Face/Off, Grandma Style

mom's mouth

As moms, we’ve all experienced this phenomenon at one point or another – your kid does or says something, well, kid-like  and you respond with some old chestnut that you’ve heard  pop out of your mom’s mouth a million times – you might even look around to see if you could possibly be channeling her energy somehow because there’s absolutely no way you could’ve just said that, right?  Yep, it’s happened to all of us.

And I can live with that.  I can even live with the fact that, sometimes, some of that stuff actually makes sense to me now, and eventually my kid will probably experience this special joy with his own children. It’s the circle of life.

But now, not only am I channeling my mom’s words, apparently she’s broken out all over my face.

Although I bear a strong resemblance to my mom (again, something I see now, not when I was a kid. As a 15-year-old the last thing I wanted to hear was that I looked exactly like my mom!), I’ve always felt that I had my own unique look, not a replica but more of a mix of features that added up to a new edition in the family library, not necessarily a reprint.

Well, my son dispelled that theory recently while we were looking through some family photos. He turned to me and let me know in no uncertain terms:

“Mom, you look exactly like grandma, not grandma now, but a younger version of grandma. Like maybe when she was fifty.” (Full disclosure, I will be fifty this year).  And did he just say I look fifty?  At that moment I was over the part about looking like grandma and choking over the part about looking fifty.

I then imparted another old chestnut that will serve him well as he gets older: never talk about a woman’s age.  He doesn’t get it quite yet, but at thirteen, I don’t expect him to. The same way our mother’s words sometimes leap out of our mouths today, he’ll understand it later.

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You don’t know these folks, but can you spot the resemblance?  Let me know in the comments!



A Well Visit Wake Up

courtesy of Google images

I recently took my 11 year old son for his yearly well visit with the pediatrician.  At the end of the appointment, and after being assured all was indeed well, the doctor handed me a nifty little printout detailing the visit.  The first page listed current height and weight, any labs and tests ordered, results from vision and hearing screening, and any follow up appointments that needed scheduling.  How nice to have all that information neatly summarized on one page for easy reference – thank you, electronic medical records.

Then I turned the page.

The next page was captioned “11-14 Year Old Adolescent Visit”.  Adolescent?  My visceral reaction to reading this was “Holy sh*tballs! For reals?  Where did that come from?” I was just getting used to the term tween.  Tween is cute.  Last week he was still 10 years old.  This week he’s 11 and suddenly the word adolescent is being bandied about?  That just has a clinical ring to it I’m not sure I’m ready for.

And “11” is light years away from “14”.  In my inner panic all I could picture was a sullen, monosyllabic sleeping and eating machine who is six inches taller than me, at risk for trigger thumb from too much texting and suddenly interested in commercials for Axe deodorant.  This is a far cry from my sweet little boy who still reaches for my hand whenever we cross a busy street (if no one’s looking, of course).

I don’t know why I was so floored.  From infant to toddler to preschooler to big kid to tween (and technically I think I can still hold on to that one), my son’s new identifier as “11-14 Year Old Adolescent” is just the next step, right?  But there it was in black and white, mocking me as if to say “ready or not, here I come!”

The document went on to list information and guidelines about topics such as school performance, immunizations, testing, nutrition and oral health, physical, social and emotional development, and talking to your newly minted adolsecent about “risk behaviors” – you can just imagine what that’s about.

“Doctor,” I said, “Don’t get me wrong, I think this handout is great, but that ‘11-14 Year Old Adolescent’ thing kind of grabbed me by the throat.”  This man, who has been my son’s pediatrician for 10 years, laughed and said, “Yes, I know it’s a shock, but it’s here.”

And the hormone talk, like spring, must be in the air.  A few days later as I was looking over the curriculum topics to be covered in his class after the spring break, I noticed that “Puberty” was nestled in there between the Latin American Unit, Rocks and Minerals, and Essays and Fiction Writing.

I turned to my son and asked him if he knew what puberty was.  “I don’t know”, he shrugged “something about growing up, I guess”.

I have this tucked away. . .

Like the doctor said, it’s here.

It’s really here.

Have you had “the talk” with your kids yet?  How did you handle it?  What’s in store?  I really want to know!