The term “tween”…you’ve heard it, yes? A word used describe a kid between 10 and their teens. In between a kid and a teenager. Tween. It sounds almost cute. I see it all over Pinterest. “Tween hairstyles”, “Tween fashions”, “Tween bedroom makeovers”. What you don’t see is “How to get the demons out of your tween”, or “How to ground a tween so hard they’ll never see daylight again”.
Oh holy night, you guys. I am dead smack in the tweens. Remember when the kids were born and everyone warned you about the terrible two’s? I lived in fear..durning month 23 I bought novena candles and holy water preparing for the worst. Know what happened? Nothing. A big, fat, freaking nothing. Both of my kids sailed through 2 with chuckles and smiles and rosy, red-cheeked grins. They ate like lions, slept like the dead and loved everyone, and this includes Hallee. So when this tween B.S. came around a few months ago and smacked me right between the eyes, I was grossly unprepared.
Hallee is 17, but due to her autism, we’ve missed a lot of the “teen angsty” stuff, mercifully. So in a way, the things that are going on with her little sister (now 12) are all firsts for me. In the last few months I’ve had front row, center seats for such entertainment as the “I hate you” show, the “You just don’t get it” show, the “Why are you picking on me and not her” show….and much, much more. There has been door slamming and foot stomping of the likes that the cast of “Stomp” would be green with envy. Eye rolling to the point that I’m surprised that the kid hasn’t given herself a seizure.
At first I was floored, shocked almost to the point of silence. Almost. What the hell was going on here? Who was this tiny terror who had invaded my home and had everyone from adults to pets hiding in dark corners? So I did what any other girl would do…I called my mother. And it went something like this.
Me: MOM! OMG COME GET YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER! WTH IS WRONG WITH HER? SHE’S CRAZY! CRYING ONE MINUTE, LAUGHING THE NEXT, SULLEN, MOODY, RUDE, SLAMMING DOORS, WON’T TALK TO ME..WHAT DO I DO? DO I NEED TO CALL A THERAPIST OR SOMETHING?
Mom: (after wiping away the tears of laughter)..”This is going to be your next several years…good luck!
Me: *sob* WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “SEVERAL YEARS?” WE (my two sisters and I) WERE NEVER LIKE THIS! RIGHT? MOM? MOM?
MOM: (still laughing the laugh of the mother who survived 3 girls) *click*.
So that’s where we are. The kiddo is an excellent student, honor roll again this past quarter. According to her teachers at school, “a joy” to work with. But it seems that we have a bit of a challenge ahead of us. My mom says we all got nice again somewhere around 20. Hold me.
If you’ve been in the trenches, faced the beast that is the tween and lived to tell the tale…please share your secrets for survival. Holy water? Wine? Both? I’ll be reading Tweens for Dummies and eating all of the Christmas candy under my covers if you need me.