29 January 2014

The Tween Roller Coaster

Over the weekend, the girl asked me to take her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art so she could sketch in the Greek/Roman sculpture galleries. Yes, where all of the people are naked and most of the men have had their penises lopped off. She’s 10. Oy.

But I'm a good mother and I like to encourage trips to museums.

We wandered through other bits of the museum too. There was a cool exhibit of mid-century Venetian glass, where we both took a lot of close-up phone photos until a guard chastised us. And we were both decidedly unimpressed with the jewelry show. Would you wear that? No, would you? And somehow, we ended up in a gallery with a fistful of Georgia O'Keefe paintings. Being the subversive mom, I decided I had to mention that many people think many of O'Keefe's paintings look like...yeah. Her response? I know.

It's a funny age. On the one hand: I WANT TO GROW UP. On the other hand: I'm still a little girl. We wobble-wobble between the two.

Last week we had the small drama of:

My armpits smell
Hmm, yes they do. We'll have to go get you some deodorant.

She's now applying antiperspirant three times a day, even though I keep telling her once a day is more than sufficient.

[We did have a nice dinner conversation about the word "lapse" and the concepts of pre- and post-lapsarian.]

Tonight I navigated her through the minefield that is texting, this time a group text that got completely out of hand. Delete me. I HATE YOU. Part of the problem is that the children, for they are still children, haven't any idea how to deal with a group text. No one wanted it to continue, but they all kept saying "delete me", "I deleted this message", "stop texting me" - which meant that it kept going and going and going. And then, there were hurt feelings, not unwarranted, but oh the drama.

I am glad, though, that she texted me (and only me) and told me it makes me feel really bad / I don't like that feeling and wanted to know when I'd be home. We had a good heart to heart about kids and relationships and what other people might be feeling and why group texts and reply-all are often misused.

And then, later in the evening, as she was tidying up before bed, she piped up with I think me and (BFF) are the only girls in fifth grade who like dolls. The other girls, they're trying to grow up too fast.

It's a goddamned roller coaster is what it is.


Jody said...

Hang on tight! (I have one daughter who still talks to me about this stuff, and one who doesn't, and both situations are their own brand of stress!)

Heide Estes said...

We're riding that train too. Except that The Offspring doesn't have a texting machine yet, and doesn't want to use the deodorant I bought him.

Swistle said...

I have a 15-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy, and I am sort of enjoying and sort of not-enjoying the growing up. I predict I am going to have the hardest time with my girl, though, who is now 8.

S said...

Too, too familiar. Wear your seatbelt.

MARY G said...

I am so, so glad I brought my kids up in the pre-cellphone world. But they always have tried to grow up too fast, many of them. It reminds me of watching rockets launch.
Good luck, really!

Stimey said...

Your daughter seems like a very, very cool girl. I so get what you're saying here though. This is such a funny age because they're partly getting so grown up and they're partly still little boys and girls. It's a trip.

Jocelyn said...

"it makes me feel really bad / I don't like that feeling"

Ohhhhh, I identify with that feeling from my own youth (and adulthood) and almost got a little teary for your girl there.

Tough years, indeed. But you're equipping her with the skills to ultimately figure it all out.

Bibliomama said...

Clearly she's a little more sophisticated than my daughter, who termed the Contemporary room at the National Gallery the 'naked and scary' section. You're right, it's a tricky path to navigate. She was ridiculously excited about wearing deodorant. Once she sobbed "am I crying about puberty BECAUSE OF PUBERTY right now?" Sigh.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Yes, it is a roller coaster.

I have had to spank a couple of people at work about group texts. We need to make texting etiquette plain-a group text is like a group email--don't reply all.