When boys become men …..

Every now and then, I catch a glimpses that Connor is no longer a baby.

I think as a mom, it is very difficult to make that mental leap –because not that long ago I was changing nappies and breastfeeding, and carrying him on my hip – for me he is always that soft and cuddly boy with his big blue eyes. 

But the old cliché of “kids grow up” does apply – no matter how hard we fight the inevitable.

Connor is nine years old and I still get amazed at the realisation that he is not a little boy.  He is on his way to being a big boy.  Well almost a young man, and in 3 year and 8 months he will officially be a teenager –  and then I might just plats (actually it is guaranteed!).

Because Connor is the oldest in our house I put pressure on him to be the responsible one.

“Connor, please watch your sister by that step.”

“Connor, please can you go and fetch Isabelle’s bottle in the kitchen.”

“Connor, please don’t fight with your sister, let her play in your room, please.”

“Connor, are you too young to open a bottle of wine yet?”

And at the same time I admonish him when he acts like he is the “class captain” or the “house police.”

He will be the one to order his sisters around, or tell them that they are not supposed to do something.  He has even started threatening them with time out.  Often he will do this in the exact same tone of voice that he used Kennith and I use to speak to the girls.

Then we say “Connor, you do not have to be the parent here, leave that to us, okay!”

Because he is the oldest, and we have a 21 month old, mom and dad are often distracted and Connor sometimes does have to be the parent – when it is convenient to us. 

So we are forcing him to be more responsible and maybe more grown-up than he is ready to be.

I expect him to remember to get his homework book signed.  I expect that he will remember to get all his school clothes together and bring them home at the end of the day.  I expect him to remember to brush his teeth in the morning.  I expect him to remember to tell me the important piece of information from school.  I expect him to be able to find his shoes in the morning.

I expect him to … because I am too distracted attending to two smaller kids, and my life, to stand behind him and do it for him.  So I expect him to.

I expect him to be more grown-up than his nine years warrants. 

At the same time I forget to reward him for being a grown up and being moms-happy-little-helper.  He still eats with the kids and he still goes to bed at the kids bedtime.

We have a new nanny, and she said to me the other day: ”That Connor is a very respectful boy!”

And he is.  Sometimes I forget what a good guy he is.

I do need to cut him a bit of slack and remember that even though when I look at his lanky body, and his “big boy” teeth he is actually a little guy, who needs a hug from his moms (but where none of his friends will see) and a cuddle with his dad.

That being said I often get put on the back foot when he is upset and he cries.  When I look at him I see an adult.  When he has a young boy’s tears running down his cheeks, it often leaves me surprised and a bit caught off guard.

I forget sometimes that he is still a little guy, underneath all that gangliness.

On Sunday we went off to lunch at a friends, and there was a girl of twelve there.  I realize that Connor and “the girl” are not star crossed lovers, they are just two kids who like to play Playstation together. 

But when I look at “the girl” I see a girl on the edge of being a teenager, and because Connor is nearly her size I sort of clump them together in my head.

Then I looked over at the couch, and witness Connor making fart sounds with his hand in his armpit. 

I laughed and figured that maybe he is not quite ready to start dating just yet, and maybe I still have a few years of a gangly boy before I have to deal with a little man.

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15 Comments

  1. A very well said blog :).

    From my side : The unsung songs from the journey of life – The Transformation from Boys to Men.

    http://gravityoflife.blogspot.com/2011/04/59-minutes-of-grace.html

    Reply
  2. Helie

     /  April 7, 2011

    This post is so true. I see me and my son in it. I might as well have written it. Thanks for making us aware. Def going to try and let my son be more child.

    Reply
  3. Scared & Imperfect Mother

     /  April 6, 2011

    I’m alsp guilty of expecting more of my eldest and when she behaves like a age4 grown up I’m not impressed. How much hard do you think it does them?

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 6, 2011

      I am not sure whether it does them any harm – but I think it is important to take congnisense when we view our children with certain predetermined titles as I do – in my case Connor has become “the responsible one” – and that is not always fair on him. He should not feel bad when something goes wrong, as I know he does – that sort of labelling can have an impact on a child – and it is not all positive.

      I think for me right now it is the beginning of an awareness, and maybe that I allow him to be a boy for a bit longer, while I get to be the parent.

      Reply
  4. But I am sure they were very impressive armpit fart noises !

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 5, 2011

      He is particularly proud of himself when he does them …… tell me again why we do not teach girls these tricks?

      Reply
      • I seem to recall my little 9 year old girl mastering armpit noises….but then something flips….around the same time as the appearance of training bras and buds and five pubic hairs….

        and alas….armpit noises are left behind for the next generation of 9 year olds !

        Well done Connor ! 😉

        Reply
  5. Lovely photo!

    Reply
  6. Why is it that we expect our oldest to be little parents? And then they slip so easily into the role. I admit to the same.

    We now let the Princess stay up a bit later on Friday nights and some Saturdays to celebrate her “bigness”

    Reply
  7. joanne

     /  April 5, 2011

    Brave post Mom. I guess recognisting it makes it easier to rectify it

    Lovely picture

    Reply
  8. Sharon

     /  April 5, 2011

    Celeste, he looks just like you! Love the photo!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  April 5, 2011

      Thanks, it was taken in December, so he is already more of a little man, than a boy ……

      Reply
  9. Such a handsome boy you’ve got.

    And I feel exactly the same about Kayla. She’s such a responsible little girl that I sometimes feel sorry for her. But I guess so is the life of the oldest child.

    Reply
  10. Samantha Robinson

     /  April 5, 2011

    I love this post – with my boy heading to 3 i can already imagine myself in your shoes. they grow up so quickly and you forget how important it is to enjoy every moment. thanks for always reminding us.

    Reply

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