Shrugs, eye rolls and mood swings…


“Mom, my color pallet has certainly changed over the years…” the doll began. We were walking hurriedly through a department store looking for a dress shirt for me to wear that evening. “Yeah, how so?” I replied while sifting through a few racks of clothing. “Well I used to like really bright and colorful clothes….now I like grays and black” she explained. “In other words you’re wearing colors to match your moods?” I suggested which was met with her tongue sticking out me. “Sorry doll couldn’t resist” I offered and proceeded to watch her shrug and then roll her eyes at my apology. “Well then never mind” I murmured to myself and chuckled.

I graduated college with a degree in Communications and one of the basic tenants of the degree is the ability to read body language. But who needs a degree these days? The doll’s large usage of shrugs and eye rolls seem to convey just how bored she is with all of us. Saturday night during a family party, when all the kids broke out of their designated assigned area, the doll was the only one to remain put. “Where’s the doll?” I asked her cousin Mary. “She’s too engrossed in her technology” she explained. When I questioned the doll about whether she was hanging out with her cousins or just sharing the same space she rolled her eyes, shrugged and then uttered, “Same difference”.

In addition, her father and I have found how easy it is to provoke them from her. Apparently, the simple act of opening my mouth is the trigger:  “Doll what’s going on at school…?” *shrug* “Doll I need your help in the kitchen *eye roll* or even better yet, “Doll your bedroom looks like a disaster… *shrug and eye roll” combination. Throw in a good mood swing undercurrent and all bets are off!! Unfortunately the only defense her father and I have is to mirror the eye rolls and shrugs back to her-which evoke even larger one’s back to us-which make us chuckle.

I know some day in the not so distant future, the doll will out grow these mannerisms and revert back to the nice young lady (I hope) she was prior to puberty’s interruption.  I just hope she realizes when her parents made those obnoxious faces or exaggerated eye rolls in response to her own, we were trying desperately to lighten the mood…so these transition days weren’t so hard. We’ve probably failed more times than not–but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop trying.

Growing up is hard to do…just ask a parent.


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