I remember hearing so much about the “terrible twos” while, and even before, I was pregnant with my first child. I couldn’t help but picture little, chubby toddlers with devil horns running around.
I, myself, found that three was much worse than two… they are older, bigger, and smarter. What I failed to hear ANYTHING about was the tween years.
“Tween” is a fairly new classification that describes the age group of around ten to twelve. We all hear about the teen years being a total nightmare (and they so can be,) but no one really talks about those few years before… when kids aren’t “little” kids, but not teenagers either. Well, I’m here to tell ya, they can be rough.
Sure, I love the fact that my twelve year old daughter is discovering fun things like make-up and Kendra Scott jewelry. I love that she is appreciating clothes and fashion. It’s getting to be fun (but expensive!) to shop with her… even though, I apparently do not EVER know what actually looks good and is considered “cool.” I don’t even think the word “cool” is considered “cool” anymore. Whatever.
What I can do without, is the ATTITUDE. It’s toddler attitude on major steroids. The emotional outbursts. The eye rolls. The “whatevers.”
I thought, since I had once been a twelve year old girl, I had this in the bag. I could totally do this. WRONG. It’s not the same. These kids are so much smarter than we were and have so much more at their disposal. Gone are the days where you had to go to the library and literally look up an answer to a burning question. That answer, and many, many more are right at their finger tips. While being convenient, it is instant gratification and doesn’t help teach the important virtue of patience. Their hormones are beginning to kick in and that means even the littlest of things can easily turn into major crisis… in a matter of seconds. I try to be patient, realizing their bodies are changing and they don’t really get what’s happening. But, man, it’s TOUGH. At least the toddler could be put down for a nap!
It’s not all bad though. I love to talk with her about things happening in the world and hearing her very strong opinions on cultural issues. Sometimes, I stare at her in amazement… she is so unbelievably smart, beautiful, and witty. I know she will be a strong, independent woman who will do great things in this world. One of my favorite quotes from a writer and fellow mom is:
“I am a strong woman who is raising a strong girl, which is why I need a strong drink.” -Katie Bingham Smith