I have a lump in my throat just typing this. My baby girl isn’t a baby anymore. She turned 9 yrs old on Sunday and acts so grown up. I wouldn’t have thought there’d be much difference between 8 and 9 but there is.
So how exactly is she acting that’s different than in years past? Let me share with you some of the more obvious changes I have witnessed.
- Awkward hand holding with mom in public. She never used to mind this. Now we still hold hands but it’s more like holding hands with a limp noodle.
- Very bad taste in clothes and a desire to wear the same two outfits every day. Dirty, clean, wrinkled, wore them yesterday and the day before? Who cares! Let’s wear it again!
- Actually closing the door when she’s in the bathroom.
- Door slamming in her little brothers faces. Not just door slamming but yelling and crying and drama about how they’re ruining her life, when all they want to do is sit next to her on the couch or watch over her shoulder as she plays a game. She even said it would be ok if they were never born, she wouldn’t be bored because she has cousins. lol
- Extremely hard to wake up in the morning. Every morning is a whine fest and I practically have to dress her while she’s half asleep. The only thing that gets her motivated is when I try to dress her in something other than the two outfits mentioned above, then she’s up and at’em to pick out her own clothes.
- Likes to hang out in her room a lot more than she ever used to and takes more pride in her “things.”
- Would rather be at a friends house all the time than have friends come over here where we might embarrass her, impose too many rules or god-forbid she might have to include her brothers in some sort of activity with her friend.
- No more co-sleeping. We’ve co-slept for 8 years, 355 days. Seems like just yesterday she was a tiny baby who slept by my side. I used to like to hold her hand while we slept. She’s co-slept with her brothers off and on and has gone through phases where she’d sleep partially in her own room for the night. But thanks to a new rewards poster we’ve started she’s been in her own bed all night, every night, for over 10 days straight.
Overall, she still looks like a baby to me but in some subtle and some obvious ways she’s changing. She’s a major Daddy’s girl and I wonder if they all are. Sometimes I experience deja vu, could she already think I am that annoying mother, the same mother whom I found annoying when I was 13? I hope not, she’s only 9 and I’m NOT my mother (or so I think). So I’ve been reflecting and re-evaluating lately on how I can reconnect, maintain and strengthen my bond with my daughter.
Do any of you have older children? Did you find it harder to stay connected when all they want is to become mature, independent and disconnected? What age did you realized that major changes were taking place with your “baby“?