I've been the mother 'officially' of a Tween (ages nine, through twelve) for the past year and a half. Believe me when I say, it certainly is no picnic. Especially when your experience is from having the oldest of the three going through this is a girl, no less. Figures. God had to get the good laughs from me.
My oldest is now a ten-year-old she-devil (at times). Not to mention, Hayley is just about as tall as I am. AT THE AGE OF TEN, people!!...I'm only a mere five-foot-tall, petite lady. And here, my daughter is (literally) right under my nose.
She is also already having bouts of PMS (putting up with Mom's shit). So, if we happen to be hormonal at the same time, it's game on in my house. And it ain't pretty! We have been known to almost claw one another's eyes out. And that's on a GOOD day, mind you.
Add in the fact that Hayley is already "budding", and it makes my anguish fueled even more. Why? Because I know that once those puppies start to really...*ahem* sprout, that she is going to be beating her mother in that department. And that's when I drag out my husband, Scott's old Softball METAL bat from the attic. It's gonna be my "beat a boy" bat for those that want to take advantage of my little girl.
Yep. I have this all mapped out. I'm ready to roll with the big punches.
As for my son, Bryce, he JUST entered the world of Tweenhood. So far, so good. Then again, those hormones have yet to even hit him. But I can say for sure, that knowing him, when they do, it's going to be World War Three in my home. And I already told Scott that being he laid the girls (BOTH of them mind you) on me to 'handle', that it is HIS job to strictly deal with the boy when he starts to uh....mature in more ways than one (not including the voice thing).
To me, these days, raising tween is like raising a pack of rabid wolves. You never, ever know from day to day, much less, from hour to hour, what the members of your pack are going to say, do, or think. My daughter changes her mind faster than I can change a battery in my remote. Not to mention the emotional part of the package....That alone can drive you insane faster than a Nascar race car going over 200 MPH.
But, then again, my daughter is truly dishing out what I know I gave to my poor Dad, who pretty much single-handedly raised me on his own, after mom died. For those first couple of years, I know I was hell on wheels. My Nana made matters worse when she "moved" (more like snuck) her way in to our 'happy home'.
Talk about hell on wheels! I made it my life's mission to make her life MISERABLE while she was with us. And I actually succeeded. And her own paranoia even got the best of her. She was sure that I was a druggie (Pot). Why? Because I wanted my PRIVACY. So, I kept my door to my room closed most of the time. That made her madder than anything else.
These days, I've taken what I did as a 'tween' (there was no such thing in my day), think on WHY I did/said what I had, and I apply reason and independence, as well as boundaries based on my past experiences.
*My* 'tween' can close her door (and sometimes lock it) for privacy. She is allowed to say how she feels (as long as it's constructive communication) without worry of getting a 'tongue lashing' for having her own views. Hayley is allowed to talk to her friends on the phone, in private. She can cook for herself (some things...Dad is teaching her how to cook, being that they share in that).
Most of all, I'm letting her grow up and see the world for herself. She will one day be on her own, and she will need to see that life isn't always fun, games, rainbows and puppies. I let her know in honest terms of what her body is doing and why. I'm letting her know now, snippets of why her biological father and I are no longer together (and why I married 'Dad'). She is also learning the TRUTH about certain family members in her bio-dad's family, being he (as I had found out by her) has been LYING about them.
Some days, Hayley and I do not see eye-to-eye on a single thing. Most days, we are like two peas in a pod. But she knows that our relationship has boundaries. I am NOT her "friend" or her "buddy". Not yet. Those days will come along soon enough, after she is grown and on her own. I am first and foremost (and will ALWAYS BE) her mother and a part of her 'parenting team'.
After all, it certainly takes a village to raise a tween...or two.