Losing My Oldest Baby Girl to Adolescence
I swear, just like the terrible two’s arrive before the age of two (and last well beyond) I am convinced puberty gets an early start and lingers like bad gas. One day I am painting my oldest baby girls fingernails and putting on just a touch of my lipstick for special occasions. The next day she thinks my choice of nail polish is out of date and she wouldn't be seen dead in my choice of lipstick color. Instead of running to greet me when I pick her up from school, I get the cold shoulder some days. She jumps in the car when I pick her up and pleads the fifth when I ask her a simple question: ‘How was school today?’ I used to be able to do things right. We used to agree. She would ask me without hesitation, “what do you think mommy?’ Now she rushes to take my iPhone out of my hand, with a look of ‘old school’ irritation on her face, if in one second I can’t seem to make it to the right screen. I've seen tantrums before when she was little, but since puberty it’s the rolling of the eye, sucking of the teeth and stomping of the feet that sometimes make me wonder if the days of the sweet relationship between me and my oldest daughter were a mirage. These moments have shown up loud and clear when I say things like: ‘No, you can’t have a cell phone. ‘ ‘No, we don’t know those people so you can’t just hang out at their house.’ ‘No, that shirt/pair of pants/lip gloss is too old for you. Take it off!’ I had the same problem with my own mama when I was a teenager (or should I say she had the same problem with me). I thought she knew nothing and I of course had figured it all out and knew everything. It took me having an entire child before I finally figured out how absolutely wrong I was – about everything. This leaves me to ask, is that what it will take before the relationship with my sweet oldest baby girl is back? God I hope not. On days when I am thinking clear, and not feeling blindsided by the fact that children do not stay little, I realize that just as she is changing so must my relationship with her. I am not there yet. I am stuck wishing we were still in the days of her wearing Mary Jane shoes, cornrows and cute colorful ball barrettes in her hair. I am determined to be more prepared when my youngest baby girl reaches puberty. I find myself just looking at her little sister for signs of too much attitude or opinion. She’s just five years old, and it’s hard to believe but I know the day is coming when she will turn on me too.