My 12 year old son wants to look like the other boys in his school. Understandable, especially at that impressionable age. He has been letting his hair grow long for a while now. My other two boys march off to the barber every month to get their usual short haircut. Hubby likes a very short haircut for himself. Of course, these guys think they are funny when they call my oldest "the hippy of the family". Although his hair can look unruly at times, I think that he looks like the typical kid his age in my neighborhood.
Ten minutes before his bus this morning, my shaggy boy came out of the bathroom with a true "don't bother me" look on his face. I could tell that something was bugging him. Instead of muting the questioning mom in me, I decided to ask the leading question, "What's the matter today?" With a sigh, he gave me the standard kid answer, "Nothing". Since the clock was ticking, I let the conversation drop, so I could finish getting lunches and backpacks ready for the day. Well, it turned out that my oldest wanted the conversation to continue because he followed me into the kitchen.
"I hate how my hair is curling up over here in the back." So naturally, I asked, "Do you want to go to the barber and have him fix it for you?" What a look I got from him! "Mom, you know that he is going to cut it too short and I'll look stupid." My response: "Well, we can tell the barber exactly how you would like it cut. He has been cutting boys' hair for years. I'm sure that he won't screw it up." Here's this pre-teen's response: "Mom, don't be ridiculous. He doesn't know how to do it right." So I come back with, "Then leave it as it is. Don't worry about it." He replied, "Mom, you are no help." Well, with a roll of the eyes, my son grabbed his backpack and went off to the school bus.
When my son's 12th birthday arrived, I knew that moodiness would soon follow. I guess I'm on the teen emotional roller coaster for a while now. During those screaming toddler days, my mom told me to hang in there until the "age of reason". From her arsenal of mom wisdom, she wanted me to know that calmer, more rational days were ahead for me and my battling little guy. The teen years are fast approaching; reasonable debates are probably not happening for a while. As they say, patience is a virtue. It will be a challenge to keep my cool sometimes when my 12 year old tries to push my buttons during our debates or arguments. I have to remember that his emotional development is still immature. Bigger kids, bigger tantrums : )
Hopefully, he'll forget all about his hair after a busy day at school. But what issue may be next?