by EM RUSCIANO
Well, it’s happening. In the back of my mind I knew it was coming but had successfully blocked it out like the need for superannuation and the impending removal of my wisdom teeth.
I’ve lost my baby, my first born, my loving, helpful, smiley girl. Where has she gone because I bloody want her back. Seriously, I want to speak to the manager about this as what I purchased from the store ‘aint what it I got now.
She’s 11, so hormones have taken her hostage and she now shuts the door when she showers and stomps off over some pretty trivial stuff. There is plenty of info and support for when the baby arrives and even when they fly the nest, but what about when the baby orders you to walk behind her on the way home from school or when she pretends not to know you when you are loudly cheering for her during a cross country race…
She has stopped running everywhere, you know how kids do that? They run everywhere all the time, especially when they spot you after having been apart. My 5 year old still does the Dirty Dancing run and jump at the end of the school day when she sees me.
I’m lucky to get eye contact with Chell when I see her after school. What the hell am I to do? I am grieving for a child lost even though she is still here.
Don’t get me wrong, my eldest daughter is RAD. If I went to school with her I would totally want to be her friend. She is a gun athlete, pianist, student and she’s pretty with a bit of a punk skater thrown in. I watch her at school when I am up there on Prep duties with my youngest daughter (not in a weird, stalkery, overprotective way) and I am way proud of my kid.
It’s just, well… she doesn’t love me best anymore! Plus, this morning we had an incident…
She said IT. She said that sentence to me that I though I’d never hear and it hit me pretty hard. It ranks up there between being told you have a body odour issue and having your heart set on fire… She said, “Muuuuum, you are embarrassing me. Go away”.
We reserve that statement for the mothers who rock up in their PJ’s to drop their kids off or the dad whose arse crack is hanging out. Not the mum who skates to school with her kid wearing vintage ADIDAS high tops with wet look electric blue leggings and leopard print nails! (Me, I’m talking about me.)
Christ it hurt, you see I consider myself the “cool” Mum.
Yes, I realise what a wanker I am even typing that sentence however I keep no secrets here.
We were playing basketball before school started today and things seemed to be going well. The bell went and I tried to give her a hug, she responded by ducking my hug attempt with the skills of an elite Ninja. It obviously didn’t compute so I tried again and again same crouching tiger hidden dragon shit – hug avoided.
Finally I caught her after several attempts and forced my love onto her. She screamed the now infamous “embarrassing” line and we both took a step back and looked at each other. She saw the hurt that had been inflicted and I did what any self respecting mother would do, I grabbed her again and kissed her on the face, she fought hard but I won.
I didn’t really did I?
Her body is “changing”, her moods swinging and a group of long fringed boys now come over asking if she can go skating with them out the front of our house. I remember all that, I clearly remember being 11 and feeling everything at 10 times the intensity that I feel it now.
I now realise I have to completely change my mindset towards her and put the gear into “P” for parenting. Up until now we have been buddies who compromise on a few things, Chell would always do as I asked and we were a team. Not now, now everything I say and do regarding her must be justified and negotiated. It is like living with a small, angry politician.
Still, she is kind to animals, cleans the kitchen and doesn’t swear so it’s not all bad..
We’ll get though it. I know we can. Right guys? Right.
Have you got any advice for Em? Have you gone through a similar stage in your life? Either as a kid or as a parent?