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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The 7 Mysteries of Tweendom

What is it with these tweens today?  My 12 year olds really make me wonder about this stepmom thing sometimes.  They can be so frustrating and funny and crazy and great, but there are a few things I simply cannot figure out about The Tweendom.

1.  Attitude.  What happened to my sweet and loving kids that listened and obeyed without question?  They have been replaced by some kids that go from sweet angel one second to sassy pants the next!  Is it because the hormones are bubbling just under the surface?  It's a mystery to me how they can be so nice and then turn into the eye rolling, foot stomping, harrumphing over every little thing petulant children that I just want to leave at the store sometimes.  Maybe some walking would cure their eye rolling problems!

2. What is it about tweens that they suddenly become incapable of picking up after themselves?  It's like their arms suddenly go dead.  Constantly I find myself saying, "Hey, you left your socks in the living room!"  "Will you please go pick up your comic books off the table so we can eat?"  "What in God's name are these shoes laying here for?!"  I am not a maid, but apparently the true mystery is why they happen to think I am.  I have found a stellar solution though.  Anything left in the living room gets haphazardly tossed in their rooms with no consideration for order.  I open the door, chuck it in, and close the door.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

3.  The obsession with all electronic applications, including, but not limited to, texting and snapchatting.  My stepson actually texted his friend a bunch of gibberish, because he didn't have anything else to say and was too lazy to write a real text.  What?  Snapchatting, too.  Ugh, what is that?  It's basically captioned pictures, but even more boring than what the Associated Press caption writers churn out.  How did this get so popular and why can't tweens put the phones down?  I am almost sure it's from the same guy who created the Idiot Button.

4.  Tweens and their fandoms.  Twilight, One Direction, Dr. Who, Marvel, Pitch Perfect.  There are fandoms for EVERYTHING nowadays and these kids are serious.  They blow up Twitter with a bunch of hashtags related to their fandom and constantly try to one-up each other's obsession with that band/movie/show.  In my day, there were fans, but it wasn't a "thing" to be in a fandom.  You just copied Poison's logo over and over and over again, in ever increasing size, all the way across your textbook's paper cover.  (Or maybe that was just me.) Or, in the privacy of your own home, listened to NKOTB's Christmas album over and over again until you'd memorized all the lyrics and knew who was the lead for each of the individual songs.  (Again, maybe just me.)  Yeah, you talked with your friends at school about them, but it wasn't so serious I was going to bust C.C. DeVille out of the drunk tank anytime soon, no matter how much I loved his killer guitar riffs!

5.  Clothing.  Ah yes, fashion today for young girls is beyond absurd.  Apparently, clothing companies believe that girls' clothing must be bright pink, dipped in glitter, and have a mind-numbing amount of ruffles, bows, or sequins on it.  Ugh.  I have taken my tween stepdaughter to that Justice store once or twice, and those are some garish clothes.  That, the tightness of it and sometimes inappropriate length of skirts just leaves me baffled.  The real mystery here is how any of that sells!  Why do kids want it and more importantly I think, why do parents BUY it?!  Thankfully, my tween cares not one whit for crap like that and is more comfortable in T-shirts, jeans, and a pair of cowgirl boots, but it's concerning to see all these other half-dressed tweens running around.  My stepson actually dresses in T-shirts with button up shirts over the top, maybe an occasional bowtie with a sweater vest, khaki cargo pants and regular faux-Vans.  The worst thing I can say about boy's fashion today is that they wear their ball caps slightly askew.  It's annoying, but I can live with it.

6.  Surely my kids aren't the only ones who talk about all the stuff they NEED in their rooms, right?  How they NEED TVs and NEED mini fridges and NEED their own computer, their own walk-in closet and their own ponies?  It is a mystery to me where they get these crazy ideas of opulence, like we can just pull some money out of thin air.  I am totally mystified by these people who get stuff like this for their children.  Look, they are already on their phones 24/7.  If we gave them everything they claimed they needed, we'd never see them again.  While that IS occasionally very tempting, I just cannot in good conscience allow my children to never interact as a family.  We play a lot of board games in this household.  Our favorites are Forbidden Island, Settlers of Catan, and Sorry!  My husband and I decided years ago that we would not have a TV anywhere on the main floor of our home.  It has kept our kids slightly realistic and much more imaginative.  They both love to draw and of course, the SS loves his Legos.  SD loves her music and still plays with her faux-American Girl dolls.

7. The final mystery that I know I will NEVER solve.  How did my tweens grow up so fast?!  They were cute chubby little kids and now?  Now, they will be 13 this year.  They will be full fledged teenagers and God help us when they really start the hormonal roller coaster of high school and beyond.  Why can't they stay little?  And how DID the time fly?

These kiddos are spectacular people and I am excited to see them grow even more into themselves, because I KNOW they are independent thinkers.  I just hope some of these mysteries end up solving themselves before we go crazy!  Ready the straitjackets!

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