Well, it’s week 2 (or is it 3?) post ‘back to school’ and it has been rather weird for me. I think I’m sitting with a mild case of highschool blues. Kyle started grade 9 this year (I am told this means he is in Standard 7. Moms born before the 90’s hollar). So this means that he feels like quite the veteran high schooler at the moment. There was no ‘back to school’ chaos for us. No fitting on of school jerseys and no marking of individual pencil crayons. No meeting the teachers and no pep talks needed. Having a kid in high school has it’s perks. Plus he is another year closer to getting that job and making momma some dough! Hahaha! What? I’m kidding! What type of a mother do you think I am?! Cough Cough
So as I was saying, it’s been pretty chilled. Which isn’t working for me, because, as you know, I have absolutely no chill whatsoever. I keep thinking, “wow this is so chilled…” and then panic sets in as I realize that “WAIT! Why am I so chilled right now?! Stop all chillness! I repeat, STOP all chill!” I mean, my baby boy is growing up!
The signs are there in all the little things. And they suck. For starters, the boy didn’t want me to get him color in pencils this year and he doesn’t want to take lunch to school anymore. Oh and up until
I forced him to I asked nicely, he didn’t want to cut his hair or wear his veriform (shorts and golf shirt) to school. And these arent well thought out decisions. I feel like it was an overnight hostage takeover and suddenly I don’t know if he still wants toast for breakfast anymore!
The first week of school kicked it all off rather nicely with lots of sighs and rolling eyes and head shakings (in my direction) with exasperated:
“No mom you don’t NEED to pack a special lunch!”
Uhm, it’s the first day of school, boy! You need a sarmie and an apple and a yogurt and an inbetween power snack and a photo of me taped to the inside of your lunchbox!
“Mom just cover my books with anything, really now.”
What?! No colourful book wraps??? No funky picture underneath the bright name sticker?? My brain cant even comprehend!
“I still have my old pencil bag, it’s okay mom.”
Aaack, what do you mean the old one’s still okay? Must. Get. New. Pencil. Bag.
“I didn’t even use the Pritt you got me last year!”
My boy doesnt pritt pages into school books anymore. What is this world coming to?!
“Mom, please don’t take any pics, it’s embarassing.”
No first day of school pics? Does this boy HATE me?!
I have to remind myself not to take it personally. The boy is finding his own identity and he is not the same child he was 2 years ago… which is a good thing! He is meant to grow and change and develop. And I guess I am meant to grow and change and develop, as a parent, with him. As I learn things about him, I begin to learn things about myself too and the type of parent I want to be. I also discover new Parent Hacks… you know, the stuff we do to get our kids to learn what they are supposed to learn and do what they are supposed to do. Stuff like speaking Afrikaans around your toddler so they don’t understand what you’re saying or feeding them veggies wrapped in cheese. I think I’m currently on Parent Hack Level: Intermediate. Getting there people. Getting there.
The key word (when raising a teen) is balance. Teenagers crave respect but, in their own way, attention too. They want to be taken seriously, but they still want to be looked after. They want to make their own decisions but they want guidance (even if they don’t admit it). BTW the guidance must look like it was THEIR idea, and not yours. You’re welcome.
If only they could stay young forever and never ever age… Like Peter Pan!
Or Ridge, from The Bold and The Beautiful.
Okay, I just pictured my son with Ridge’s facial features.
Moving on, shall we?