Adolescence or What?

Gabe has been so emotional lately. I told you a couple of weeks ago about the girl who has been bullying him at school. That was rough on him for sure. She’s still bothering him. He has been having trouble sleeping the past few weeks, really up and down emotionally and kind of a mess. It’s upsetting. I know he’s sensitive, like his mother, but this seems to be a whole new level.

Monday afternoon, as I was getting ready to have a few friends over, he was playing with Olivia upstairs. They were running around and laughing and having a great time. All of a sudden Gabe yells “Mom! Olivia needs you!” I’m trying to set out food, uncork wine and do some last-minute cleaning so I sent Matt upstairs. Next thing I know Olivia is coming down with Matt and she’s bawling. Turns out that Gabe accidentally shot Olivia in the eye with a Nerf arrow. It was a total freak accident. But it tore her cornea. She’s been home from school all week, can’t open her eye, is in a lot of pain, and has a fever. She’s so miserable. I haven’t seen her this miserable in ages. And Gabe feels awful.

He bursts into tears when he looks at her or anyone mentions her eye because he feels so terrible and like it’s all his fault. Add this to the other emotions he’s been feeling lately and I don’t even know what to do. He always waits to have his meltdowns until I tuck him in at night too. You know, that awesome time of night when you’d give someone $1000 to put your kids to bed so you can just be DONE? That’s when he springs these tears and breakdowns on me. It’s been difficult to say the least. I started going through puberty at his age so I’m wondering if that’s what it is. I’m constantly worried about what’s wrong with him. Would you be too?

Did I mention I also got a flat tire this week? On the way to see the doctor about Olivia’s eye? It’s been a hell of a week. I hate it when Olivia is sick because I just feel like one of these times she’s not going to be able to fight it. She’s so tough that when she acts miserable, I know it must be awful. We’ve been to the doctor to check on her eye every day this week. Tomorrow she sees her regular pediatric opthalmalogist…I’m anxious to see what she has to say. I feel like Olivia’s eye should be better by now…and the fever has me worried.

If any of you have been through extreme emotional times with an almost-10-year-old boy and can offer any advice, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve stayed calm, scratched his back for hours on end, provided as many sleeping tips as I can and just listened. I hope it’s enough. It has to be, right?


14 responses to “Adolescence or What?

  1. Truly, Tiffany, LISTENING is so important. You are doing all the right things…listening, offering support, just BEING there. Kids spell love T-I-M-E most of the time. As long as you and Matt are a constant in Gabe’s life (and you are) then even though life is unfair and unkind he will survive…and even flourish…under the shadow of your love.

    Gabe is SUCH a sensitive boy…amazingly supportive and tender. It’s no wonder this deal with Olivia has thrown him. He’ll be ok. As my mom told me often: “This too shall pass.” no matter how horrific it is right now it will eventually be a memory. You are doing all you can to help him cope with his emotions right now.

    Sorry it’s been such a lousy week…mine has been kinda stinky too…I empathize with you! Praying about Olivia’s eye, and Gabe. Please keep us updated.

    Take care of you in the midst of all this!!!!


  2. Havent been through the emotional 10 yr old phase yet but I’ve been through the child with a scratched cornea and am on round 2 of it right now too!! julia had one in 2010 and she too has been off school this week and to the dr 4x for her – this one is bad, real bad. i’ll say an extra prayer for you all!

  3. I hope everything starts to look better very soon!

    Just a thought….what if Gabe could do something extra nice for Olivia? Something that would put a little smile on her face, and make him feel a little better too. A little gift, a new movie, chocolate….something she likes.

  4. Since Ihave all girls I will tell you I have no idea about boys! That being said, I have already gone through one 10 year old & am living with another right now. It probably is puberty & whatever changes are going on inside. Just keep listening, asking questions & reinforcing the boy you know he is. I would ask your pediatrician too. Mine has always been helpful with the emotional as well as the physical. Good luck! Glad her eye is getting better!

  5. Hope things start to improve soon. I have no words of advice, but I do know that my friends say that 10 – 12 is a tough age. They are going through so many changes. I realize it doesn’t remedy the situation, but know that you are not alone.

  6. Poor Olivia. Poor Gabe. Poor you. I’m so sorry things are tough all the way around right now but I have to agree with everyone above, you’re doing so many things right and nothing that I can see wrong. Gabe is lucky to have a mother who listens to him, who wants to be there, who cares so deeply.

    I really hope Olivia’s eye (and the whole rest of her) feels better soon.

  7. oh babe…what a crappy week…
    if it makes you feel better, my van is broken again…cuz you know, misery loves company…

  8. Ohhhh, I’m so sorry for Olivia’s eye and Gabe’s emotions! Praying for it all to heal well. I know I’ve had some kids devastated by an accidental injury they inflicted, and it did help to have them do something especially nice for their sibling. When it involves J., they cuddle up on the couch and read her books, or take her for a walk and show her things. So sweet.
    With my oldest boys, I was surprised by the seeming “hormonalness” at this age… I thought only girls got moody! The younger ones haven’t been as bad for some reason. At least not yet.

  9. Ella is only 6 so we haven’t really gotten to puberty yet, but sometimes she too is really emotional and I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I freak myself out and think she will grow up to be bi polar or something. So I feel a little better knowing that other moms are going through the same things. Maybe we all have emotions like this but it takes moving into adulthood to be able control them more. I don’t know, if you figure out something that works post it because I would love any tips!

  10. I’m sorry your all having a rough week…If it’s any comfort the meltdowns and tantrums if he is experiencing them are normal. My eldest started around the age of 9 and my 11 year old is the same now. Children start to see the world different at one point and we can only offer love and support while they work through it. Hang in there! Hoping you get better news with Olivia, poor little angel! Sending some healing prayers your way.

  11. His tender emotions could very well be hormonal. Boys can get that way too. With the problems at school with bully girl, he’s probably on edge and the accident with Olivia was just the last straw.

    Have you all talked with school admins about this bully? My son was the victim of bullies too at that age. It’s hard to deal with. You should get help from teachers and the principal.

  12. I don’t have boys, but I had a boy in my 4th grade class who went through the sickness and eventual death of his mom. He really felt lost and helpless. We started a project where he would create something. Days after school and inside for recess, he molded clay and then onto woodwork. During those times he talked freely with me. He always knew that he had a special time set aside with me and we had many heart to hearts. It seemed that keeping his hands busy focused him. When the pressures of the day creep up on you at night, the emotions can be explosive. Giving him time in the middle of his day to decompress really helped him with his sleep. I think the key here is talking about your emotions. It’s a testament to you that you have created an environment for Gabe to feel comfortable sharing with you!

  13. Oh I can only imagine how very horrible he felt. He loves Olivia so very much. You are a great mom to him. You care so very much. This too shall pass. In the mean time, just keep being there for him. Hugs to you both.

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