My 7 year old is perfect at the eye roll. He has the right balance of pause and exhaled breath; a teenager would be proud of his efforts. Heck, I dread to think what he’ll be like as a teenager. It got me thinking. Who teaches this stuff?
I remember being in school and you always had one or two friends that would teach you things and words that would turn your mother’s hair grey. Trouble is I’m looking at my son’s friends and I can’t put my finger on which one of them will have taught him the eye roll. Is it instinctive? Do you get born with a countdown clock that kicks in at age 7, producing the perfect eye roll and attitude to go with it.
Turn the Nintendo off. Pick up your shoes and put them away. Stop winding up your sister. I know you don’t want to watch CBeebies but you must share the TV with your sister. All these comments produce an eye roll worthy of a gold medal and a place on the top step of the podium. I’m almost tempted to hand him a medal and bunch of flowers.
The other thing about 7 year olds. The answering back. That sweet little boy who would just scowl a bit now produces an argument worthy of the debating stands at Hyde Park on why he can’t or shouldn’t do something. I find myself telling him something I swore I would never say pre-children. You will because “I say so”. Because I say so. I hated that phrase and now I use it! Not frequently I tend to reserve it for those special occasions that I appear to be losing an argument.
And what about the attitude? That 7 year old attitude can get pretty special. Imagine a class of them. Who do primary school teachers do it?
“I want a phone for my birthday”.
“It’s not fair, *insert random friends name here* has one. I never get to have anything good like my friends”.
And so on, and so on. He doesn’t realise I’ve been there done that. I spent hours crying on my bed because my parents said no to a Pound Puppy. I had a Pound Puppy that Christmas. All that time I wasted crying and sulking on my bed! See I know all the tricks because I pulled them. All those conversations with my best friend on the best way to influence them into getting what I wanted. My son knows none of this about me.
It doesn’t matter what the craze is, or the toy of the year, or the must-have gadget; kids will find a way of getting what they want or sulking about it. I just hoped I would have a few more years to get to that point. Goodbye my sweet innocent boy, hello a more grown up version who hopefully still wants a cuddle in between the arguments and will still love those chats over a drink and snack after school. I’m making sure I remember that I turned out okay and he will to if I give him the freedom to develop into himself.