Oliver, 8, appears to be going through a ‘too cool for school’ phase where he doesn’t want me to kiss or cuddle him…weep!
I’m even prepped by him regularly, on what to say and do so as not to embarrass him. Supposedly asking him if chilli crisps might be too hot for him in the newsagents last week, ‘WAS THE WORST THING EVER’ and, ‘SO EMBARRASSING’ so I need to work on this transitional time of going from a ‘mama hero’ to a complete ‘cringe-y zero’ and
I suddenly-and out of nowhere- feel like I have Harry Enfield’s Kevin The Teenager on my hands, and after years of a sweet, loving little boy (who was never a fan of chilli-flavoured crisps until now) I feel ill-equipped to deal WITH ALL THE CHANGES.
See, I always thought I’d be the COOL MUM, the FUN MUM, the LAID BACK MUM but suddenly I’m the flipping EMBARRASSING MUM and no one warned me this could happen.
Apparently I talk too loudly (which granted, I do) and dancing in the car is another total no-no too (I mean, kids, I don’t do clubbing anymore because of you guys so I need to get my moves on when the lights are red at the very least, no?)….And while my boys do seem proud of me and were beaming at my book signings recently, I still make my eldest cringe a lot and need to put some work in….
Luckily the 5 year old is still besotted with me for the most part and even had to sit on his teacher’s knee at lunch break yesterday, tears in his eyes because he missed his mummy. Bless. That one will be (hopefully) still be living with me when he’s 30 and the Mummy’s Boy years will never cease…
But here’s the thing, while part of me wants both my boys to miss me madly when we’re apart and to always think of me as the best thing since sliced bread, I also want them to grow up to feel confident, independent and dab-hands in the kitchen. Just at my pace not theirs. Selfish, I know.
Parenting is such a headf*ck.
I realise all this is natural too, the formative rejecting of your parents and thinking they’re complete weirdos (I still feel that way at times with my own Dad-soz Papa G but you’re one crazy-eccentric dude and we love you for it) but I suppose the ‘not even tween but feels like teen’ years seemed so far away yet they’re upon us already. Oliver is already answering back, slamming doors and endlessly battling with us, questioning our expectations of him and testing the boundaries.
Yes, I want him to find his voice but to express it without shouting. Is that too much to ask? Maybe it is as emotional maturity takes time and however mature he seems, he still needs his folks to guide him and he needs to listen.
I’ll try and be calm and patient with him as he grows.
Meanwhile, I would LOVE more kisses and cuddles because I miss them but I won’t press him (I do get to kiss his honey-scented cheeks while he sleeps at least) and thankfully, he often jumps into my bed before his own bedtime and we snuggle up watching old episodes of Bake Off or Friends on my laptop and it’s then he’ll wrap his arms around me or confides in me any worries he might have so I can solve them. He undoubtedly knows, however much I embarrass him, I’ll always there for him and that’s what matters.
AND I WILL NEVER ASK IF CHILLI CRISPS ARE TOO HOT FOR HIM AGAIN as I embark on this never-ending journey of what is and is not cringe-y according to Oliver.
If you’ve got any tips peeps, please do pass them along. This mama needs all the help she can muster.