January 19, 2011

Twelve

Rob is twelve. TWELVE. Twelllllllllve. We have already noted at our house that this is the last year before we have teenagers in the house (and that after that, we will have teenagers for THE NEXT FIFTEEN YEARS SOLID). "The last year before ____" is kind of neat, or at least I thought it was when I was 9, and when I was 12, and when I was 29. And there are TONS of them all clumped together ahead of Rob: there's 12 (last year before teens), then 15 (last year before driver's license), then 17 (last year before voting, smoking, and legal adulthood), then 19 (last year before the twenties), then 20 (last year before alcohol).

But what really brought our new situation to my attention was that he can now take doses of medicine for "adults and children 12 years and older." This has been a thrilling transition, but difficult to make: the day before his birthday, he could have one tablet of acetaminophen; the next day, he could DOUBLE that dose? (No, no---I get that it doesn't really work that way. But I was dosing by looking at the label and not really thinking about it, so effectively it DID work that way.) I've been reluctant to do it, even though Rob is now 5'3", the height of many adult women, and surely THEY take the adult dosage.

This reminds me a little of the "ages 3 and up" toys: there is such a long stretch of time when it seems like every toy would mean horrible, horrible headlines if I let the child play with it and then Something Happened---and then suddenly we are free, in an open meadow with Ages 3 and Up toys all around us, free to purchase and play with, no more imaginary headlines like "UNFIT MOTHER GIVES 2-YEAR-11-MONTH CHILD A TOY MEANT FOR CHILDREN 3 AND UP---AND PAYS TERRIBLE AND FULLY-DESERVED PRICE!!"

Or of the time right after pregnancy/breastfeeding are finished, when suddenly my body was my own again. I can drink coffee without even THINKING about it! I can take cold medicine when I'm sick! I can have broccoli and tuna without later wondering if that's why the baby is crying! NO ONE IS TAPPED INTO MY SYSTEM EXCEPT ME! Why, I could do STREET DRUGS and they wouldn't even get NEAR the baby! It's like we have a plastic barrier between us!

And now the first of my children can take an adult dose of painkiller or cough syrup. It's the beginning of a whole new era! Soon I'll be serving him a cocktail before dinner, and trying to make him vote for my candidate instead of Paul's! [Edit: I'm kidding about the voting thing. Paul gets very prim about voting, saying "It's private" if I try to discuss who we're voting for, so I've told him I'll just go ahead and assume he's voting opposite of me, then. But I think we always vote the same, or close to the same. (That is, we might disagree on the local board, or we might disagree in the primaries, but we agree on the party and the president.)]

36 comments:

Slim said...

I was laughing until I got to the end, and then I was all, "Wait, you and Paul vote for different candidates?" Life inside the Beltway has clearly gotten to me. It's all about the voting.

Happy Birthday to the properly medicated nonteenager!

Erica said...

12?! How did THAT happen? I mean I know how it happened, but STILL. When I first started reading you Rob was 7 or 8. And there was no Henry. Unbelievable.

Also, I don't think it's too early to begin campaigning for your candidate.

Lindsay said...

Hah! Me too Stimey! I was totally all about party lines! Washington is bizarre.

Also, I am one of those women who is the size of a twelve year old boy, and I take the adult size of everything. I even take three advil sometimes. (I'm probably a little heavier than your average twelve year old bean pole)

Lindsay said...

I am not the world's best reader. I read Stimey when the commenter I really agreed with was Slim.

Nik-Nak said...

This is so SAD and so HAPPY at the same time! I am currently stuck in the "last little while of there being only one kid in the house" phase. But I'm a sap and never do well with these things....Yay Rob!

Marie Green said...

I'm trying not to keen over here over the 15 solid years of teenagers in your house. AEEEIIIII! But also, kind of cool. (I've been smitten with teenagers lately.)

Twelve does seem like a big milestone. My oldest will be 8 next week, and I keep thinking... HOW has it been EIGHT years since I was pregnant with them? Since they were little babies? It seems like 2-3 years, tops.

