It is the first week of summer for my five year old daughter. This fall is a big deal because she will be starting kindergarten. I have been very excited that she is growing up, well, until this morning. She wakes up around 7:00 and yells over the balcony that she is coming down. Thirty minutes later, (that’s right 30 minutes later!) she glides down the stairs in some fancy heart shirt and matching pink shorts. She appears to be wearing eye shadow and, judging from my son’s gagging noises, she is wearing perfume as well. And by the way mom, enough with the makeup already! Please don’t buy that stuff anymore – seriously! I mean the eye shadow and perfume are bad enough, but the lip gloss is just sticky and messy. Anyway, While my son is still holding his nose and asking “what is that disgusting smell?” my daughter says that she would like to have a waffle for breakfast and some paper to make a sign for her room. It is still pretty early and the waffles are easy to make and a craft will keep her busy. I say “OK with me!” and get to work making her breakfast. I forget about the sign as I hand her an organic blueberry waffle, on her favorite pink bunny plate. As I walk away, she asks for a hammer and nail in order to hang up her sign. I explain that dad will not be in favor of us nailing papers to her walls and/or door and suggest a piece of tape instead. I hand her two pieces of tape and she runs up and puts the sign on her door. Since most of her pictures are people, hearts and flowers, I was not concerned about the content of the sign.
While she was eating breakfast, I started upstairs to put away the kids’ laundry. I am walking to my daughters’ room when I hear “Mom, what are you doing?” I look over the balcony at my daughter and tell her that I am putting up laundry. She then says “Don’t you see MY sign on MY door” and proceeds to clarify what it says. “Mom, it says that NO people are allowed in my room.” She tells me that no other person (in this house) is allowed in her room because it is HER room and HER space. She slams down her waffle and says “I’m coming up!” The conversation that followed was absurd. “Mom, I don’t want you to mess my stuff up. I just put my strawberry shortcake dolls where I want them! I am a big girl now and know best about my room and my stuff! You can’t touch or move my stuff, ever!”
I started out trying to reason with her. I was honestly trying to be understanding of her feelings, but she started to push it. I realized that this was getting nowhere and that I needed backup. I told her we would ask dad how he felt about the family’s inability to ever again enter her room. I left the sign on her door (for dad to see) and went downstairs listening as my five year old got more and more precocious. “What happened to my little girl last night?” was running through my head.
My daughter went to bed a cute, giggling little five year old and she woke up a cranky, hormonal teenager. What happened during those eleven hours of sleep? I would love to know so that I can somehow prevent this from happening again. I mean, as she is sitting at the kitchen table, you can literally see the estrogen radiating from her body as she yells that she “asked for milk, not orange juice!” She then yells, “Why are you looking at me like that?” At this point my mouth is just kind of hanging open, and my mind is another place. I stood there toying with the idea that my little daughter was snatched away and a PMSing teenager was left in her place.
This is just not fair! She is only 5 and was getting pretty neat. She was past the toddler days, could use the bathroom, and even carry on a conversation. She could not fix her own meals, but I thought we were making progress! Now this!?! She yells, cries, says that she needs her privacy, and that nobody understands (that part she has right). Was it the hormones in her food? I buy organic milk, chicken, fruits and vegetables. Maybe the food companies are lying; I want a full investigation! This has to be the fault of someone or something. How can I find out if there is a full moon or some strange atmospheric disturbance? Do they still make a Farmer’s Almanac? I am just not ready for this! I think I need some chocolate!
I will keep you updated on this new event in our lives. Even though I am trying to convince myself that this is just a random surge of estrogen (possibly aggravated by a full moon or abrupt change in barometric pressure). I am trying to make the best of this situation by hoping that it will better prepare me for the time when she actually hits puberty. I am looking at this as a glimpse into my future, and it is not a pretty picture. If she is already this moody, stubborn, and irrational at the age of five, I can only imagine how much worse it will be with the increase in hormones and intellect. I am afraid that she will just be using bigger words as she argues over her privacy and my parental control.
In the mean time I will be doing research into links between irrational children and hormone-filled food. I will ask for a full investigation into these companies and their claims about their organic and hormone-free foods but, let’s be honest, I also ask my kids to stop licking my arm (which they do just to get on my nerves) and it is currently their favorite pastime. I somehow feel that I will get the same “yeah, sure we will” when I ask the companies for notarized copies of their “hormone-free testing results”. I will also check to see if we can cover the house with aluminum foil to deflect, or at least reduce, the effects of the moon and atmosphere on estrogen-filled females, and lastly I will stock pile Hershey kisses (chocolate keeps me sane). I will go to any lengths to prevent this nightmare from becoming a regular occurrence, at least for another ten years.