Monday, February 28, 2011

She's turning 12!

This is my first post as I begin to navigate these murky and ever-churning waters of preadolescence, adolescence, teenagerdom, and finally, I hope, early adulthood. I hope I will come out of this six or seven-year journey with only a few scars and mild trauma. My daughter turns 12 in 24 hours, but the dark times with her probably started a year and a half ago.

 You know, the sullenness, the mood swings that hint that more than one person is living in that beautiful head, the tantrums that had last been visited at age three, but now come with the full fury of 70 pounds of toddlerhood, only to be followed by "I'm sorry Mom, can I have a hug?"

 But today I started this blog, hoping to finally put into words what my friends and I know is the impending doom preceding young womanhood. I know I am not alone in this journey, my fellow mommy friends assure me (after saying with surprise, "I thought it was just me!") that having a preteenaged daughter is not a cakewalk. It's also not recommended for sissies.

Remember when your exasperated mother said, "I hope you have a daughter just like you!?" Thank mom, and smile when your daughter's (my daughter's, our daughter's) tantrums have a familiar ring. But first, let me introduce myself. I'm CC, or cctapdancer for my friends out in cyberland whom I've met and talked with on some websites (not many, I have to work for a living, and I can't spend all my time on the web instead of doing laundry, like now).

My daughter I will call Earbaby, or EB to protect her identity. She gets that nickname, because from the time she was a tiny baby, she would comfort, console and lull herself to sleep by massaging either my or my husband's earlobes, to the point of excruciating numbness. She was never a thumbsucker, or a pacifier baby. She was an Earbaby, a term I coined when I saw a friend of hers rub her own father's ear as he held her after a long day at a birthday party. I think her friend has probably outgrown the habit, mine is still the self-soother who reaches for my earlobes when she still cuddles in a chair, or in bed (yeah she's one of those too, more about that at a later post).

My daughter is what they used to call a late or later in life child. I married my husband when we were both 40, his first time, my second after a brief, painful starter marriage some 13 years before, but we wanted a family.

 EB arrived after a very easy pregnancy when I was at the ripe old age of 42. They consider that advanced maternal age, which makes it sound as if I was 82, not 42. I tell all this to encourage young women in their 30s that they still have time and to ignore most of the warnings. I say most, because I'm no fertility doctor, and we weren't able to have another when we started trying two years later.

 But EB is healthy, happy and probably way overindulged. I don't mind so much. I waited a long time to have the daughter I always wanted, try to be the mother I always wanted to be. She's sweet, kind, talented, only devastatingly beautiful, and as much lip as she gives my husband and me, she's always good in public.

Tomorrow, she's 12.


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