"If I'm clearing the table," Daughter 1 announced one day after dinner, "what are you going to do?" Then she huffed, "I'm the only one who does anything around here."
At the time she was 6. What can I say? She was advanced--she acted 13.
As time marched on and grey hair sprouted all over my head, we survived those times. She became acutely aware that I was doing plenty around the house and that clearing the table, among a number of other contributions to our home, required no huffing or puffing.
Last year as a middle school-er moved into our home in the form of Daughter 1, I felt my neck hairs bristle thinking of the drama that accompanies any middle school student, much less a middle school girl. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that my middle school girl liked school. She skirted around the drama, and for all intents and purposes, she was a great kid. Of course, there was still huffing and puffing when I asked her to take out the trash or, heaven forbid, pick up her shoes from the middle of the kitchen (the injustice of my request, right?), but I can honestly say I have no complaints.
I still don't.
Well, not a big complaint, really.
My girl, my sweet, middle school girl, has jumped full-body into tween-hood. She picked friends over her momma. She picked friends over her family. She picked friends over (gulp) television!
"You're spending the night with your friend Thursday? That's fine, but you'll be missing going to Channel 8 with me." I just knew that would seal the deal--she gets to see where the news is being made. Well, not made, per say. But ya know...
"It's okay, Momma, I'll just watch you later." I sighed. She's a tween. Friends trump TV.
"Okay, honey. You'll get to spend all day with me on Saturday at the book signing," I offered.
It was her turn to sigh. "Um ... no," she offered, "Remember? I'm going to Jennifer's workshop at the library."
"But my book signing ...," I whined.
"Momma ...," the tween whined back, "I've been to plenty of book signings."
"I know, honey," I said, rubbing her back as I nodded my head and gave her a half-smile.
"Remember?" she prompted my memory, "We saw Pioneer Woman that one time at Hellmart.*"
And then she was a tween.
*She didn't really say Hellmart. That's my word. She'll probably start using my word, however, within the next few years.