Back when it was just the two of us.
My adorable little boy is not so adorable anymore.
I feel terrible saying that. I feel like I should be telling you that he’s sweet and adorable and the best thing that ever happened to me. And he is, most of the time. But not this second. This second, he’s downstairs grumping, and stomping, and crying, and arguing.
Not with me. He’s not arguing with me, because I sent him away when he raised his voice, and it cracked in just the right place to make my heart break. Right now, he’s arguing with the universe, loudly, because he knows I can hear him and it’s his way to say what he wants without me shutting it down.
I’m putting my fingers in my ears and I’m fighting the urge to have a big ‘ole cry myself. I’m fighting the urge to stomp down there myself and argue right back. I won’t, because I am bigger than nine, and I am bigger than this fit, and I am the mother darn it and don’t you know one of us has to be in control?
It feels like we do this every day.
I tell him to do something and he whines. I tell him to try and he cries. I tell him to focus and he sits down on the ground without even trying. Every day, a fight. Every day, stubbornness. Every day, a lie. Every day, we are both a little more broken.
Is this nine?
Half of you will read this, and automatically declare me to be a bad mother, or him to be a bad child. Your child would NEVER yell at you. You wouldn’t ever walk away from your child if he was clearly in this much distress. You aren’t struggling this much. You know better. You think I should know better.
Well…. Here’s a cookie. You can stop reading now, and come back tomorrow when I am not as frustrated. Tomorrow we can talk.
For the rest of you, seriously…. is this nine? Is this what happens when hormones meet challenge and frustration? What about the laziness? Is that nine? Or is that just some sort of flaw in my parenting or his personality, or both? Does this last long?
I’m not really looking for advice. Not really. I’m looking for someone to understand. I’m looking for another parent to grab me by the shoulders and look me in the eye and tell me “you’re doing okay.” I need someone to say this won’t last forever, and just sit with me until tomorrow when he wants to bake cookies with me and we are all laughter and hugs and I forget nine.
I don’t need a lecture. I don’t want to hear what I am doing wrong. I don’t want to feel one more ounce of guilt than I currently feel.
Have you noticed that when kids hit their tweens and teens, the “mommy bloggers” drop off the internet?
I get it, I really do. Everyone loves crafts, and adorable toddlers in sparkly shoes, and preschoolers who make jokes. No one loves the whiny, cranky, hard parts. Everyone stops blogging because no one wants to talk about fighting and lying and how no one really knows what they are doing.
But… here I am.
Here I am with my nine-year-old who is almost 10, full of all the emotions that he doesn’t know how to feel, and the math problems he knows how to do, but can’t even start. I’m here with my child who lied and told me he did all of his discussion board posts for that really expensive online class, but didn’t, because he was playing Minecraft instead of reading. I’m here with my nine-year-old who thinks I am too mean, this is too hard, and I am “never going to be fun again!”
I’m here, broken hearted and humbled because I don’t really know what I am doing.
And we are going to survive nine.