Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Toes Hurt

I have to keep reminding myself that Ashley will soon be a teenager. It should be easy for me to remember since she has been displaying typical teenager behavior for about the last year and a half. Officially though, she won’t turn 13 until next March.

Even though she is approaching my height and can no longer fit into children’s sizes of clothes, I find myself still thinking of her as my baby. I want to be able to explain her actions and her behaviors the same way I did when she was an unruly toddler or a mischievous elementary school child. I keep thinking the same techniques I used to parent her at those times should still work now – but they don’t.

She has always been strong-willed, but now that strong will can become a tad annoying at times. She is now in charge of when she doles out hugs and kisses, and if the time is not right, she will push me away. She has very definite opinions on what she wants to wear, and she will stomp her foot and walk away if I try to push something that I want her to wear. She has no qualms about punching one of her brothers if they invade her space or don’t acquiesce to her demands quickly enough. She knows exactly what she wants to eat and the feeding therapy techniques from her younger days are useless now. Like my other teenagers, she can bring out the worst in me as a parent, but at the same time, she can also bring out the best.

She keeps me on my toes. She challenges me and teaches me. She refuses to let me think I’ve got all the answers because, as we all know, teenagers really have all the answers. She is a handful during the day but an armful at night when I tuck her into bed and she finally agrees to snuggle like she did as a toddler. She is beautiful and special and I am very proud to be the mother of this cantankerous, rebellious, and moody teenager!

No comments: