My youngest, now 11, has turned into someone I don’t recognize.
He’s acting like a snooty teenager.
I don’t know if he’s behaving this way because of his age, or because he’s watching his brother, who actually is a teen.
He just isn’t my baby anymore.
I can’t hug him, I can’t kiss him, I can’t even look at him really.
If I try to be a loving parent, he says, “Mom, I’m not 3 years old anymore.”
I miss my baby boy and I hope he comes back soon — but I fear he won’t.
He is highly embarrassed by my presence.
“Mom, turn down the radio,” he’ll say when I drop him off at school. I can’t even act like I know him.
He’s either embarrassed or annoyed with me.
If I try to make him laugh, he’ll say, “Mom, that’s so dumb.”
I wish I could banish words like “Really? Wow,” from his vocabulary. It seems to be his response to everything.
If he knew that I was blogging about him, I can only imagine his reaction would not be good.
I’ve heard other parents say “If they like you, you’re not doing your job.”
But my kids have always been my little buddies. My goal is not to make them dislike me.
My oldest, 13, is a bit different. He exhibited some of this behavior when he entered middle school also, but not to the degree of my youngest.
I just have to accept that they are growing up and developing the personalities which they will carry into adulthood most likely.
But I’m not ready for them to grow up.
I used to read a bedtime story to both boys called “Love You Forever,” which is the story of a mom and the relationship with her son. One line in the book says,
“sometimes she wanted to sell him to the zoo,” which is how I feel lately.
But the book goes on to say that when her son was asleep she would pick up that great big boy and sing “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, and as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
I said that one evening to my youngest before bed. To my surprise, he gave me a real hug for the first time in months.
I tried it again the next evening, only to be met with eye rolls.
“Stop it mom,” he said.
I keep telling myself it’s a phase, that he will wake up tomorrow and be the same boy he used to be.
But I know I’m in denial. He’ll probably just move from this phase to another.
And I just have to take the hugs as they come.
Stephanie Ogren is married and has two children. Read her blogs every Tuesday on momaha.com
* * *