Conversation with kids . . .
I USED to love the conversations I had with the kids.
These days calling them conversations is a bit of a stretch really.
One minute I had a talkative eight-year-old and almost overnight he has turned into a nine-year-old practising to be a teenager.
Me: How was your day?
Me: What did you do?
Me: What sort of stuff?
Son: Just stuff.
Gone are the days where I would hear tales of adventures in the playground, stories of pictures drawn and who he was playing with at lunch times. It seems no more.
Now it is just stuff.
Watching my son last week pour water into a jug, put a piece of paper in, followed by some milk, chocolate topping and an assortment of other ingredients, I had to ask.
Me: What are you doing?
Son: It's Science.
Son: You know, Science.
Obviously that must be more of that stuff.
Even on the weekend when he had a bloody lip there was not a word.
In the good old days he would be sobbing, telling you he was bleeding and expecting all the affection in the world.
This time he walked past, flipped his bottom lip down so I could see the blood and kept walking. It appears that the "stuff'' conversations are limited to his parents.
He can get on the phone and talk endlessly to other people, he can spend all afternoon talking to his step-sister despite already having spent all day with her at school and often he can be heard talking to himself, playing imaginary games.
If I think back to my own teenage years I guess I should expect more of the silent treatment to come - from both the kids.
Words like stuff will be replaced with shrugs, grunts, nods and frowns or just a glare through a long fringe of hair.
When the kids do talk they will include some words that probably haven't even been thought of yet, and while parents will be scratching their heads in puzzlement, teens around the world will understand completely.
When I suggest some fun things to do as a family they will roll their eyes and just ignore me. At least I might get the last word. It may just be the only word.
Super Mum with Sharyn O'Neill