Can we talk for a moment about how irritating 9 year old boys are? It's MY blog, so of course we can! :) 9 yr old boys are THE WORST.
I first discovered this when my brother turned 9. His teeth grew fuzz. He smelled horrible. A mixture of boy-child wet puppy smell and adult body odor. He wore stupid stuff trying to look cool, like parachute pants and calculator watches. Everything about him made me kind of want to throw up. I was only 3 years older, so it wasn't like I was an adult or anything, but even I could see this weird changing time from boy to adolescent, and it wasn't pretty. About the time he hit 13 or 14, he suddenly became very likable and not so gross, so I guess it was that weird age range of pre-teen.
Next was my cousin, who we'll call "Z" to protect the guilty. You wanna talk about some fuzzy teeth?! Z had the fuzziest teeth ever. You know how 9 year olds have those GIANT front teeth that are way too big for their heads? Why is it that God made it so that right when their teeth are THAT HUGE is the same time they decide there's no need to brush? Once again, after a few more years, he became fun to be around again, and grew into his teeth, and started to brush them.
After I was an adult, another cousin and HIS cousin, both of whom I was around a lot, turned 9 at the same time. I kinda remembered that it was a gross age from my previous experience, but these two made it perfectly clear to me that it was something about this particular age.... We'll call them "G" and "J." J's mom brought him over for me to babysit. I liked kids, and thought this would be fine. I had a metronome, those little "tick-tock" devices that one uses to count off beats when you're playing music. Well J found it, almost immediately, and had to play with it. It wasn't a toy, and it was kind of expensive. But I let him anyway, cuz it kept him quiet. So this is what I heard "Tick----tock-----tick------tock------tick---" He had it set on a slow time. Then he messed with the weight that made it change speeds "Ticktockticktockticktockticktock" on and on and on and on and on until I couldn't stand it anymore. "J, do not play with that anymore. Turn it off." I said. He looked at me, and grinned a sly devil grin, showing his giant fuzzy teeth. "J, I said DO NOT DO IT AGAIN." He flicked it, "TICKTOCK!" and laughed. He just HAD to do it one more time, to show me who was boss.
G would argue incessantly with his Mama, because he was 9 and therefore knew everything. We were outside, and a baby in the family threw up or something and got stuff everywhere. "G, run to the car please and get me the baby wipes." said his mother. "Why?" said G. "Because the baby threw up and we need it! GO!" "Uh! Why do I have to go get it?!"
Another time, we were at his house, my mom and I, while his mother was gone. He was skateboarding across his kitchen, and I am not making this up, on his knees. Whamming into the cabinets, scraping up the floor, falling off and rolling around. My mom said to him "G, please stop doing that, you're gonna get hurt." "But WHY?! I'm not gonna get hurt, I'm fine! I'm just...." I couldn't take it anymore "GET OFF THE SKATEBOARD BECAUSE SHE SAID TO DO IT AND SHE'S OLDER THAN YOU AND IF SHE SAYS NOT TO, DON'T DO IT!!!" "Whatever!" he said, and then he was sad cuz I had yelled at him, and I felt horrible because I had yelled at him. I had loved this kid to pieces and held him and played with him since he was a tiny baby, and now he was getting on my last nerve. And do you know why? BECAUSE HE WAS NINE!
Nine year old boys (and I'm sure it's true of girls as well, but for some reason they don't bother me quite as badly) start getting hormones. They have a weird smell, and then they don't want to bathe. They think they know EVERYTHING, and there is no reasoning with them. They feel grown-up, so they get all "You're stupid and I know more than you" and "I look cool in my navy blue tie with my black suit, and don't tell me what to do!" You could LITERALLY tell a 9 year old boy the sky was blue and they would argue "Actually it's kind of a periwinkle" or whatever, trying to show off their advanced knowledge. Their teeth are too big for their heads, but they don't want to brush them. They talk back to their moms, because they're growing up and they're testing their boundaries. They're too big for toys, so instead they want to hang around and hear all the adult conversation. But they hang around DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH YOUR BUTT-CHEEKS and they overhear everything you don't want them to hear, and then quote it at inopportune times. "My mom told my dad they can't make the mortgage payment this month, so we may have to move." or other stuff like that. You say "Stop!" and they keep on going, you say "STOP" in a more forceful way, and they continue doing what they're doing, at least one more time, just so you know you don't really have control over them, because, after all, you're an idiot and they are all-knowing. Then, when you completely lose your mind and yell and get really, really angry....they cry their eye-balls out and ask why you don't love them anymore and want to hug you, because they're really just 9 years old, and they're still (despite what their hormones are telling them) just a little kid, and they don't really MEAN to be bad. And then you try to comfort them by giving them the hug they so desperately need, but dadgummit their breath smells like something died in their esophagus and their body odor is so puppy-doggish and pungent, and it's everything you can do to not gag.
So, this is all my way of telling you that right now, I have a very-close-to-nine-year-old boy. He is reminding me very much of my brother and cousins lately. He has been the light of my life, and I find him brilliant and amazing and funny, and when I'm not desperately trying to pay attention to my 1 yr old twins, I love to hear all the weird things he has to say. But he is a nine year old boy, and he is making me tired. And right now I can't wait for another few years to pass when he becomes your garden-variety teenager, and I can enjoy being around him more fully. (notice the careful wording!) So if you're the mother of a nine year old boy, or have ever had one, and you have experienced any of these things as well, feel free to comment, so I don't feel like I am all alone in my traumatic 9-yr-old experiences.