Saturday, September 27, 2008

Complex Relationships

I think those two words can describe what's going on here at home. Relationships are changing. Everyday is an adventure.

The Doodlebug is a good kid. She's truly one of a kind. She has a great sense of humor. She's affectionate and considerate and delightful to be around most of the time. We've all lived in this little bubble here at home for eleven years. But things are changing and the person who is having the hardest time adjusting seems to be... The UIC.

Where I sit and marvel at the changes in our daughter, just in the last year. I think he resents a lot of it. Because these changes have somehow changed their relationship. He feels left out. They've always been like playmates. Video games. Funny movies. Amusement park rides. She's changing...and he's got issues.

I think I noticed the first change this past summer. They used to go to some local races on Thursday nights. It was their a date. But this past summer she decided she really didn't want to do that anymore. Lately he has been pointing out more she doesn't like for him to kiss her on the tip of her nose anymore. She acts like he has cooties apparently. And he's having a hard time dealing with this ... because he sees that she and I are getting closer.

I'm trying to see his perspective. I mean, did I feel a little left out when they went off to do their 'fun stuff' together? Probably, yes. But at the same time, I am loving the evolving relationship that she and I are developing. We are really enjoying our time together. We do our nails. We shop. I finally have someone to do all that 'girly' stuff with. We giggle while watching movies together. We talk about music. I listen to her. Something that I can always remember appreciating my mother doing for me when I was growing up. Sometimes we just want to be heard, right? A sounding board....

My relationship with my Dad was awkward during my teen years because I sought out my Mom's opinion more than Daddy's. The UIC and his sister grew up without a true father figure, so he has nothing to draw on for experience in this situation. I told him not to be so abrupt with her. To listen to her. To not criticize her musical taste. Ask her questions but to not be pushy. When she wants to talk, no matter what he is doing, give her the time and really listen. Get to know the person she is becoming. To try to let their relationship evolve without being so forceful. But his feelings are hurt and I swear, earlier he was pouting like a little kid about the entire thing. I did tell him that he was acting like a 'grump'...a term that she had used to describe him not 20 minutes earlier.

So we'll sit back and watch what evolves over the next few weeks...months...or years. But what about you? Do you remember those odd years with either of your parents? Have you experienced this with your own children? Got any sage advice to share? I'm all ears....


The Source said...

Yes, pretty much during the years that Darling Daughter was 11 and 12, she thought her daddy was put on earth to make her life miserable and he thought his daughter had completely lost her mind. She was going through the giggly, squealy phase and trying to figure out her place in the midst of middle school, boys, etc. He was trying to decide what to do with the young lady she was becoming.

Good age 13, it was all settled. Daddy is her hero again and she loves him to pieces. Even though she now thinks he's a great big dork. She seriously comes to whisper to me that she can't BELIEVE he's wearing THAT. But don't tell him, because it'll hurt his feelings.

And it's probably going to change again once she actually finds a boy to "fall in love" with. I'm anticipating that won't go over too well. They're going to butt heads because she'll want to date and he won't want his baby girl leaving his sight.

sheila said...

Well, I haven't been reading your blog for long and I can't find anywhere that tells how old your daughter may be, but judging from her artwork (great, btw! that's some talent!) I'd say may 10-13.

Judging from your 'crisis' post I'd go with 12. lol.

We all go through this, it's very hard. Mostly because you feel sorry for your other half....they are such babies!

But enjoy these moments you spend with her, the nails, the laughing, the movies...because in about 2 or 3 years, it'll alllll be over.

Right around 14 or so they come to the conclusion that you don't know anything. They want your opinion, but only when asked, and then they really don't want any advice. can't possibly understand what it's like to be 14...because times are 'sooooo different now!' (yeah, heard that one before)

It's very very very trying and it may make you want to drink. lol.

That too shall pass, around 17 or so. You probably will be too exhausted to actually remember any of it!

Good luck. Enjoy it while you can. You'll both take turns being the well as the bad guy. (Depending on her attitude at that particular moment). lol