Right now my Facebook update reads ‘My daughter turned six yesterday, and started acting sixteen!’ And believe it or not, it is hardly an exaggeration of the kind that FB sometimes warrants.
After a few mundane years of relative bonhomie between me and the Kidlet (Am I even allowed to call her that?) there is a new crackle (more like dynamite) in our relationship. Every question thrown at her is challenged, every command is questioned – in short, every single mundane task in the course of everyday living has been turned into a tug-o-war. Since when did my sweet little princess turn into a warrior queen?
I am back to googling ‘How to deal with six-year-old tantrums’ ordering books on impending sibling jealousies, observing other six-year olds with renewed vigour, reading my daily horoscope with increased trepidation – just falling short of getting my DNA mapping done!
Some people have indeed mentioned that it does happen – this thing called ‘growing up’. And what a thing it is – discovering that my child has not only got her own personality but is prone to mood swings and horror of horrors is wont to have – and express – an opinion of her own. Goodness, this is surely going to take some getting used to!
For more than half a decade I could answer a “Why?” with “Because I said so” (or something like that). Never have I been challenged before with “Who said that you could say so?” or some such variation. I would have wagered that my status as ultimate authority would’ve lasted longer – but pitiably like all illusions this one too has come to a shattering end!
On the flip side (and there is a positive one to this) I enjoy the fact that my daughter now is grown up enough to think, reason and express herself with clarity and confidence. Given the fact that I struggled in the early years with a ‘late’ talker this is a bittersweet feeling for me! This does not mean that I am letting this pint-sized argumentative Indian have the last word each and every time.
It can be exhausting, irritating and honestly speaking I am tempted to snap (scream everyone else shut, in layman’s terms) very often during the course of the day. It has taken up all my reserves of deep breathing and little training in Psychology to avoid doing so thus far. How long I will last remains to be seen though. Recently I read a blog about a threenager (a three-year old acting up if you please!) and I sighed with disbelief. The time has come to re-look the growing up years and reinvent some strategies. Or am I just over-reacting and it is just one of those ‘this too shall pass’ phases?
Who is to predict? Keep watching this space!
Nidhi Dorairaj Bruce is a Freelance writer from Mumbai who also manages a parenting website : thechildrensdaily.net . With no formal education in Parenting, she has been getting on-the-job training ever since her daughter, affectionately referred to as ‘the kidlet’, arrived on the scene 5 years ago. You can connect with Nidhi @typewritermom , nidhibruce.com