Sunday, November 14, 2010

Identity Crisis, Age 8

Luke seems to be changing a lot these days. He is much more focused on his peers, on what "all the kids are doing." Another line we hear a lot these days is "That is what all the cool kids do." I'm telling you, it is all we can do not to roll our eyes at him when he comes out with this line.

For the first time in his life, Luke is really concerned about his appearance. Last week, when he got his hair cut at the local super cheap place, he requested--as he has been since this summer--a mohawk. I said--as I have been since this summer--no. However, I told him that we could get a "gentle fauxhawk," and what I was envisioning was something longer on the top that he could occasionally style in a pseudo mohawk. I don't believe that one must have particularly good communication skills (or skills in general) to work at the super cheap haircutting place, and so Luke wound up with much more mohawk than I had envisioned. We have been planning on shortening down the mohawk part here at home, but life has gotten the better of us, and a week has gone by with our little punk strutting around like he is all that. His attitude has clearly changed, and not for the better.

So when Luke started trying on jeans at Sears the other day--a store that I purposely chose for what I wrongly assumed would be its conservative styles--I knew that his style definitely impacts his attitude. He had been telling me for several weeks that he wanted "baggy jeans," and so I tried to find him some looser styles. However, the pair that he loved was far, far too big, hanging down several inches onto the floor and sliding below his underwear (recently boxers).

"No way," I said.

"But Mom," he said, in a breathy, attitude-filled, not-his own voice. "I look gooooooooood."

"Luke, you are eight, you are not wearing jeans that show your underwear and hang on the floor."

"Please! I'll cut off my fauxhawk!" he pleaded. "I look goooooooooooooood."

"No, Luke." I said, trying to remain calm. "Thank you for showing me what kind of jeans you like," I said, adding in my head, "The gross, gangsta, boy-slut kind."

We headed off to the mall play area to meet Craig, Luke pouting all the way. Once we got there, I reminded Luke that he was too old to play at this area designed for little kids, and that we needed to sit and watch Henry and Silas and wait for Craig. When I spotted Luke picking his nose, I gently reminded him not to pick his nose.

"Aagh!" he said, with a huge attitude, "You are so STRICT!" At this point, he sounded like a cross between a valley girl and a little boy about to cry.

"You won't let me wear baggy jeans! You won't let me play in the play area! You won't let me drink coke! You make me go to bed earlier than all my friends! You won't let me have a DS!" He was really unleashing it on me.

"And," he added, the final point in his argument, "You won't let me pick my nose!"

Oh little boy, eight going on 13. Life is pretty rough. Especially when you have a mom who won't let you pick your nose. After all, that is what all the cool kids do, right?