Don’t get me wrong, I am all about the girl power. Brave girls – woo hoo! Strong women – woo hoo! Sisters in arms, we march forward into the world ready to leave our mark. Stand up and stand out, ladies!
With that being said there’s a whole lot of estrogen floating around here, and some days it seems that hormone has become a combustible force. Then if Bear and I cap out at the same time? Well, the result sounds a bit like clash of the Titans.
When Your 10-year-old Calls You On Your Sh*t
- Hormones raging through a 45 year old woman are nothing to sneeze at…catch me at the wrong moment and a sideways glance provokes the wrath of Khan. On any given day I swing from sweltering in shorts to shivering in sweats then back again. It is a roller coaster ride for one, my friend, and anyone nearby gets swept up in the gust.
- Tweens aren’t the only ones capable of capital-D-drama, it’s just that grownup meltdowns take a different form. Retreating to shoot off a furious text, doling out consequences ridiculously out of whack with the offense, eating half a bag of chips after the kids are in bed…we’ve graduated beyond the stomped foot and slammed door phase, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
- Parents are supposed to be steady in a storm, unshakeable, steadfast – except when we’re not. When my nerves are frayed and my patience thin and the very last straw is thrown on the pile, that’s when there’s a snap and something just a little too harsh gets thrown back. Bear inevitably melts into tears because I’ve hurt her feelings, and sometimes I apologize because I have. But sometimes I tell her to get a grip because we both know I didn’t mean she’d really let the dogs starve if I wasn’t around to remind her to feed them. You win some, you lose some.
- Be fully present, be fully present, be fully present…have you noticed how freaking exhausting it is to be fully present? I mean it. There are days when we’re on mediation #4 and I’m like hold on, let me eat a Power bar and then we’ll resume. So you do the best you can, except when you don’t, and then you’ve got a kid nailing you for tuning out on your phone when you’re supposed to be listening to their fourteenth complaint of the day. Considering all the tech preaching we do around here, that one’s pretty bad.
When Your 10-year-old Pulls Their Own Sh*t
- Whoa, boy, those preteen hormones are nothin’ to mess with either. Giddy to morose to tirades worthy of gigantic toddlers – one minute Bear’s smiling, the next her head’s spinning around and I’m steeling myself for the pea soup vomit that’s surely about to land at my feet. When you see that mess coming down the track just take a step back, Jack, and let it roar on by.
- And the drama. Lawd, this child can dish out the draaaaaaama. I fear you’ll be shocked to learn that the world is ending nearly every other day. “I don’t have any dress shoes…I can’t find my books and we have library TODAY…I need sweatpants…no, I don’t have any, none of mine fit…BUT WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO WEAR ON P.E. DAYS?” and on and on and on. Don’t let it weigh you down, though. I keep saving the planet, one crisis at a time.
- Few things set my teeth on edge quite as much as that SLAM! Fueled by frustration, rage, hormones, or tears – it makes no difference, it all leads back to that SLAM! The sound doesn’t just echo through the house, it actually reverberates through my bones.
- I can take a lot of things, but I’m not at my best when Drama Mama goes head to head with Drama Girl. For the most part I’ve learned to step back, take a breath, make some space for myself until we’re both settled. But when Drama Girl falls to pieces with a [dramatic sigh] You hurt my feelings… there’s a part of me that wants to tell her to suck it up. Probably not great parenting skills but possibly excellent preparation for a real world response to whining.
We’ve made it so far, but you know what we really need? An ironclad agreement stating we will not both lose our sh*t simultaneously. Like how BrightSide and I tag each other in when we’re at the end of our rope with a kid, Bear and I need a system. A signal that says I am a girl on the edge. Tread gently.
Doesn’t matter if it’s verbal, visual, or a freaking flare gun, as long as it registers before we set the place on fire.