I can usually just tell the kind of day Emily had by the way she walks down the ramp from class to my car. If she is bounding , or singing to herself - with her sweatshirt tied around her waist, carrying the 40 lb. backpack, then it was a good day. If, like today, she is almost limping...expressionless, loping along deep in thought - I say to myself "oh crap...what happened today"
Me: "Hi babe, how was your day?"
Her: "Mom, I'm in a tweener crisis."
Me: "Oy. Okay - I'm ready, shoot."
Her: "Do you think you should tell a boy that you 'like-like' him or should you keep your feelings all bottled up inside?'
Me: " The mom answer is that you should not tell him. You should keep your feelings to yourself because you are 9 and too young to 'like-like' a boy. Plus, you don't want Daddy to have to hurt anyone (like he promises to do ) . The other answer is that girls mature faster than boys and if you tell a boy that you 'like-like' him, he will probably think it's gross and either be unphased by the whole conversation or make you feel goofy because he doesn't return the feelings in the way you want. Plus, once you tell him- and on the off chance that he feels the same way...then what are you going to do about it? "
Me: "Who wants ice cream?"
Phew! Close call.
Frozen margaritasIce cream or Double Stuff Oreos are the sure fire Tweener trouble deflectors. I keep ample stock of both in my house and am seriously considering putting a small freezer in the car.
Later that day - I pick Emily up from Hebrew school, and spy her laughing and chatting with friends. She sees me and quickly goes into loping mode.
Her: "Mom, we have to have a chat when we get home."
Me: "Oy. What now?"
Her: " I think I am having mood swings."
Me: " Mood swings, huh? Where did you learn that term?"
Her: " In that book you gave me. I know that I will have hormones and they will cause my emotions to go up and down. You know, when my uterus is sloughing cells."
Me: "Well, if you are really having mood swings, the best thing to do is to try to recognize the triggers and then try to determine those things that make you feel better and gravitate towards those things. That is the real answer. The Mom answer is - - You're playin' me, kiddo. First of all - you don't have a period yet. You don't have hormones or cells that are sloughing...You don't even have boobs yet, or 'feathers'. You can't choose when to have a mood swing. (The child remembers every frickin' thing she ever read or heard and chooses when to apply those things.)
She was fine being 'all that and a bag of chips'...until she saw me.
Maybe I am her trigger.
Me: " You know, babe - they make Double Stuffs with chocolate cream, too!"
The sound of resounding joy eminates from the back seat...I could sense the feeling of conflict resolution overcoming the mood swing.
...that made her "trigger" happy.