Henceforth, The Brat will be referred to as NowOfficiallyATween. Excuse me while I go sob in the bathroom and deal with the horrific realisation that the dreaded teens are almost upon me and that not only must I now deal with my own mood swings, I must also deal with The Brat's hormone-induced moods. The mater, of course, is far from clucking sympathetically and telling me wisely that this too shall pass, but is, instead, chortling in an evil manner, dredging the bottom of her memory barrel for every little incident of how I greyed her hair in the years between my 13 and 19. And, as is obvious, she would insist I have not stopped since, but I beg to differ. I have since switched to greying the spouse up and given him a magnificent salt and pepper thatch that makes him look most distinguished.
I digress. The Brat is NowOfficiallyATween. What does this import for hapless moms like me? I got a little taste of it the other day. The boy was in an argument with his friends over some issues, and in the course of the argument, sins of the seven generations previous and seven generations to come were discussed at length. After some heated discussion, which ended unpleasantly, the decision was made that the 'best friendship' was currently on ice, and posters soliciting applications for new best friends would be put up in the neighbourhood and prospective candidates would be interviewed over the course of the next few days. As a newbie tween mom, I was unsure if this was the right course of action. After all, I told the child, heated words last only for a day and best friends are forever, etc., go make amends and you don't lose face by saying sorry, etc.; and all the good precepts that go into long-term friendship building that I learnt at the mater's knee and never followed myself. He stopped me short with a gaze that a bullet fired from a gun could take a correspondence course from. "He was my friend. I decide whether I want to be friends with him again or not. Mamma, please don't interfere." At that point, I could just see a dim, dank future where we were reduced to interacting via email and SMS even though we live in the same house.
I have also, in the past month, dealt with the following signs which are a sure indication that the child is truly, irretrievably, hurtling towards the teenage years.
- Had a conversation with him wherein every reply coming from him was an ambiguous grunt.
- Deftly fielded off insistent tantrum-my demands for, in this particular order: an iPod, an iPhone, a MacAir, a Facebook account and increased pocket money so he can acquire all these himself without being at the mercy of the whims and fancies of his Cruella De Ville-incarnate mom.
- Called out his name around ten times before getting a grunt from him in response when he's seated in another room. No, the hearing is not an issue.
- Been asked for tickets to Sunburn.
- Been looked at like I was cow manure scraped off the shoe when I acknowledged that I had no clue who Avicii (if that is the way the person spells his/her name) is.
- Have turned down a request for a 'cool' tattoo on the lines of the one Randy Orton sports.
- Have dissuaded him from gymming right now because there's still time for him to build the pectorals and get the six pack abs all his heroes sport.
- Maintained my dignity and self-esteem in the face of eye rolling, which indicates my cool level is what died out when I started wearing foundation garments that clearly mentioned support in their list of attributes.
- Have sat straight-faced through a discussion of boyfriend/girlfriend combinations in the park, at an age when the innocent me thought they would be playing cops and robbers.
The NowOfficiallyATween is also slowly getting back into the groove as far as appearance is concerned. He has now been known to spend the better part of the hour in front of the mirror applying enough hair gel to spike his hair to bullet-deflecting levels. He flexes his biceps, gained through diligent swimming workouts, with the sole aim of impressing onlookers of the XX chromosome combination. I have also opened my mouth to dispense information and realised I am better off Googling before I do so, in case I get hyuck-hyucked at for being the bearer of outdated knowledge.
I'm going to read up wiser parents on how they deal with tweens, without losing their sanity or their hair, and while I'm at it, soothing carbohydrate-laden edibles would be welcome. After all, I'm hitting that other horrific hormonal phase myself, namely that of the PreMenopausal Harridan. I wonder if the NowOfficiallyATween is ready to deal with a PreMenopausalMom. I feel for him.