I remember complaining in my previous columns about my two kids, being at perpetual war with each other, but now I have to admit the times they are a-changing! And how. No, they are not the best of friends but they are getting there. They do fight a lot, but I have realised that the frequency has declined. There are more agreements than disagreements. If you think I am breathing easier now, you are perfectly right. I so am! I am less of a referee than I used to be. It used to be a difficult situation to wriggle out unscathed whenever I was asked to intervene.
Is it that my girl’s become all grown up or has my son finally started being the older and more mature sibling? I think it is the latter. As he nears his tenth year I have noticed a lot many changes in him. They are very subtle of course, but very much there for me — as a mother — to notice.
The very first sign for me was when I attended his first PTM this year and the teacher had not a single complaint about him or his behaviour! For the first time ever, I left a meeting feeling like a super achiever mom. I know I can be a credit snatcher at times. But for this I’d give the credit to his teacher and of course him! Another change I have noticed is the shift from “I-hate- girls” to “they-are-bearable-and-guess-what?-I-can-even-have-a-conversation-with-them”. From running home as soon as he got off the school bus to now staying back for ten minutes, chatting with his friends before coming home, from not caring one bit about his appearance to now looking into a mirror to check himself out before stepping out of home for school or a party. From wearing flip flops wherever he went to now wearing the occasional appropriate footwear. He used to throw a tantrum if asked to dance, but now at social events he does dance, though tentatively. The point is that he does.
Of course not everything about his growing up is as rosy and oh-so-lovely. Yes he still is very stubborn and unreasonable at home about a few things. He is getting difficult, highly opinionated, wants a say in everything. It was a huge challenge to dissuade him from attending a 10-day football camp happening in another city during the Diwali vacations.
So when did he just grow up on me and that too so fast? I still remember his diaper days like it was yesterday and today when I share the memories with him, he finds it embarrassing! I must admit I feel much older that I have a son who is very close to his teenage years but at the same time it also fills me with a sense of pride that till now it has been a fulfilling journey and I am sure it will be in the years to come, that is if I get past in one piece and sane mind during the teenage years!
Well but then there are also some things that I am beginning to believe will never change, like getting him to wake up on time to reach school and getting him to do his homework neatly.
Priyanka Chaturvedi is a media recruitment consultant, full-time mum, part-time social worker, voracious reader and a blogger