I have to tell you guys something pretty scary, pretty anxiety inducing, pretty unbelievable ... my son just started middle school. When ... how did this happen? Everyone knows, middle school is a major turning point -- a time of self exploration, acclimating to the social mores of tween/teen culture, learning which hair products work best, and feeling like a total loser (whether you have tons of friends or none).
It also reiterates the fact that they're no longer our babies. As terrifying as that is, I've actually been banned from writing about it. Seriously, after calling us moms of boys jealous shrews and exploring what to do when your tween actually pays attention to you, I've literally been given a writing restraining order -- imposed by mothers who can't stop sobbing and giggling ... while sobbing. Though I can no longer wax poetic, I can list the numerous indicators that your little boy has entered a big bad tweenhood. Here are 30 of them:
1. Ninety percent of his responses to questions are in the form of grunts, which can only be deciphered by tone and length.
2. He pretends not to know you when you drop him off somewhere or pick him up. "Dude all your friends know who I am, you're not fooling anyone."
3. His entire life is documented in a series of "selfies" on Instagram: "This is the breakfast I ate ... This is my bus ... How do feel about me? Use this handy emoticon chart to let me know ..."
4. He's saving for $15 socks and has become obsessed with sneakers and slides. (On the bright side, thank God someone else loves shoes as much as you do. On the down side, he grows out of them in a month.)
5. A text bings, he runs away.
6. He spent more time on his hair on the morning of the first day of middle school than he spent on his hair during the entire fifth grade.
7. He wants abs.
8. You have to explain the proper use of words you would never find on a vocabulary list, like "douchebag," so that he doesn't embarrass himself at lunch (expect new words weekly).
9. He locks the door behind him everywhere he goes and with such routine motion you begin to fear the people in Target will be annoyed by this little habit.
10. You have an urge to pry the headphones off his ears with a crowbar.
11. He went from thinking you knew everything to thinking you know nothing in a matter of weeks.
12. All of a sudden he has nothing to say to girls he's been playing with since nursery school.
13. He asks if you're dressed before entering any room, covers his eyes, yelps, or just flees -- as if seeing something, anything, would scar him for life and literally sear his retinas.
14. He went from this dirty kid in sweats and tees with holes and stains to caring if he's worn his that item too recently and if his breath is sufficiently minty.
15. He vehemently agrues that he is right about everything with everyone, but the pets (though I'm sure I've witnessed mine in a heated debate with our dog).
Thanks to my Facebook Fans for adding these doozies!
16. When you realize just how many products are made by Axe. - Leslie
17. The most used words in his vocabulary are "OK" and "so." - Julia
18. When shivering in a hoodie becomes more tolerable than being seen in a winter coat. - Sheryl
19. He has a panic attack if you get near his phone. - Michele
20. He rolls his eyes when you say, "How was your day?" - Loren
21. When How to Hug a Porcupine becomes your favorite reading material. - Tina
21. The answer to every question is the word "fine" but with various inflections. Mad = FINE. Tired = fiiinneeee. Sad = (fine). - Kathleen
22. Your taste in music suddenly sucks. - Jenny
23. Your monthly grocery bill starts competing with your mortgage. - Laura
24. His showers get longer and longer. - Leah
25. He insists on measuring himself back to back with you daily, to see if he's taller. - Leslie
26. When he's up past midnight, doesn't want to wake up for school, and on the weekends rises about 2:30 p.m. - Rachy
27. He asks you a question and as soon as respond, he tilts his head, curls his lip, and says, "That's your answer?" - Amy
28. You play BINGO and call, "O-69," you hear laughter and snickering, then a student announces, "It's just a number people, just a number." - Loren (middle school teacher)
29. When you ask him to explain something to you on the computer and he offers instead to make you a YouTube tutorial - Leslie
30. Suddenly you can pee alone. - Erin
How did you realize you had a middle schooler?
Image via JenEcards/TheSuburbanJungle