The squeal is ear piecing, stretching over her shoulder as she storms from the room, slamming the bedroom door hard behind her. We look at each other, knowing that neither of us has any idea what’s going on. We wait. Maybe if we wait long enough she’ll come out of her own accord.
The squeals continue; it’s clear she’s trying to get our attention. Requests for her to come out are ignored. I’m going to have to go in. I’m considering full body armour.
There’s a trail of destruction down the hallway, things she’s thrown in her fury. Socks, a remote control, a hair brush. Random things, whatever was close to hand at the time.
I follow along, picking them up, one by one. Her bedroom door won’t open, she’s sitting behind it, pushing with all her weight to stop me coming in.
She starts yelling again. Words tumble out, she trips over them in her rush, not all of them make sense, but the anger is almost visible, it’s so clear. Whatever I’ve done, and usually it’s something as simple as asking her to pick up her socks, or to wash her hands, in this moment, she hates me.
Retreating to the lounge room, Husband and I share our confusion, which almost borders on amusement. She’s growing fast and there are moments when it’s clear we have no idea what’s going on. I suspect the closer she gets to her teen years, we’ll have more and more nights like this.
This tween world is full of contradictions.
She pushes us away with one hand, and with the other pulls us closer. She hides in a box, while watching YouTube videos on how to apply make up (which I then promptly turn off). She wants to go to all the concerts, demanded a bikini at her last birthday, now wears a crop top some days, but has the new Baby Born on her wish list.
It’s like she’s stuck between two worlds. One where she’s trying to hold onto being a child; a bedroom filled with soft toys, onesie pyjamas and warm milk at bedtime. And the other where she’s desperate to grow up; One Direction posters on the walls and long phone conversations with friends about boys.
I know that many of these things perplex her. She doesn’t understand this ‘flirting’ thing, speaking on the phone at length is tiring and sarcasm is still something she struggles with. Keeping up with her friends as they dive head first into this next stage exhausts her beyond measure.
I know it’s only the beginning.
This tween world will soon give way to a teen one, which will no doubt bring more confusion, more screaming and more throwing of random things. I’m already scared for the remote controls and the full body armour is on it’s way.
This post was originally published on About a Bugg.