Sunday, July 06, 2008

They grow up WAY too fast

Tonight I had 'the talk' with Ryan. I thought it was about time as I'd read somewhere that puberty starts at around age 10 for boys. I was surprised how little he already knew (nothing, actually) about puberty and sex. He said no-one at school talks about it. I guess his friends are all around his age or younger, so perhaps it's just not something that interests them yet. I think I did okay. He listened with interest, with just a little chuckle when I explained the actual mechanics of how a baby is made (and I agree, it's a pretty funny concept!). I also had a book for him called Puberty Boy (which I bought NEW for the daylight robbery price of $29.95) which looks pretty comprehensive. I told him he might find it interesting now, or it might be something he doesn't want to read or think about for a while yet. He was kind of interested but mostly non-committal. That's okay, I've done my motherly duty now. :)
And as we lay in his bed, me watching him absorb the new and interesting information I'd just given him, I cried. My baby is nearly 10. That little boy who would bravely fight sleep at all cost, loved his Cookie Monster toy, wanted to be a paleontologist at age 3, and is still full of the innocence and joy of childhood, is heading always closer to becoming a man. It's cliched and we say it all the time, but where oh where have those TEN years gone?!

I also see the passing of time in Bethany. As well as 'seven being the hardest age' as I've been told, she is having friendship issues at school. It's very hard to see your sweet innocent little girl having to make choices and begin to understand some of the less pleasant aspects of human nature at seven. She has one friend, who some of her other friends are fond of calling 'fatty pants' and teasing in other ways, and she really doesn't know how to handle it. She doesn't want to speak up against her 'cool friends' but she also likes the 'daggy friend'. She is a great pacifier, one who likes to keep the waters smooth and have everyone like her. She doesn't understand why the others would want to be mean, but is really worried if she says something they will be mean to her as well. On a slightly different level, her two closest friends also take turns being friends with her or being mean to her (although to be fair, I suspect she participates in this as well). There's also another girl who is particularly disruptive to the friendship groups, largely due to jealousy I suspect - but how do you explain these concepts to someone who is seven?

And the thing to look forward to? TWO MORE girls who will have to deal with these problems in the years to come. Anyone want to borrow them for about the next 10 or 12 years?


Gabrielle said...

that made me cry too! parenting is so rewarding. I know you will have some interesting times. All the advice I can give you is that one day you will be sitting back as a nana and hearing the same things still going on with their kids. You are doing extremely well as a mum and a dad. just fly by the seat of your is always instinct that wins out. We are always here if you need to come back home in the next few years and leave them to it...only joking

Michael Field said...

You know I think those kids are amazing. You're obviously doing it right. I do feel slightly afraid for them though when they *DO* start asking "those" questions and you give them answers that you gave me last night :P

Nicole S said...

Crying here, too. He is such a lovely kid (even with all the footy card talk!!)
I am certain he will grow in to a lovely man, too.

And girls??? Aaaaagh!!