It just feels like yesterday that I wrote the first letter to you on your 6th and here I am already writing the third letter. Your attitude and behavior has changed drastically this year. I have heard about the tween phase that starts at about 10 but is there any pre-tween phase and is there any parenting guidance to handle that phase? Its high time I upgrade my parenting skills as you strongly show the signs of a tween already. I have also heard that girls grow faster than boys but I didn’t realize it would be this fast. Please give me some space to breathe and accept that you are no more my cute little baby that once was a mommy pleaser and cuddled me every night.
You say it loud that “you don’t have to like something/someone because your parents like it/them”, “You need not be good at everything”, “You cannot please everyone all the time”. Every time you utter these gyans I stand there awestruck.
The phrases you commonly use are “never mind”, “what now?”, “it is not fair”, “whatever”, “leave me alone”, “move on people move on”… Let me explain
“never mind” happens when you ask us for something and then swiftly change your mind.
“what now?” happens when you are lost during the screen time. I explain ten times to you, you nod all the way as if you understand with eyes glued to the screen and finally ask “what now?”
“it is not fair” happens for anything and everything. At one point I was so annoyed on hearing it every other minute and brought you back to ground with a fun game. If you say it more than 5 times a day then you have to pay me a quarter or else I pay you. I made fun of you on initial days by saying “come on come on say it say it. I need a quarter” when these words were about to slip through your mouth and you gulped it down with a huge scream. Then, you hummed those words for few days. Then , you said “I feel like saying those words but I won’t as I don’t want to lose”. Slowly and steadily you got better and my ears are more happier now upon not hearing those words as often as it used to.
“whatever” happens when I try to explain things in detail to you. Patience is slowly giving up on you. When I am in middle of explaining you either say “whatever just move on amma” or “whatever just tell me what I should do now”
“leave me alone” happens when you are outraged. You lock yourself inside a room for a while. We never console you as it only makes the situation worse. You come out once you feel better and we all act as if nothing happened. We do talk about the incident but later when you are ready for the conversation. See, I told ya! I feel like dealing with a restless teen to analyze her mood and think twice before initiating a conversation.
“I know, I know” happens when we try to grind the same stuff to make you realize the importance of the talk. You are slowly graduating from ” I know everything” phase to “Are you kidding me? How do you expect me to know everything? After all I am just a kid”. It would be great if you could apply this logic at most times but sadly you use them only when they favor you.
“Fine then I am never ever going to do this ever again” with stomp happens when we don’t say yes to your request. You don’t want to listen to the but after no. So far you have cancelled your birthday plans at least a dozen times.
You call me “girl” these days. You say “go girl”, “get me this girl”, “it is getting late girl”. I am fine with that. Actually, I like that!!!
You yell when things are not done your way. Most of these could be influence from those tween shows but I have no idea on how to control it. Hope its a phase and you will outgrow them sooner. At the same time it sends shivers down my spine to think what is in store for coming years. You may outgrow this but what will you get into next?
You lost interest with “pattu” and we have suspended the class. May be I was the reason. I stand guilty for all those forceful practice sessions. Hope you will revive the interest someday.
Appa says all these are fine as long as you don’t get physical like hurting people or breaking things. I nod half heartedly. After all you need a way to let out too right? But but isn’t this too early to talk about pressure, let out, relax? All I knew at the age of 8 was to eat what amma fixed, wear one of that 3 or 4 dress, play on the streets and sleep happily. Life was much simpler then.
Am I complaining too much? Looks like our honeymoon period is over and my letters are not going to be all rosy from now on. Please don’t take it personal dear. Its your age and I sincerely hope we will sail through this safely.
Now for the good parts
You are doing amazingly well at academics. You are a consistent first honor roll student inspite of skipping a grade.
You take care of school works by yourself. All we do is only signing the sheets. You fix your bag and remind me about all school activities.
You cannot hurt your friends. You love each one of them and you have a big gang. You skipped buying the italian ice when you friend’s mom denied your friend’s request citing cough and cold. I knew how much you longed for an italian ice after all these winter days. I love you pattumma.
You are an adorable big sister. You have a special song for LHB. I wish to capture the tune one day. Lyrics go like this “I love you, yes I do. Whom do I love more than you? Nobodyyyy. I love youuu”. You talk to him at every single chance. You call him with many names. The most favorite is “thambi bambi” and “kuttyma”. You soothe him saying “Nalla irukkum kuttyma nalla irukkum azha kudadhu seriyaa”. As of now he holds half of your heart and rest is shared by family and friends. He stands number one in your list. You are a totally changed person when you are with him. Every morning you drink milk sitting by his side. You tell him all that you do. When you step out you say “Akka poittu varaen. sekirama vandhuduvaen seriyaa”.. LHB is blessed and lucky to have an akka like you. Hope this guy deserves your love and treats you the same way.
You don’t hold on to grudges for long. Though you scream and cry, you do what we request you to do and that gives me so much peace.
You are good at planning. You use homework passes wisely. Like you have saved the homework pass received last week and using it today so that we can go out for dinner on your special day.
We follow a tradition at home that is set by you. When one of us ask “do you like it?” to another our response should be “NO”. It should be “No I don’t like it but I love it”. You go mad if we respond with a “yes” for the “do you like it?”. We are wierd that ways!!!
You leave that one strand of hair on your face just because one day I accidentally spilled out that you look all grown up with this new style. You can easily spend hours in front of the mirror. Like we say “the mirror” will miss you so much when we move out of this house.
You have asked to save my “cooking diary” so that you can pass it on to your offspring.
When I asked if your kid would call me “ammachi” you snapped, ammachi is a tamil name amma. What if I marry a Hindi man? Very true!!!!! There is no pressure at all darling.
You are still scared of the dark. No amount of explaining or cajoling works. You absolutely cannot step out of the room if all lights are switched off.
You still co-sleep with us and that’s a top secret. You truly badly want your own room to be setup just for you and sleep there at least theoretically.
You are dealing with some health issues now. The treatment requires at least half an hour of our time every night and you are cooperating very well. I engage you with ABS (Akbar Birbal Stories) at this time and you are now looking forward to these sessions.
I am still wondering at how you convinced Appa to get you that american girl doll. Julie is your best buddy and you love her.
You had a fantabulous (if I may say so myself) fruit themed party at home this year. **preening alert** Master mind was amma!!!
As you requested Amma will gift you the doll and few more stuff through a treasure hunt okie? Oh you love treasure hunts.
May God bless you with good health all through your life. That’s the only wish I have for you this year.
Love you always,