Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bigger kids = bigger problems

As it turns out, once you beat those sleepless nights, terrible twos, and fucking threes, you'll realize that the hardships of raising babies and toddlers are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.  Our oldest daughter entered grade six this past fall, and in our particular school zone, that meant a transition from elementary school to middle school (dun, dun, dun!). I was dreading this change to the point that we spent last summer looking at houses in another school zone, I was desperate to stop my first baby from growing up.  Of course, Maddy was less than impressed with her hysterical mother, practicing her pre-teen eyeroll whenever she caught me looking at her.

Just like when she moved from the safe confines of the kindergarten playground to the grade one schoolyard, we have seen lots of change in our little girl over the past few months.  She remains the same type A, smart-as-a-whip schoolgirl she has always been, but her unabated desire to grow up (like, yesterday!) is frightening.  She is desperate to wear makeup (yeah, no!), she gravitates towards clothing favored by teenagers (yeah, no!), and the time she used to spend playing on the street with her friends last year is spent indoors, 'skyping' with her friends.  Remember how we used to talk on the phone with one person at a time?  That was so 1990! Kids today like to 'lol' with 10+ other kids at a time, 'kwim'?  We have also hit the milestone where Maddy would prefer to spend time with her friends rather than (gasp!) socialize with her family.  I knew it would  happen eventually, I just didn't expect it to happen so soon!  

A few weeks ago, Maddy casually mentioned that one of the 'grade eights' at her school was caught with 'weed' in his locker.  I wanted to throw up.  Suddenly, the lack of sleep we faced as new parents over a decade ago looks appealing.  As a result of my deep-seated neurosis about the perils that lie ahead, I habitually seize upon any and every opportunity to talk to Maddy about situations she may face at some point (and if you are stay on top of current events, you know there's plenty to talk about!).  We've talked about bullyingsexting, the dangers of recreational drugs, and dating abuse, to name a few.  Obviously, I don't expect these issues to come up in the near future, however, I don't want to bury my head in the sand and assume they never will.  I'm hoping that by opening the lines of communication now, if certain situations present themselves down the road, our kids will feel comfortable talking to us about them.

Perhaps compounding my neurosis is the realization that the choices I make as a parent can have profound outcomes on how well our children turn out -- I sincerely hope I don't screw it up, there are no do overs in life.  As it stands now, our kids seem to be happy, well-adjusted little people.   I hope that one day they will grow into happy, well-adjusted big people.  Time will tell, I guess.  

1 comment:

  1. A friend once told me that there comes a point around that age where you need to just cross your fingers and hope you did a good job raising them, since they will do whatever they want, whether you like it or not, for a few years. Glad my kids are still young!