Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Top ten signs you have a ten-ager

My daughter can be a sweet, helpful soul full of empathy.  She can also be a full-fledged ten-ager.  Even before her official birthday came last month, the “tens” had already gone to her curly head.  We started out the school year with the occasional tense mother-daughter moments and we have just added to it on a daily basis.  If you think you have a ten-ager on your hands, read on...

Ten is THE number to be!
  1. Everything is lame.  Or nul in French.  We go to an outdoor museum.  It’s nul.  We are watching a travel documentary.  It’s nul.  I tried banning this word for a while.  In vain.
  2. Eyes can roll so high.  Full disclosure, I am an eye-roller too.  Only I feel I am more justified.  My little tween rolls her eyes when I ask her to set the table or unload the dishwasher or any other household task, which brings us to… 
  3. “It’s not fair!”  No, nothing in life is, sweetie, I tell her.  But this life lesson is lost on her for now because most days she feels chores are my tool to torture her.
  4. “Yeah, right!” accompanied by eye rolling.  If I say, you can have your tablet time when we get home from your grandparents, she will reply with this.  As in, I don’t believe you and “it’s not fair!” 
  5. It’s all about the shoes/jean jacket/bandana/insert your trendy item here.  And she needs it yesterday.  Ten-agers have recently awoken to all that is fashionable and all that is not.  Those little footsie socks, in.  Regular socks, out.  Baggy jeans, out.  Leggings with the cuffs rolled up, in.  
  6. Negotiating with her is harder than with North Korea.  We once spent a better part of her bedtime ritual trying to agree that if she stopped with the snark, I would stop with the lectures and raised voice.  I had to explain to her that I only raised my voice BECAUSE of the snark. 
  7. Musically is THE app to have.  If you don’t know what this is, it’s probably because you are over 30.  Since I let her download this (private account, of course), I have been introduced to the music video making snippets that all the tweens are doing.  I am also now totally allergic to the Elie Goulding/Calvin Harris song that she kept playing while making her video.  Don’t even start humming that thing!
  8. Don’t mess with the hair.  She is not yet totally obsessed about it and will still ask for the occasional braid.  But the time spent coiffing herself has increased exponentially this year. 
  9. Middle school is on the brain.  One more year to stay “little” in elementary school, then the next step is approaching.  She is romanticizing it like so many of her classmates do, wishing she was already in it.  I tell her to be patient; it will be here soon enough.
  10. Mother knows best… only ¼ of the time.  Mom (and dad to some extent) just don’t know that much.  Until we prove her wrong and she dares to admit it.  Maybe.
But that’s ok.  I know there will be tough times and much eye-rolling and sighing in my future.  But I also know some of what I say is sinking in.  I also know I went through much the same thing as a kid and put my mom through some tense moments, too (sorry again, mom!).  But I grew up and out of it.  She will too and will become a well-adjusted, kind older teen and adult.  

So excuse me for the next few years as my street cred dwindles to zero and my fashion sense is questioned.  A ten-ager has been born!


I Say Oui said...

I learned "C'est nul!" from my 8-year-old host brother when I was a student in Paris. Guess he started early...

Lindle said...

Stay strong and consistent, sweetie. Don't waiver. Kids DO like structure, and they do want to please their parents (to some degree)--at any age. She has to learn to negotiate so that you both win something (unless it is in a "NO GO ZONE" of parent restrictions). I recall my nighttime lectures used to put you all to sleep!

Still important to expose her to helping others so she won't become too selfish and trend-obsessed. I guess the days of me playing blanket burrito with her at bedtime are just about over, huh? Alexandre will make up for the difference. In the meantime, you will have to put blinders on for those side-eyes and eye rolls. Buckle up!

But if she turns out as sweet as you are as an adult, it's worth it.