Sunday, September 03, 2017

Where have the Mogwais gone?

I didn't believe it when other parents told me that ten was the magic number. That it heralded a new stage of parenting. Where a switch gets flipped and cute, obedient young 'uns turn into surly, smart mouth, sassing tweens. It's like in the Gremlins. The Mogwais are cute and adorable and you want them as pets. But heed the warning.

Do not expose the Mogwai to bright lights or sunlight which will kill it, do not let it get wet, and never feed it after midnight. Feeding them after midnight makes the Mogwai turn into a Gremlin. Getting them wet causes them to multiply.

A tween is what you get when you feed the Mogwai after midnight. I think that happened the day the twins turned 10. We must have accidentally fed them at midnight.

Because my formerly sweet-natured twins turned Gremlin-like.

1. Language:
Where did they learn to be rhetorical?
When asked a question, the choice answers are "Obviously", "What do you think?", "Good luck with that."

Fighting words
"You're always cheating!" "I hate him/ her!", "I wish I were dead!"

2. Physical Aggression:
Shoving, hitting, spitting, anything at their disposal. When warned that the sibling might one day hit back, they ignore me. I'm told that they need to feel the physical pain of the sibling turning on them and socking them back as hard as they gave it.

3. The eyes.
Oh the eyes. The eye- rolling. The eye rolling that communicate "Are you kidding me?" "How stupid are you?" "How stupid is that?" "Who died and made you God?" all in a split second of ophthalmic calisthenics. I know it is necessary for tweens to be able to do that and I know JED  have it encoded in them to roll their eyes since I do it so effectively but it's still riling and it's too easy to say "Don't roll your eyes at me, young lady/man" But I run the risk of sounding like my dad.

4. The moods
The moods are getting dark and twisty and thunderous for now apparent reason. It could be all bright and shiny and all of a sudden, thunder clouds gather and we're all at the risk of being stuck and fried by lightning. Mercurial is a nice word to describe the climate in the house. Not quite global warming yet but definitely, climate change big time.

I know it'll get worse when the hormones catch up with the motor-mouths and the poor hapless 7 year old bears the brunt of it. Us adults, we understand treading on egg shells but it's a minefield for Muffin and he's getting a crash course on how one thing that works today won't work tomorrow.

He retaliates the only way he knows how. He matches their tempers and angers with tears but his physical size and 7 year old vocabulary puts him at a disadvantage.

We can only ride it out, shower them with affection when their moods are right, attempt to express understanding and empathy even when they are being difficult and explain why their behaviour isn't what we expect of them.

On days, there is still the sweetness and consideration they showed to each other as siblings.

On other days, the tween-ness is reflected in hilarious ways with illustrations that give us an insight about how they are processing information. Even the illustrations are filled with eye rolls.

On other days, I want to dig a hole in the ground and hide from the strafing and indulge in looking at cute baby pictures of them.

 But no such luck. It's about wearing the kevlar and hitting right out into the minefield and hope for the best.


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