Living With A 12 Year Old Boy
Today I'm going to share our experience of living with a 12 year old boy...
I vividly remember being pregnant with T and to be honest it seems crazy that he's already 12 years old. The years have flown by so fast and I really don't feel ready for this hormonal stage of his life. I guess I'll always think of him as my baby boy so it's difficult to witness the changes that puberty brings.
The main differences I've noticed are:
Hairs - these are sprouting up all over the place, under his armpits, on his top lip, a couple on his chest and, from what T has told me, he has them in more private areas too. As a mum this is a strange thing to think of because in my mind hairy bits are for men, not my baby!
Body odour - speaking of hairy armpits, they really need some attention now so a good antiperspirant is probably one of the most important pieces of kit for boys of this age. I've dotted them about all over the house so he always has access to a fresher fragrance.
Greasy skin - this is a tricky one because of T's psoriasis. He has to moisturise regularly and that combined with his hormonal grease (sounds delightful doesn't it) means he has to make sure he washes properly. He has already had a few blackheads and one huge whitehead which wasn't his favourite moment, so this is something he has to keep on top of.
If anyone can recommend any good face washes for boys with sensitive skin, we'd greatly appreciate it!
Growing - he has grown so quickly this year and is now almost the same height as me. It's such an odd feeling walking along next to your child when they are almost as tall as you are. I know he's bound to outgrow me completely at some point and one day I'll be looking up at him but it's still difficult to accept.
His feet have also grown rapidly this year and he's now the same shoe size as me. I'm going to look at the positive on this one because he has some really nice trainers which I can now borrow!
Expensive taste - I mentioned his really nice trainers and the reason they're so nice? Because they are 'named' trainers, in fact most of his clothes have to be designer or 'named'. I get it, I really do, because as a teenager I was exactly the same but certainly not at 12 years old - these things seem to happen earlier nowadays. Our bank balance does not appreciate his taste in merchandise.
Know-it-all - I think this part is the most difficult to accept and to be honest it's been going on for a couple of years now. He is always right and us parents know nothing, he is so opinionated and even when we prove him wrong he still won't admit it. Maybe it's just a male thing...
Temper - there are times when he has to be told off, all children need to be told off if they do something wrong, but this 12 year old simply can't handle it. He stomps all the way upstairs, slams doors and has even been known to throw things. Quite a pointless thing to do really because that kind of behaviour inevitably leads to him being told off again! This is a side of him that I could certainly live without.
Conversing - talking to a 12 year old can be incredibly difficult, unless it's about Playstation or, in T's case, Warhammer. More often than not we'll be rewarded with a grunt or words that make no sense to us oldies like 'swag'. I like to tease T just to get a smile out of him, so recently I used the word 'swag' in a sentence and I got what I wanted because he laughed and said "No mum, please don't ever say that again". Job done.
I often feel like I'm always nagging him and it makes me sad because I thought I'd have a couple more years before that happened. I repeat things to him over and over again and it still doesn't seem to absorb into his brain - maybe if I attached a games console to my face I'd get a better result.
Too grown up - we've found days out are more difficult with him at this age because he doesn't always enjoy the same things as his younger sisters. He wants to do more grown up things now so trying to find something they all want to do is far more tricky than it used to be.
Sneaky - I'll send him upstairs to get dressed, ready for school, and half an hour later I'll find him up there playing games on his iPhone - even though he knows he's supposed to leave it downstairs!
This sounds like an awfully long list of complaints about our lovely boy (he is lovely really) so I think I'll share a few good things to balance it out:
Intelligent - somehow we've managed to create a very bright boy, he's always achieved fantastic results at school and is in top group for everything (definitely not like me, I was always in lower groups). So far his hormones haven't affected his school work and that's something I'm thankful for.
Funny - T loves to make people laugh and he really does have a wicked sense of humour. As he's getting older I'm finding that we can share jokes that he wouldn't have understood a year or so ago.
Caring - he is very caring at heart, so when he's not trying to be 'super cool T' he loves helping out with the younger two and he's always the first one to give you a hug if you're upset or hurt!
Our son is becoming a man right in front of our eyes and while it might be scary and sometimes frustrating, it's also exciting to see him blossom and begin to find out who he really wants to be.
He is maturing in all sorts of ways and it's a difficult journey for all of us but we're surviving and making our way through, tackling each obstacle as best we can as a family - together.
Have you been through this stage with your son? Are you going through it now? Or are you looking ahead at what's to come? I'd love to hear from you.