Ok , so , every bit of pre parental advice or scary ,” put you right off having kids” type of shared parental experiences prepares you for expecting the worst when it comes to terrible two’s / threes and the onset of the terrible teens ….
To be honest , there’s not much I can remember about being terribly two or three myself , but I will never forget the onset of puberty , mood-swings , boy angst , the pain of watching girlfriends grow great boobs and having to wait another three or four years before mine made any sort of semi permanent appearance. There is not really an awful lot of fear and angst that anybody else’s shared experiences can add to my own there ..; and yet ….
NO-ONE , not one person, has EVER mentioned the ‘after eights’ or the ‘nearly nines’ to me…. And no , I’m not talking about the mad excuses we/I make up to keep eating dangerous amounts of chocolate long after the end of year festivities are finished .
Is it a common occurrence, a modern modification of pre-pubescent what-ever it is that’s making my daughter turn into childzilla ? I can also remember being eight & nine …. I was nowhere near as emotionally advanced as my daughter seems to be.
It’s heartbreak central in our house these days. If it’s not a boy who seems to have found a new love interest , the soul destroying discovery that Justin Bieber already has a girlfriend / a girlfriend in school who says they are no longer BFF’s …;.it’s , I don’t like pink anymore / you know I’m more “ rock “ than ‘ Hello Kitty’ mama ( rolling of eyes , and ‘my mam’s a bit thick’ expression included free of charge) ; Which , by the way , is supposed to translate as ‘ you need to go out and buy me a whole new wardrobe in blues , greys , anything with a skull/crossbones and a bit of tacky diamante thrown in for good measure on it, and don’t forget the black tight jeans … oh and a pair of knee high boots , preferably with a heel on them .
(Sounds a bit too much like my wardrobe actually , the fact that I used the word tacky in there to describe it is kind of scaring me … NOOOOH , does this mean it’s time for me to start buying twin sets in pastel shades and matching pearly accessoires … oh please, please no , no no, and eh NO)
Barbie , you bitch … it’s all your (ever changing wardrobe with matching accessories) fault. Also mine for pushing that kind of sureally proportioned doll addiction on my little one . Thank god I never bought the feckin horse & livery accessories or I’d be out there in my own knee high’s and squeezed on stolen kiddies batman suit robbing a couple of banks just to keep us going ‘till the next mood swing.
Last year ( circa ‘after eight’ stage) , a boy in her class who fancied her & was getting no joy , told her she was…… fat .We laughed at the ridiculousness of it …….until our very own little miss twiggy stopped eating chocolate & was refusing presents of the edible cacao bean variety ..; WHAT !?? ….. very scary pictures of what happens to your body when you starve yourself had to be produced . Some heart to hearts with a couple of my girlfriends that my daughter idolizes also helped her realize that she had no need to worry about what little fecker with the rejection syndrome had said to her. I really had to stop myself from climbing over the playground wall and having an up close and personal little chat with said rejected young lad.
I thought maybe the balaclava & the squeezed on bat-suit would totally give me away though , so decided to work it out otherwise.
And we all lived happily ever after … until first day back at school after the Christmas break. I find a totally- trying- to- hide -the-fact that she has really-obviously-been- bawling-crying little girl at the school gates … OhMyGod , that just kills me . Honestly , I don’t know about any other parents out there , but it just gets me somewhere right down in the fathoms of my soul and makes me kind of go green and incredible hulkish about whatever has my child in this state.
And even though I can’t understand a word she’s saying through the blubber that’s coming out when I trigger the crying again by asking her what’s wrong , I already know that I have to start slowly counting back from 10 inside my mind to stop myself from wreaking havoc in the playground.
Mr ‘called my girl fat’ , has got a new girlfriend ( as in : they stand beside each other in the school line & sit beside each other at the canteen .. that’s all there is to it) ..; and my little miss ‘never liked him in the firstplace’ is heartbroken. Well , blow me over with a feather … I was NOT expecting that. So after lots of panicky hugs & kisses & ‘you’re my gorgeous girl & you always will be’ , weird & uncomfortable ‘ there’s plenty more fish in the sea’ types of pearls of wisdom ; ( Its is SO weird saying that to a nearly nine year old … this is just not supposed to be happening right now; is it ??????); I get down to the nitty-gritty with her.
She did like him. She is raging with her friend for liking him / she is raging with him for liking her friend . I tell her not to fall out with her friend , he’ll probably change his mind again & she’ll have lost a friend over it . In the end , I ask her did she tell him she liked him ? ( Although , I really don’t want her to like him , he’s a little brat if you ask me … any boy that makes a girl feel fat/ unpretty should be hunted down ….hunted down I tell ya… … , I know, I know , I have issues I need to work through).
No – she never told him , she got so embarrassed when he told her he liked her ( by trying to kiss her . I nearly choked on my eyeballs when she told me that ) that she embarrassed him by telling EVERYONE else. Well how the hell was the poor kid ( who also deserves an Irish mammy clip in the ear for the whole sly kissy thing) supposed to know then ? Oh GOD … how did it get this deep & meaningful with a nearly nine year old ??
So I told her to do something I wouldn’t have done in a MILLION years at her age … to tell him. Not in front of everyone and not to try to embarrass him , but just to let him know. And to tell him she was sorry for embarrassing him in front of everyone and leave it at that. He can take it or leave it. Everything else she has done in the past has given him the impression that she wasn’t interested . He might not want to be her boyfriend , but he’ll have to respect that kind of honesty … even small kids have big respect for honesty . It’s a very powerful thing.
So she’s writing him a letter. It’s a very big deal for her. She hasn’t given it to him yet & I’m waiting for the nuclear fallout when she does.
In case anyone is reading this & thinking ; you mean old cow , you’re setting her up for a fall …. I BOUGHT A BOOK …. Written by eight to thirteen year olds with a whole group of psychologists for eight to thirteen year olds …. It says more or less exactly the same thing. That reassured both of us … eight year olds saying the same thing as her & psychologists saying the same as me.( It didn’t cover the pastel twinset questions I have … but I’ll get there)
The one Extremely important lesson I pulled from all this ‘nearly nine’ angst is this : Same advice applies to nearly nines as to their almost forty mothers …
If you want a man to know exactly what you mean … you literally have to spell it out for him… so instead of banging round the sitting room moodily because I would just love him to go and hang up the washing …. I just ask him.
He really doesn’t mind doing it at all …. I just had a big problem asking.
That’s all the angst I’m able for tonight folks.
Thanks for the tea,
*Le BOOK : ‘VIVE LES FILLES’ – le GUIDE 2011 de celles qui seront bientôt ados! / Milan Jeunesse