God’s Cruel Joke: Adolescence & Peri-Menopause, Part 2

Last week I discussed God’s cruel joke: putting women with perimenopause and adolescent human beings in the same household. I talked about perimenopause and how it affects parents. This week: adolescence.

I don’t remember every instance of my own adolescence. I do remember there was drama–everything was important and had everything to do with me, me, me. I had a thin skin and a snarky mouth.

I have not raised adolescent girls, only boys. But I’m willing to bet that not a lot has changed with girls turning into women. Except there’s the internet…lots more knowledge…lots more drama (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). I’m sure these thing affect boys too; I haven’t seen a lot of it in my house.

What I have seen is adolescence up front and in my face. I’ve watched perfectly normal boys turn into creatures inhabiting the bodies of boys. As I said, I can’t speak for girls, but I would love to hear if they experience similar things!

They lose all spatial reasoning. Something happens to their brains that makes simple tasks impossible. Putting things in small spaces becomes a challenge. Your son who could do a 5,000 word jigsaw puzzle with the most minute pieces is suddenly all thumbs.

Going right alone with spatial reasoning, is a disconnect from body size. This will be the time when your sons walk into walls, knock tables out of the way with their hips and legs, and become overnight butter fingers on any athletic field. My own observations have led me to believe that they are growing so fast that they honestly don’t know where their own bodies begin and end.

The most frustrating thing is the blindness. They can spot a box of cereal from down the block, but they cannot see the mess they left at their own feet. Boys who were neatniks, picking things off the floor as they walk by, no longer see things on the floor. Even when instructed to look down, they remain blind.

Along with the blindness comes the deafness. You can ask them to do something while sitting next to them, and they do not hear you. But step into another room–heck another level–of your house and whisper softly to your partner that you want to sneak off for ice cream, and they will be there in an instant demanding to go along. They show no interest in the conversation at the dinner table, but become enamored of whatever show or commercial is on the tv in the next room.

To round things out there’s the incessant eye rolling, the ability to turn a one word answer into a snarky diatribe against your sanity, and the utter disdain for any adult. Sure there are other things adolescents, but I’m not writing a book here!

Logically, it’s nice to remind yourself that young bodies are being deluged with amounts of hormones never experienced before. Testosterone, estrogen, and others combine, separate, and morph them into adulthood–physically, at least. Things grow and sprout. Mentally their minds are a jumble.

But put together an adolescent and a perimenopausal woman, and it’s the hormonal perfect storm.

To be continued…

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