So, everyone has heard about the Terrible Twos, the notoriously difficult developmental stage that sometimes starts around 18 months and often morphs into the Terrible Threes.
Yet no one has told me about the current situation at my house, which I have dubbed The Obnoxious Eights.
My son turned eight this month — an age, I confess I had been looking forward to. His sister is hot on his heels and will turn six in a few months, which mean I’m DONE with the preschool years. This is quite exciting because I’m not at my best in the toddler/preschool years. Early elementary school is my favorite age group.
So you can imagine my surprise at the changes in my son since turning eight. I’m beginning to suspect eight is not the most delightful age. I did some Google searching and found this site, which states: “When interacting with others, eight-year-olds enjoy sharing their viewpoints on a variety of topics.”
Well, that’s putting it mildly.
The concept of “sharing their viewpoints” includes some rather annoying communication patterns, which include a lot more back talk and questionable choices in vocabulary. There’s also this push to be… well… funny. Except what’s funny to an eight year old is just generally obnoxious to anyone who isn’t eight.
Random example: My son and I are doing “fishy kisses” — a hilarious and spontaneous mom-and-son moment where we try to make fish lips and kiss each other on the cheek. We are in hysterics. Except he takes it one step farther… and it quickly becomes “spit kisses.”
Yeah, hilarious bonding moment comes to a screeching halt.
Part of the problem is there’s a time and a place to be funny. And the nuance of when it’s appropriate to be funny and when it’s not is an area that clearly is still under development in this stage of life.
He’s been eight for two weeks, and I’ve already used up my quota of eye rolling at terrible jokes. My gentle corrections when funny morphs into rude are getting sharper. And some days, I just want him to stop. talking. so. much.
Give me strength. And please tell me nine is better.