10 Year Olds and their Superpowers

10 year old superheros

Stupendous Man

I’ve noticed lately that their Union is engaged in fight with management over how often they are required to bathe. I think that they think that stench is one of their new superpowers. I’ve heard many tales of this phenomenon over the years, but like most Moms, I secretly thought, ”Oh, that won’t happen to me.” But it did. It is. It’s starting to happen to me and my nose.

I remember a friend once telling me about having to check her teenage sons packing efforts before he went away for camp one time. She found out that he had packed one pair of underwear…for seven days. She was thrilled to discover this before he left. For me, that would be the moment in the conversation where I would stiffen all the fingers of my left hand and strike a light blow dead center of their forehead. It’s a little like a love tap with intention, reminding them where their head is…you know, in case at some point they want to use it.

As a matter of independence now, the 10 year olds are trying to establish their right to smell. WTF? How does bathing cut into your busy schedule of computer games, TV watching and trying to avoid helping around the house? (which sounds an awful lot like my busy schedule sometimes, so I guess the apple doesn’t really fall far from the tree after all).

And weirdly, when they finally can be prevailed upon to bathe, the project goes on for up to and hour or more if you don’t intervene. It’s like they think that they can stock up on enough clean to keep them going for the next 10 days. They will also use 10 days worth of soap if they are not controlled.

The things is, and I try, with considerable desperation, to make them understand that their problem is only going to get worse when the hormones come on in earnest. The idea of three teenagers at once just makes my eyes cross, and the other boy won’t be far behind them. But they seem blithely unconcerned with this.

Add to this their complete lack of concern for brushing their hair and their tendency to wear pants that would suit them just right for the next flood and I’ll tell you, I don’t know how they get invited over to people’s houses. I really thought, as a family, that we would look better than this, but in the end, that wasn’t a battle I chose to fight. I regret that on some levels, but they should have given me more time in between children to establish certain standards.

For now, I’m resting all my faith in the moment they notice the opposite sex…

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3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Colonial Boy

    At least they haven’t taken to “marking out their territory” yet, by peeing in the corners of the room and stuff- then you’ll REALLY know you’ve hatched a drama or two.
    The unfortunte thing is that while you’re hoping that the way others look will influence them to some extent, have you had a LOOK at some of the “others” in this scenario? Sometimes you need to ask yourself if you really WANT your kids to look like them. Then you’ve also got the “rebellion” thing about to happen, if it hasn’t already- never lose sight of the GOOD stuff they do, even when it seems to outweigh the nasty by several orders of magnitude. They really ARE good kids, eh?

    January 5th, 2011

  2. Madilyn

    Yes. My boy is on the offense by 7pm every night. And I am on strong defense. “You are turning into a man” “Daddy has to take showers everyday” “You stink”, I say lovingly. Mostly.

    January 7th, 2011

  3. GrandMother

    They still love to bathe in my oversized tub although I regret they have the opportunity not nearly as often as I would like. They’re always welcome, clean or smelly, to come and partake. Sleep-overs are good and good to give Mum a break, too. The kids really like those, too.

    January 8th, 2011

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