My son says I’m nagging him all the time.
Our oldest son is 17. When he was 15 and even 16 I thought it was fantastic how he still seemed so connected to us. To me. But turning 17 seems to have changed all that.
He was generally a needy baby. Needed my constant attention. Needed to be entertained. He was 21 months old when our twins were born and I always felt like he was more work than the two of them.
Being the first of our children off to school it was all a big unknown to him and so he never wanted to go.
We moved overseas and it was much the same. Two years later and he still wouldn’t let go of my hand in the morning when I took him to school. He stood by my side, tears flowing up to the last minute when he had to go inside.
Secondary school. His brother and sister across town at the primary school, again he was on his own. I thought it would make him feel more secure as I worked at his new school. Nope. I was just more accessible for him to come teary eyed looking for me. I left my job there a year or so later and he learned to be on his own.
Some kids gave him a hard time at school and so he learned to stick up for himself. They stopped bothering him.
Last week for the first time he travelled on his own to another country 7.5 hrs away by airplane. He was fine. “No big deal, Mom.”
The last couple of weeks, perhaps since he’s been on his own, it’s gotten worse.
“You should have a look and see what work you need to be doing before school starts again after the holiday”.
He looks at me like that’s something he doesn’t know.
“Have you cut your fingernails yet? The clippers are on the bathroom counter”.
Again, another one of those looks.
“Have you eaten yet?”
“Yes, I’ve had my breakfast Mom”.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Because you’re nagging me.”
“I’m not nagging you, I’m trying to have a conversation. I’m just asking you a couple of questions.”
I’m nagging him. I’m asking too many questions. He knows what he needs to do during the day. He knows to eat breakfast, brush his teeth. He knows what school work he needs to do and always has it done.
Life changes. I’m the one who doesn’t quite know what to do.