Friday, July 16, 2021

Five on Friday: What My Tween Really Means When She Says I'm Cringey

You wouldn't think the youngest of five children would be the first in the family for anything, but in our case, you'd be wrong. Around here, the baby of the family was the first to escape the house as a young toddler, the first to repeatedly take her dirty diaper off in her crib, the first to climb out of her crib, the first to have a pacifier (and keep it until the very last one I'd buy for her literally began disintegrating in her mouth . . .) She's very charming.

Still is at age eleven, particularly with the development of her top-notch eye rolling and groaning about how horrifyingly cringey I am. So charming.

Once again, our other four kids didn't really prepare us for this and I have to keep reminding myself that this is normal tween behavior. That doesn't make it easier to deal with, though, so recently I've been trying to comfort myself with thoughts of what my daughter is actually trying to express. Some of them are true and some of them are just wishful thinking on my part but since it will be years until she's able to even understand her motives herself--and because I need a coping mechanism--I'm sticking with them. 

So the next time she tells me I'm cringey, I am going to reframe it in my head and understand that she is really trying to say:

1.  Mom, You're my safe person which means I push back against you the hardest. It's one of those "you only hurt the ones you love things" I think, but what do I know, I'm only eleven.

2. Besides which, it's developmentally appropriate for me to want to distance myself from you and you can't expect me to fight instinct!

3. Mommy, that last one is a little scary sometimes and I need to know you'll love me no matter what.

4. And I love YOU so much but it's been a long pandemic and sometimes you get on my nerves.

5. You're actually just super embarrassing, Mom, ohmygod, I am begging you PLEASE stop.

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