If you are a parent, perhaps you can chime in if you recognize this:
Do you remember when your newborn went from being that little lump that just lay in your lap, it's milky little eyes open but not able to focus on anything, to a little chub that sat up and took notice and smiled?
Or when your baby started forming words, then sentences, then opinions? "NO RELLA!" meant he was adamantly NOT having any tofurella cheese, and really, I can't blame him.
Or when your sweet natured toddler became a defiant, maniacal button-pusher? BWAAAAHAAAAAHAAAA! I PUSH DESE BUTTONS!!!!! Where did that agreeable little cherub go? And I was so afraid I'd never see him again. I did, but he was returned to me changed a bit, having lived a little wilder, a little more independent, a little more sure of his hold on the world.
And now, can I just tell you, my son is going from little kid to big kid and there just isn't enough coffee to catch me up. My sweet natured kiddo is becoming an eye-rolling, "so" monster. I'll ask him to do something he'll roll his eyes. I'll tell him that there will be a consequence to the behavior and I get "so". (I HATE "SO". SO, SO MUCH). There is so much attitude, I can hardly believe it. And sometimes, he's just in a bucket of worms. His emotions are running really hot and cold. He'll cry if he thinks I'm being unfair (like when I remind him to brush his teeth or something of this heinous nature), and he'll get so angry about something I say, so out of all proportion angry, I just almost have to laugh. (But I don't. But I really, really want to.).
It's odd too, because most of the time it seems as though he's just trying it on. Not like he really feels committed to these thoughts and feelings, but like he's performing some covert social experiment, networking with the other eight year olds to see who can drive their parents crazy first. And farthest. "field note: mom does not give in to whining at 0800 hours. Begin before coffee for next attempt."
Today though he had a friend from down the street over, and he's having his first sleepover, ever. And I'm seeing glimpses of my boy. The thoughtful one, who, when the kid staying over sasses me, say "Hey, don't say that to my mom!" And when I went to tuck them in (for the tenth time), he looked up at me with such big eyes, and said "g'night mom." and whispered "I miss snuggling you".
So yeah, he's growing up crazy fast. But we're still hanging on to that last little boy thread. Thank God.