The Human Growth Hormone, or Make It Stop

Okay, so I just got back from eating lunch with Bug at school, and I’m pretty sure I left a few pieces of my broken heart littering their hallways.

I know my kid is growing exponentially. He’s like, six feet tall. Ish. But when he was around the other kids, kids I haven’t seen since last year, kids that are roughly my size (embarrassed), the realization that he is actually a not-so-tiny man hit me like a sucker punch.

When Bug was in kindergarten, I joined him for lunch often (coincidentally on the days they served Square Pizza) and our little table talked about not having to take naps anymore, or their favorite Pixar movie, or how they wished their moms had come for lunch, too.

Last year, we sat around the tables talking about superheroes and what they were going to ask Santa for on their Christmas lists, and how the girls team could never catch the boys team during recess.


We talked football.


One kid asked me if I had caught the Titans/Ravens game. I said I had, and then he started asking me if I had seen certain plays of the game. One kid asked me who my favorite team was, and when I told him Auburn he said, “You know they only won the national championship last year because of Cam Newton, right?”

Cue screeching tires sound effect. (Is there a button or something for that?)

Did I just get smack-talked by a second grader?

When I recovered, I laughed and agreed, saying yes, a couple of Auburn’s key players from last season did go pro, but there’s several on the offensive line who can still make things happen for the Tigers…and then he blinked and informed me, “Cam Newton plays for Carolina.”

WHO ARE THESE KIDS? Is this that unknown result of consuming too much HGH environmentalists warned us about? When I was in second grade, I’m pretty sure I was still learning how to walk. (Or something.) I do remember buying a Troy Aikman poster with my Scholastic Book Fair money once, but that was in fifth grade. FIFTH GRADE, people.

I am not prepared for this.

If I sat Bug down and made him sit still, do you think this whole growing up nonsense will slow down? At least long enough for me to process it. So, like, indefinitely. I can handle indefinitely.



Filed under Parenting

27 responses to “The Human Growth Hormone, or Make It Stop

  1. I went to UCLA at the same time as Troy Aikman.
    So I’m going to ignore that “fifth grade” portion of your post and say I HEAR YOU…

    On Monday, my 12-year-old daughter was confused by her algebra homework. I (alas and so sorry) could not explain it to her.

    My 14-year-old son sitting next to her said, “If ONLY you had a brother who understood distributive properties and could help…”

    They both laughed at his sarcasm and he proceeded to talk her through 50 problems of math that was clearly above my head.

    I muttered, “Don’t either of you have essays to write on Moby Dick or something?”

    Then I sat down on the couch and sobbed quietly for their lost youth and my lost algebraic knowledge…

    Hang in there, mama. It’s all up or down hill from here (depending on which way you look at it…)

    p.s. Who is Cam Newton?

  2. It’s posts like this that make me say you need to post more. You describe stuff good.

  3. This reminds me of school lunch with my 5th grader…only he is average sized. He can rattle off the Sports Center stats until my head spins. I fear he is starting to think his mother knows nothing.

  4. I loved square pizza day, too! In my elementary school it was always on Friday, and even today I can close my eyes and smell it.

    I remember actually being in 5th grade and knowing nothing about college or professional football, and facing all sorts of persecution and ridicule by fellow male classmates who lived and breathed sports. And it got progressively worse until…well, actually I’m still expected to know and care about football and other sports. Instead of getting the smarmy “Well, actually, so-and-so plays for such-and-such” from a fifth grader, I get it from my father-in-law.

    The next time you lunch with pre-adolescent sports analysts, I suggest you bring a large polo mallet. You know, for those moments when words don’t speak loudly enough.

    And the tire-screeching sound effect works as well in writing as it does on television. Maybe even better. Good post!

    • Thanks, Mark! For the comment and the tip. 😉

      You should sign up for a mentorship program so you can hang out with a troubled kid on Square Pizza days.

      And so you can, you know, touch a life. Or whatever.

  5. Square pizza. Ahhh, the simple days.

    Monkey doesn’t know from sports. He can, however, tell me anything anyone would ever want to know about computers and programming. Which totally works for me since I tend to freak out when something goes wrong with my Mac.

    Get used to being less smart. It happens fast. 😉

  6. Substitute football for hockey and you could have a second grade classroom in Canada. Only William would be quoting every line from every Sponge Bob episode and complaining how his parents aren’t letting him watch any anymore.

    Oh, and if the kids are Canadian, they’d be complaining about the weather. We teach that early.

  7. Or hockey for football. You know what I mean….

  8. I don’t think I could even SPELL football when I was in the second grade.
    Well, okay, I still have trouble with that, (but that’s what spell check is for, right?)! Anyway, I feel your pane (oops, that last one slipped right on by)!

  9. Elena Aitken

    So funny! It’s not sports with us, it’s the ‘big bang theory’ (not the TV show) or nuclear power, or electric circuits or something else equally boggling coming out of my nine year old son.
    At least when my nine year old daughter talks to me about Selena Gomez I have some sort of knowledge of who she is.
    Yup, totally getting dumber.

    • Confession: I adore Selena Gomez. I think she’s a great young actress who hasn’t (yet) gotten scandalous. That makes me feel old.

      Thankfully I know enough about football to bluff convincingly, at least for another year. Maybe.

  10. I can’t imagine it being my own kids who are growing up too quickly. It’s hard enough watching my nephews. Whatever happened to riding bikes and playing with the neighbors? Now the kids are more techno-savvy and street smart than ever before. Great post, Jess!

  11. My oldest daughter was sweet and innocent… until she entered first grade and they played Justin Bieber during gym class, and now I’m ready to call an exorcist or something to get rid of the Bieber Fever. You’re right, they do grow up fast.

  12. That kid knows more about sports than I ever will in my entire life.

    Whatever. I bet I’m better at multiplication tables than him.

  13. I was at a sports bar watching SEC football at 9:30am in the morning. In Hawaii. While on vacation.

    While there, a huge group of Ohio State fans were there screaming and fist bumping and someone actually played a trumpet when they scored. In the restaurant. In the corner with itty bitty pom poms was a 2-year-old girl who could name the quarterback, coach, and the name of the stadium. The key is to indoctrinate young. And then blame the parents.

  14. so true, it seems every generation says that our kids grow up way too fast… this reminds me of “the older I get the less I seem to know” – a Chris-ism. Great Post!

  15. My son is never going to grow up.

    I mean, look at me, right?

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