Friday, April 3, 2015

The Beginning of the Emotional Puberty Roller Coaster

Lately I have been dealing with something that is both familiar and foreign to me.  Yes, I know that is an oxymoron, but I will explain.  Sonya is ten.  I don't know if any of you are aware of this, but ten is an age where things start to happen.  You know, puberty wise.  The truth is, she has been kind of on and off moody for about a year now, but in the past few months it has started to increase and intensify.  I knew we were in trouble the other day when she came home from school, completely irritated, in a bad mood, and crying in bursts.  When she finally admitted she was upset, after arguing that she wasn't, all she could tell me was, "I don't know!  I don't know why I am acting like this!"  I do, and I remember it well, but damn I'm not ready to mother it yet.

I honestly don't remember what age it started for me, but boy do I remember feeling like she did the other day.  Truth be told I still feel that way sometimes usually around once a month, but it's not as intense and I know better how to handle myself since I'm adult.  Well most of the time anyway.  But I remember being that age and just feeling so distraught and not having a reason to feel that way really.  I did feel like my world was about to end, just because my sister did something to annoy me, or I couldn't find the right shoes to go with my dress, or because in that moment the sky was the wrong color -dammit!  Yeah, completely irrational.  The other day Sonya came home and started stomping around the house for no reason other than to let everyone else know she was upset.  Here was my biggest problem with her.

"Sonya?" I asked very nicely.  "What's going on, hon?"

"Nothing," she said angrily.   Certainly sounds like nothing!  I pressed on.

"Okay, well you seem to be upset about something and are acting like it." I told her.

"No I'm not," she argued.  "I'm acting fine, mom!"

Oh yes, because you yelling at me telling me you are acting fine means you are perfectly fine! See here is where I have the problem.  This drives me insane.  If you are in a bad mood, even if it's for no apparent  reason, just ADMIT it!  Say-"Listen everyone, I'm in a bad mood, I don't know why and I just want to be left alone."  Done!  We leave you alone.  This is what I do during those once a month times.  I just warn them all.

"I'm bitchy today because I feel bitchy and you would be smart to steer clear of me." Love, Mommy.

Then nobody can say I didn't warn them.  Lana gets this.  When she is in a bad mood she will tell us and then put herself in her room to be left alone.  Not Sonya.  She doesn't ever want anyone to think any less of her, so she is not in a bad mood, and if she is she certainly is not admitting it. So unfortunately, because her not admitting it irritates me, things escalated and she eventually ended up crying in her room, while I sat out in the kitchen fuming.

At one point Andy called and he talked to her for a bit.  She was reluctant to talk to him at first, but after she did she seemed calmer.  But no.   I called her for dinner and  we were right back at it.  Me asking her what was going on, her saying there was nothing.  WTF?!  That was when I realized.  It WAS nothing.  I remember feeling that way so many times as a tween to teen to adult.  I was just sad and mad at the world and my mom getting mad and grilling me did nothing but make me more upset and angry.  This was it.  The beginning of the puberty emotional coater.  Yay.

So after dinner, I pulled her aside and told her I got it.  Although she didn't really get it herself.  I explained that she was going to be going through a lot of changes over the next few years (God help us all!) and that these changes were going to make her feel this way from time to time.  She was going to feel upset and angry for what seemed to be no reason.  It was called hormones and we woman have to deal with them our WHOLE lives.  From puberty, to pregnancy, to menopause.  We really don't get a break do we?  Then I reminded her how I sometimes get cranky around my period and she agreed.  She was a little quick to agree I will say, but whatever.

"Do you remember what I say around that time?" I asked.


"Sometimes I say to you guys 'mommy's in a bad mood today guys.  It's nothing anybody did, I'm just having a rough day so please try not to make it worse'.  Do you remember me saying that sometimes?" I said.

"Yes," she agreed.

"Then you guys know what's going on and that you should try to behave a bit better, right?  There is nothing wrong with me telling you guys that and there is nothing wrong with you saying the same thing to us." I told her.  "This way I know how you are feeling and can help you, and also keep your sisters from making you more crazy because I know how that is too, ok?"

"Okay," she said.

"This is going to be happening to you a lot more and we have to find a way to work together through it, right?"

"Yes!" She said.  "Thank you, mommy.  I love you lots," then she gave me a hug and went back to her sunshine self.  The puberty cloud seemed to have lifted for the moment.  

I know this is only the tip of a very gigantic iceburg for me.  Not only do I have her to navigate through puberty, but two more very close behind.  Hopefully we can all make it out on the other side in one piece.  My sisters and I somehow managed to, and I believe my whole family was closer after all the growing up was said and done.  Sorry mom and dad for how shitty we were sometimes.  I know this is gonna suck, but hopefully it will make my family stronger in the end too.  I may just need to start scheduling mom weekends away every other month.  Or at least start buying wine in box form.  Perhaps both.  

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