If you read the blog regularly or know me personally, you will know that you pretty much have to be dying to get any sympathy from me! I do not tolerate unnecessary whining, and crying should be an indication of something serious, not a minor ailment. I would often pretend not to see, when my toddler fell over, knowing full well that any eye contact would result in tears, whether there was an injury or not! I think it stems back to being a gymnast myself, and then an elite coach, where, to get to the top, you work through ripped hands (blisters) and little niggles. Only the toughest make it in any elite sport but gymnastics is certainly one of the more demanding for both body and mind. In short, I just don’t do crying!!
Consequently, my children do not dissolve into tears for no apparent reason and generally speaking, they can be calmed relatively quickly and I therefore know instantly if an injury requires more attention. That is, until recently, when hormones have suddenly appeared from nowhere and K has turned into a blubbering wreck!
At first I thought maybe she was coming down with something, then, that maybe there was a problem at school, but there seemed to be no logic or consistency in her tears. She’s always been a bad sleeper, struggling to get to sleep, suffering night terrors and rising early. Now, I can’t get her out of bed and she’s always tired, being tired equals tears and it’s just continuing in a vicious cycle! This morning she cried from waking up until we got to school with the only reason being that she was tired- she literally couldn’t control herself! I hadn’t even considered hormonal changes being the cause of it, she’s 10, not a teen, 10! Although, she has begun to develop, I didn’t think the hormones would have such an instant and dramatic effect and being my first born, I’m completely un-prepared and struggling to cope with it!! “Don’t you remember what it was like?” I hear you cry! Well no, I don’t! I really don’t recall feeling overly emotional to the point that I couldn’t control it and according to my mum, I didn’t go through a ‘Kevin & Perry’ teenage stage either (she had my brother for that!!), maybe I’m an alien…….
Anyway, I am now trying to deal with an hormonal 10 year old, who cannot be reasoned with or easily consoled, has become more clumsy and forgetful than before and cannot sleep but is constantly tired. Ring any bells anyone?!? Far more recently in my life, the hormonal effects I lacked during puberty, were more than made up for during pregnancy! Now that I’ve made the connection and see the similarities, I’m finding it much easier to deal with and make allowances for. Everything seems to have come at once for K, with school stepping up a notch, exams, preparing for the transition to secondary, puberty and her desire to be more independent. It’s so much to deal with at 10 and I feel like I just haven’t prepared her, mainly because I wasn’t prepared myself! They say that children are growing up earlier and starting puberty sooner but I honestly thought that was due to bad diet and being over-weight. As K is small and has always eaten a well balanced diet of non-processed foods, I hadn’t considered things starting so soon. Research also suggests that the onset of puberty is often hereditary, and with my history of starting periods at 13, I assumed the girls would be later too- we shall see!!
I may be an unsympathetic, hard nose cow when it comes to minor illness and injury but hormonal changes are literally thrown upon our babies without warning- how can I be unsympathetic to that? It’s definitely a learning curve for all of us and hopefully, I’ll be more prepared when Lou catches up in a couple of years. J has that time to build his ‘man-cave’ at the end of the garden where he and the Boy can hide, at certain times of the month!!
How have you coped with your emotional, hormonal pre-teen? Any advice or experience that you have with all of this, would be greatly appreciated.
Damn you, hormones!!