Then, the teen years hit. This child rarely makes eye contact, staring at her phone all day long. She asks for this, and expects that. When she gets an item at the store or a package in the mail, she opens it, takes the contents to her room, and leaves the packaging for someone else to deal with. She's knows all of her little sister's buttons, and her button-pushing finger has an itchy trigger.
It used to be that the earth revolved around the sun, but in the past two years, it all revolves around her... and I don't like it. Not one bit.
When I complain to my friends about this change in her, they assure me it's not as bad as it seems. And, they remind me how wonderful she is: polite (to them), taking honors classes, cares about her grades, is on the cheer team, raises money for cancer research, has wonderful friends, isn't dating yet, doesn't sneak out, swear, smoke or drink.
So, why am I having so much trouble with this? It's because I know who she once was and I miss that very nice, caring young lady. Yet, the truth is that this is what happens during the teen years. The world really does revolve around them (at least in their minds).
It's tough for us parents to have to live with this, but it's not a cake walk for them either. I remember being a teen, and probably being far worse than my girl. One moment I'd be on Cloud Nine because a girl smiled at me. The next I'd never be able to show my face anywhere to anyone ever again, because of a nose pimple.
It's like they are making a transformation in a cocoon open for the world to see. the hormone cocktail Mother Nature throws at our teens makes them moody, self-centered, and unstable.
So, how do we make our way through this time? Remember that the child that entered this cocoon will be there on the other side when all is said and done. I know my daughter is really caring and loving and polite, and it's just this Mother Nature-Cocoon-Cocktail thing that is making her a little insane.
Is this an excuse to accept the behavior? Heck no! But it is the reason. So, I will wait it out and in a few years my butterfly will emerge, and I will smile again.
And, I long for the day when she has a teen of her own and calls me to complain about her selfishness, because then I am going to laugh my butt off!