12! Wow!

Suzanne said...

Oh the dreaded Ages 3 and Up toys. What exactly is going to happen to my child when he's 3 that will allow him to safely use the toddler sized table and chairs that he is not supposed to be using now??

And please, the whole point in having more children than husbands is to cancel out your husband's vote. I'm creating an ARMY.

Swistle said...

Ha, no, I think we vote the same. BUT, Paul gets all PRIM about voting, saying "Voting is private" if I try to discuss it, so I've told him I'll just make ASSUMPTIONS about who he votes for, and I'll always assume BAD.

Becky said...

The part that stuck with me was thinking about the fact that at some point I will be able to drink beer, take drugs and drink caffinated pop with abandon! All at once if I want! Right now I've got someone "tapped into my system," as you say, and thinking that some day he won't be is exhilarating. Of course I still think time goes by too quickly, in terms of how fast kids grow. My son will be 1 next month already. And my nephew will be 12 this summer. He's almost as tall as me!
How does that even happen??

-R- said...

I'm shorter than Rob, and I take the adult dose. =)

Happy birthday, Rob!!!!

Hope T. said...

I have great news for you! I have two teenagers so far and I was sooo nervous when they turned thirteen but then I noticed that they were the same as they were at twelve! I learned that thirteen year old boys are still "kids" and they do not turn into real, true "teenagers" until they are fourteen. So you get an extra year of kid! Are there any other moms of boys who can verify this?

The only downside of this post for me was that I did a calculation of teen years in my household and found out that it was TWENTY-TWO years. And I am only five years into so far.

Jess said...

I've always thought of the third birthday as a huge milestone because of the choking hazard thing. Suddenly the world is the kid's oyster! Best birthday to buy gifts for, ever.

Happy birthday to Rob!

ixBeths said...

I had two very astute comments that appear to already have been made. But I'll echo anyway.

I'm 5' 2.5", and I take the adult dosage. I also probably weigh twice as much as Rob. Heh.

And do you and Paul REALLY vote differently? I would be moved to homicide.

My oldest will be 10 in April. Double digits. A DECADE. Gaaahhghhh.

Anonymous said...

the voting thing jumped out at me too (inside the beltway over here also). we discuss politics and voting constantly at our house (especially at election time), and i can't imagine that i'd be married to someone who voted differently- it's that big of a deal to me. my FIL voted for bush (TWICE) and when it is mentioned in my presence i bristle forcefully. (but fairly silently)

ixBeths said...

omg, i just calculated my years with teenagers. not so bad as you, but i will have FOURTEEN.

Saly said...

Swistle- take comfort in knowing that out of the five, surely one of your children will live at home until he's 40.

Seriously though, I know. What a milestone. A true pre-teen. My oldest turned 7 last week and when I pulled him on my lap before bed, all gangly arms, legs and feet I couldn't help sobbing. My baybeee! My very first baybeee! Well, I just don't know how I'll take him turning 12.

Misty said...

My eldest will be 10 soon. These kids just need to quit growing up.

(I know, I hear all kinds of arguments in my head when I say that, too. Still, I miss my little sweet babies.)

Mimi said...

Oh wow... 12. That is super exciting. Happy birthday to Rob!

Jenny Grace said...

I'm amused by Paul's voting sensibilities.
I always ask my parents who they're voting for. They mostly vote the same, which slight differences b/c my dad always votes with his union and my mom DOESN'T always vote with my dad's union.
But yeah, presidents and senators and stuff, they vote vote the same.

becky said...

rob is taller than i am. i cannot get over that.

Superjules said...

My parents have long discussions about voting. My mom also has a group of ladies with whom she discusses it and then emails her (and my dad's) choices out to my sisters, in case we want to know.

This last election, I tried to ask KC who he was voting for AFTER I TOLD HIM MY CHOICES and he got all squirmy and was like "I don't have to tell you." But then he told me afterward and it was the same as me. So I think he has that same "Voting is Private" feeling which I clearly do not.

d e v a n said...

