I hand the baton over to Daddy, who has been there and got that stinky, grubby t-shirt) and I’m totally not ready for it but if the super angry 8 stage is anything to go by, I’d better get my shit together.
I make it sound like he’s awful all the time, my eldest. He truly isn’t. He has moments where he still wants a cuddle, where he will run and dive in our bed and chat away in the mornings and now he is ‘finding his voice’ we have some of the funniest games of ‘would you rather?’ that I have ever had, yep, maybe even more entertaining than the ones I had after a few too many drinks with my friends, but I do notice the change and him growing up now more than ever. It’s an age of transition, for all of us.