Thursday, May 7, 2015

Welcome to Tween-Town, USA!

Yup, it's happening. My kids are both officially tweens. And I can already see the rifts growing between us. Talking or hanging out with Mom or Dad is not so cool these days. And the merest suggestions that one might consider showering, or brushing one's hair, is tantamount to a gauntlet being thrown to the ground.

"You're so over-protective!" (I am; I'm working on it)

"I know that, Mom!" (Said to just about everything I say to my daughter.)

"Hi Honey, how was your day?" "Monosyllabic grunt" in response.

We have a tradition in our family at dinner time of taking turns telling about our individual days. Normally this conversation spills over past dessert, there is so much to be said.

But last night? We were done before we'd barely begun eating. The kids invoked their "No Comment" rights and whoosh, we were done talking. They can't wait to get out of their seats and go outside and play with their friends. This is a good and developmentally appropriate response, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt when they say "Potato soup, again? Didn't we have that two weeks ago?"

In the culinary realm I am way out of my depth. My food is usually too bland due to my fear of learning about spices. And besides, it's my husband's baileywick, to be the executive chef. I'm a sous chef at BEST. And that's being charitable.

Both kids' rooms are full of mess: clothing, mostly, inexplicable and disturbing crumbs and gum wrappers. It's enough to drive you mad. I want to keep going into their rooms and cleaning them up, but that's not a lesson I want them to learn. Plus, my husband and I are both pretty messy, too, so glass houses, you know. We have no leverage.

We do have a weekly "Cleaning Day" which works somewhat well. My daughter takes to her chores with more zeal (cleaning mirrors and cupboards) while my son does a half-assed job lackadaisically mopping the floors. I don't know how clean anything really gets, but so far we are still all on board with Cleaning Day. So at least that's something. We all have a common goal.

This tween business is going to get ugly, I fear. And that's totally normal. I just need to wrap my head around it and develop a MUCH thicker skin. Any ideas out there on that score?