There have been some changes in my son recently. Not bad changes, but.......changes. Of course, I don't know if these changes are typical for boys around the age of 8 as I have never been around 8 year old boys to know. But the small things are changing.
I found out the other day, from a conversation with a friend and also a parent of a 9 year old boy, that I am not alone in noticing the changes happening in our boys. She asked me, "Do you think our boys could be starting the first steps of puberty?" Our baby boys? Our little guys? The little chubba chubba that needed me to lay with him at night to fall asleep? My little one who's favorite thing was to cuddle with his mama?! No! Puberty is too far away still. I have at least another 4-6 years before he becomes a lanky, awkward, acne induced, walking hormone. Right? I have that much time before I am the uncoolest, most embarassing mom ever. Right?
After thinking about this for a couple weeks, and piecing together the changes in his wants (ie privacy), conversations, looks, and behavior, I realize that he is in the weird phase. He isn't a little kid anymore but but he isn't really a big kid either. Most of the time he is a big kid, but he still enjoy a lot of little kid things-like cuddling with his mom. But he is starting to get into some big kid habits-like needing to fix his hair.....every morning.
The hair thing is just one of the most recent things.
RP and Girls
Once upon a time, if you mentioned RP having a girlfriend or liking a girl, he would get upset. Like mad-at-you-don't-talk-about-that-I-would-never-have-a-girlfriend kind of mad. He would scowl and refuse to talk about it. So the other day on the way home, he cooley tells me how he has a girlfriend. It the same girl that liked him in first grade and the same little vixen who "tripped and fell into him" (I'm on to your game little girl) and hugged him for catching her. And he is okay with telling me all this. So we, as mother and son, have crossed the forbidden bridge and we are now allowed to talk about him a girls. Although, he did swear me to secrecy. So as if this wasn't enough "girl" change, he drops the bomb a few days later, that he now has two girlfriends! Whoa playa! Slow it down! And he made this announcement in front of B! We looked each other and in unison, said, "Let's narrow it down to one girlfriend. It's not the nicest thing to have two girlfriends at the same time." (Side note: I told my mom this story last night and she says that it is totally okay to be "dating" more than one person at the same time and two girlfriends at the age of 8 is completely acceptable. I think we see where his playa nature comes from...Grandma). But he was okay with narrowing it down to just one. A few days later, at dinner, he told B and I that he had broken up with one of girl stating, "I don't like you as much any more but you can still like me. And we can still be friends." Classy, huh?
RP and Hair Gel
I don't even know what to say about this one. He is very concerned about his hair every morning. He has about 15 cowlicks and is a pro at bedhead, so I get that he is concerned with how the back always sticks up, but really, he is 8, why does he care? I don't remember caring about my hair at 8 and as a girl, I was socialized to care about it way more than he is. But there it is. Sticking up and in need of gel. We wet it down and gel it up but it has to be just the right type of flat in the back and just the right amount of sticking up in the front. Juuuuuuust right. He looked at me one day, after accomplishing getting his hair just right all on his own, and says, "I don't have to take a shower every day because I can brush my hair down tomorrow with the same gel in it. I get two hair styles from one day of gel." Way to be conservative with the hair gel kid. But really, if there isn't time for a shower or fixing the hair, a little kid fit can be expected.....and complaining of his hair hurting, (which is actually painful).
RP's Worldly Wisdom
So he has always had these gems of wisdom that surface every now and then. While they aren't necessarily more frequent, the scope has changed. For example, his wisdom usually is from an RP centered perspective. The other day I forgot my parking pass in the kitchen so I had to park in the building. I pay monthly for the pass that I have but its roughly 3 bucks a day and the building is $9 for the day. At dinner I was saying how I paid $12 to go to work that day, in my usual sarcastic tone. RP scoffs a little and says, "I hope you are being dramatic about this." I asked if he meant sarcastic, he said yes and I assured him I was to which he states, "Good, because you have a good job. You shouldn't complain about having a good job because there are a lot of people that don't have good jobs." When your child calls you out of stuff like that it is like WHAM! Touché my son, touché.
RP and Privacy
This is the big one. Since it has just been RP and I most of his life, we have always had an "open door" policy unless there is poop. Then out of ole factory courtesy, we close the door. Helping with showers, towel off, RP peeing while I get ready in the morning (the woes of one bathroom), have all been the norm......that is until about a month ago or so. He told me to stay out of his room while he was getting dressed after a shower. I thought he was done and walked in and man oh man! Got my head bit off! "Mom, I don't want you to see my penis!" Goodness gracious kid! I have seen it more than you! Then about a week later, I knocked on the bathroom door just wanting to reach into grab something, and again...."Mom! I am naked! I don't want you to see me naked!" Sweetie, you know you were born naked....right? "Yes Mom, but I am not a baby anymore and now it's just weird." Moments in motherhood when the reality that they grow away from you smacks you in the face. And now, this week, he won't pee if I am in there and assure him that I won't look at him. Door closed only. This last one may sound weird to some of you reading, but I am pretty confident that other parents or aunts and uncles, who maybe exceptionally close to their nieces and nephews, can understand that this is an extreme. Since he was mobile, there was no privacy. I didn't get privacy and he didn't have need for it. And now that I am used to the lack of privacy there has been an overnight switch to "closed doors."
So there it is! He may not be entering puberty quite yet (which I have been slowly preparing him for and his reactions are classic), but he is changing and transitioning to being a big kid more of the time. I am happy that he isn't in too big of a rush though. Hearing him play with his Legos or when he (rarely) plays with his cars, are sounds that I will miss.