Eight is (not) great

agesI have a new theory about the behavior of children. I call it the four year cycle, and I will admit, my sample size has been rather small (only three.) But I think I might be on to something.

The first four years of my boys’ lives was rough. Oh man. While we were lucky enough to have non-colicky children who slept fairly well from six months on, we also dealt with chronic ear infections, asthma, speech delays, the terrible twos, and threenagerhood … times three. Looking through photos from those years is bittersweet. I was just trying to survive, and I don’t think I really got to enjoy the good parts.

I’m sure there were some. Chubby cheeks come to mind.

And then they hit four, and it was magical. Every year after that just got better and better. Five was a delight. At six they were learning to read and understand things more. Seven was even better. (Dare I say seven was heaven?) I just assumed the hard part was over, I paid my dues with infant triplets, and now I could sit back and reap the rewards.

Well. Maybe I got a little cocky. Because last December, the boys turned eight. Along with adult front teeth (nothing like those to make you feel like your kids are practically in college) we got the attitude. And boundary-pushing that we last saw when they were two or three! What happened to my sweet boys who followed all the rules?

The week before their birthday, we went on a family cruise. I got so many compliments from other passengers on the boys’ good behavior (though obviously no one saw them in the ice cream line.) Fast forward ten days and I have three grumpy boys who want nothing more than to play on their Wii U and sing the theme to Super Mario Galaxy over and over until I’m screaming for mercy. They’re learning about air quotes and eye rolling. And sarcasm.

Now, I don’t want to badmouth my children too much (especially now that they can read.) They’re doing well in school, and they’ve gotten quite good at saying “thank you.” They’re just keeping us on our toes, that’s all.

But hey, this will only last until they’re 12, and then they’re going to turn back into little angels … right?

Pam Kocke
My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)



    So glad to read I am not alone! Our 8 year old twin boys are mouthy, cranky, boundary-pushing, “STOP!” saying, “NO!” saying, attitude-bearing, stinkers!

    I’m really hoping this doesn’t last until age 12 or I will be in a padded room. Which sounds kind of nice right about now.

  2. Lol! I swear I decided that 8 year old boys become a**holes all of a sudden. Max is 9 and the a**hole within is strong and sarcastic! Do you really think he’ll be better at 12? Thanks for giving me hope! (He still snuggles and is sweet sometimes…)


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