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The Baby Is Growing Up

Montco Mommy's youngest soon won't be so young.

Tonight is the last night my baby girl will be 4. By tomorrow, technically at 4:44 p.m., she will turn 5.

As a mother, I struggle with her getting older. Some days, I can’t wait to, say have a beer with my daughter. Other days, I miss how her tiny baby hands would curl around my finger.

I can’t decide if I want her to stay tiny forever or get older. One major fear I often think over is her teenage years. If there is any truth to “bad karma,” I’m probably due for some rough years in there somewhere.

As hormones start to influence her decisions, tone of voice and attitude toward her mother, we could have some issues. We are a lot alike, to be honest. I know when we butt heads it is because I’ve produced a daughter that is as stubborn, independent and bossy as her mother. I’m mostly proud of that. I’m less proud when she turns that all on me.

I fear those teen years. I’m not sure how we’ll fare. I have three sisters, and amongst the four of us, I’d say there were completely different experiences for my mom with each and every one.

Teen years, for all four of us, included door slamming, screaming, sneaking out, getting arrested, moving out, the “I’m-not-talking-to-you” phases … it goes on and on. With four girls, my mom has some real horror stories, and nope, I’m not going to tell you which girl did which of those terrible things. I’d mostly blame hormones.

So, what will my daughter’s teen years look like? Let’s just say karma might be holding some real scary years ahead for me.

For now, we argue about her not eating. She is super picky. She likes to pick out her own clothes. She’s a lot more “girly” than her mom. For now, these are pretty minor fights.

We argue about her whining. I make her repeat things in a calm tone before she’s allowed to get anything she’s asking for, even if she says “please” in there.

These are all little things. I’m not sure what I’ll do when we are arguing about her drinking at a party or breaking her curfew. What happens when she sneaks out the first time (can we get alarms installed on windows?) or doesn’t call me from college?

I know I should live in the moment, right? I shouldn’t fret about something a good decade away, but I do. It’s my nature.

For now, I’ll snap my usual “last night of being 4” photo after she falls asleep. She doesn’t know I do that. Maybe someday, I’ll show them all to her.

There’s a funny Facebook post out there. It shows how girls often feel about their mothers at different stages of life.

It states that around age 6, girls say “Mommy, I love you.” By 16, it is “Mom is annoying.” By 18, “I want to leave this house” is the sentiment. By 25, you know “Mom was right.,” while by 30 she’ll say “I want to see my Mom.” By, 50 you think “I don’t want to lose my Mom.” By 70, you know “I’d give anything to be with my Mom.”

So, maybe I’ll have some rough teen years. I just will have to hope I raised my baby girl to be strong enough to know by age 25 or so why I did what I did.

For now, I’ll watch my little angel fall asleep for her last night of being 4. I hope, with every picture I take, with every year that goes by, I hold on to that sight forever. I always want to remember her, just the way she is: Perfect.

andthatsthetruth February 06, 2013 at 09:56 PM
I hope you had a nice party day! Sorry this is belated. My youngest is 13 and he was such a sweetie growing up to the teen years. Minor crying spells, if any. No tantrums. Never argued the word NO, ( until lately). Has always looked after the special ed kids at school and became their friend. The neighborhood playground you could find mothers just waiting for my son to come to play with their children. Meeting me the Mom & telling me how wonderful? my son is. How are you handling parenting in the teen years? you ask? Having a boy it's a little different, they wear what they want to wear no matter how grungy, until they discover girls. They need to do some household chores - very hard to convince. If anything at all, they need to know necessities in life. Education and school work is very important - they can't make a final decision on colleges or not because they are still in the playing stage but everything needs to be voiced for the preparation. Then they get taller & you hugging them is less frequent. They have a tendency to rest their hand on top of your shoulder or look down at you and then say, boy you are short! You have to pick your battles carefully & find other ways to get your point across without battling or everyday will be rough. It's OK if you share some teenager stories so they can relate. This is what makes the world go round it's called " FAMILY". You've got yrs to go to worry about it. RELAX!

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