15 years of teenagers. 15. years.

Since I've only been breastfeeding and pregnancy free for about 2 months now, it is still like a nice surprise when i only have to take ME into account when I eat, drink or take something.

momma on the run said...

Hope T. has me beat. When Shayna turned 13, I figured out we would have 19 years teenagers. The toddler and the 13 year old take turns trying my patience and melting my heart. The hard days are when they BOTH try my patience in the same day.

I think it's interesting that some readers think it's weird for spouses to vote differently. My husband and I usually (but not always) vote very similarly on the big candidates, but often have different opinions on amendments and propositions, etc. It's really not a big deal in our house.

Mrs. Irritation said...

TWELVE? Twelve seems like a mini-adult, while 11 still seems strictly in the kid category.

It's weird for spouses to vote differently? I always say I am doing my duty to my party by canceling out a vote for the opposition.

Anna said...

I realised recently that this is the fourth winter in a row that I am either pregnant or breastfeeding. Next year I can take the good drugs when I get a cold! Yay!

Doing my best said...

My oldest will be 12 this summer! I could be in the happy land of denial about his age if he weren't almost eye level to me when I am talking to him...he's almost taller than me, and he wears a bigger shoe size than his father!

lifeofadoctorswife said...

Happy birthday to Rob!

Anonymous said...

It's weird when they outgrow you, and their father...

My 12 year old is 6'3" and has been taking the adult dose for some time now.

Happy Birthday Rob!

GratefulTwinMom said...

Wow! 15 years of teenagers! By the time I get there with the twins, you're going to be the consummate expert (kind of like on everything else related to kids older than mine). Can't wait to hear what words of wisdom you have for dealing with teenagers. It's a wild ride, I hear.

Magic27 said...

Happy Birthday to Rob!
My elder daughter turned 9 just after Christmas and I was so excited! (I'm not really a baby person AT ALL and don't miss her or her little sister's babyhood in the slightest!)
I'm already planning her 10th birthday (double digits! Yeah!)...
Does this make me really weird? Probably... But I just seem to like each age they hit more than the ones before (and little sister was a difficult, difficult baby-toddler-kindergartener... even now, at almost 7, she's no picnic, but definitely BETTER than before... Plus she's as cute and bright as a (cute, bright) button, which is probably lucky for her).
Long comment, much?

Jen said...

"UNFIT MOTHER GIVES 2-YEAR-11-MONTH CHILD A TOY MEANT FOR CHILDREN 3 AND UP---AND PAYS TERRIBLE AND FULLY-DESERVED PRICE!!"

I cannot stop laughing.

1hottiredmama said...

12. WOW!

My oldest is 9 and is 106 lbs. He is not fat -- he's 5'2' (just 2 inches shorter than ME). He should probably already be taking the adult dose of meds. Something to think about . . .

I will have ONLY 12 years of teens, but I'll have 4 teens at the same time. When my oldest is 19, I'll also have a 17, 15, and 14-year-old. That looks a little SCARY in print. I hope it's fun!

My youngest is 4 now. Caffeine, alcohol, & drugs BEWARE! LOL :o)

Katie said...

Oh my heavens, I just stopped breastfeeding my 3 month old five days ago and feel like I want to go on a binge of every horrible thing I didn't eat, thinking it might get to her and make her gassy/cranky/unpleasant. And I want to take heavy duty meds and drink a bottle of... something, and yeah. Exactly what you said. Hilarious.

SIL Anna said...

Laughing at the 3 and up and street drugs. HA!

I can't, can't, can't believe he's 12 already.

Also, I miss my friend Wine.

Alice said...

TWELVE!! and 5'3"!!? OH MY.

rob, welcome to the wild and crazy world of Two Or More Tablets :)

CARRIE said...

My girl turns 7 next month, which astounds me, so her turning 12 will likely turn me into a blathering pile of drool.