As I came into our kitchen, I spied the giant messy pile on the counter. Applesauce cups. Foil half ripped off the top, it looked like a band of raccoons had gotten into the kitchen and attacked the case we bought two days ago at Costco but it was only one 10-year-old boy. I counted as I rinsed them for the recycling bin. One, two, three… He must have been hungry. Four, five, six… Did I forget to feed him lunch?
As I leaned into the pantry to throw the cups in the recycle bin, I glanced at the case of applesauce and was shocked. More than half of them were gone – 18 cups in two days. I called Ethan into the kitchen and pointed to the half empty box with eyebrows raised.
“I must be going through puberty,” was his only response.
Ethan says this phrase a lot to us. He calls me into the bathroom after he showers to ask whether I can see the hair growing on his legs (surprisingly he does have a lot). He is insistent that we smell his pits because he is sure that he has BO and needs to start using his dad’s deodorant in the mornings (he doesn’t, and thank God because I couldn’t take smelly feet and smelly pits). He wants to buy Axe body wash when we shop at Target and spends five minutes picking out fragrances like “Anarchy” or “Jet”. When we went out to dinner last week, he asked to use his dad’s cologne and asked my opinion on which one would smell best on him.
I like this pre-puberty stage. Ethan talks freely with us about anything, and asks my opinion on everything. Well, almost everything – discussions of specific girls at his school are strictly off limits. He’s a smart boy – Mom has a blog and Dad would tease him constantly. With anything else, he blurts out questions unexpectedly or chews on it for a few days and approaches us when he is ready. He can’t wait for puberty to hit, no matter how much Mom and Dad dread it.
I cherish this time and know that when the puberty gate comes crashing down in two or three years, he won’t be asking my opinions or sharing his thoughts so easily. In the meantime, I smile as we head to the store to buy more applesauce and Axe body wash this weekend.