I'm pretty sure that I've lost "it" - my parenting mojo.
The Feral Threesome have out-grown me.
They no longer buy into all of my bullshit, and actually realise that I am not the be all and end all of the world.
If I threaten to count to 3 - they actually wait for it to happen
They have called my bluff.
My beloved Mstr8 has worked out how to push my buttons.
He'll still profess undying love, and still wish out loud that I was younger / he was older, so that we could get married....just not so often, and definitely not on video.
In fact, if I think about it, he usually only whispers it to me nowadays.
And usually only after I've discovered his 'Crunch-n-sip' veg from the previous week, festering in his backpack.
Or he's been busted watching Clarence / TMNT on the iPad, under his bed, at 9pm on a school night.
Gone are the days of blowing me kisses across the playground.
My last kiss is still lingering in the breeze, unrequited.
Instead, I got some beat-boxing in return.
Miss8 has worked out that she can pretend she can't hear me - in a way more mature way than my own "lalalala I can't hear youuuu" fingers in ears version that I have, until now, relied on when they ask awkward questions.
I can rant and rave, beg and plead, and her single excuse is "wait...what? Oh sorry Mum, I didn't hear you..." - and I have NO WAY OF PROVING OTHERWISE....
Despite being a people-pleaser - especially an adult-pleaser - she has worked out that there's more kudos in saving her adult-pleasing for teachers.
She's also worked out that I'm entirely embarrassing, as far as parents go.
I was all professional, work mode, at the school cross country the other week - blow me down if one of my besties (a parent volunteer), didn't have to convince me that, it was in fact my Miss8 (and not another student) coming down the straight - winning.
I completely lost my
professional work persona shit and stood in the middle of the finish line, arms wide open, in full staff uniform, screaming her name....
....and she very obviously veered to the right, with a look of horror.
So I regained my staff persona and pretended I did not see her cross the finish line first, until she had to report to me for her official finishing position, and I ripped her off the ground and squeezed the living crap out of her little body.
She loved it, and she hugged me back - but only after checking that nobody else was watching...
As for Miss11...she is, believe it or not, the least of my worries!
We did have a rough patch with the hormonal, pre-tween attitude - but her need for me has superceded all of that.
Obviously she now gets all of the jewellery in the will, and I've advised her as much.
It's like she's won lotto, even though she isn't interested in jewellery - let alone old or wise enough to realise that I don't own anything nearly as large and sparkly as her $10 Lovisa costume jewellery.
Thank the Vodka Gods for Facebook memories....
For the first time ever, I've found myself genuinely reminiscing over Facebook "You posted this XXX years ago...." pics of the kids.
As opposed to continuing down to the latest cocktail / DIY / food / celeb post.
All that professing of unconditional love over the years has come back to bite me in the arse.
They know they've got me. That they've got the upper hand.
This is unfamiliar territory.
I'm used to being the unquestioned centre of their everything.
Clearly, I'm going to have to work out what their kryptonite is, and regain the prized power position / unconditional love and respect.
FYI....it was their random refusal of my previously loved sneaky veg soup that actually prompted this post.
It sent me into a tail spin of reflection, on listening to their negotiations over dinner / bed times / upcoming school holidays.
They weren't remotely interested in pleasing me, listening to my firm insistence that they loved my soup and it would make them strong / healthy / awesome.
But, whatever, the point is - they are clearly turning into manipulative little a-holes (apple, tree, obviously).
And I've lost the "it" factor....I don't have IT anymore....
PS - FOUND ANOTHER WHITE EYEBROW HAIR TOO. Insult to injury....