When I first told my sister that I was thinking about starting a blog, she quipped, “You should call it “terrible tweens and terrible twos.” This was because Maddie, having just turned 11, was really starting to act “tweeny”–she was moody and sullen and no longer thought I was her whole entire world. Instead, she wanted to hang out with her friends, watch teenage movies, and read Twilight. And Luke was about to turn 2 and tantrums had begun.
I should have probably taken her advice because staring at my son lying on the ground while he flails his appendages in all directions because I said “no” and then looking at my daughter with her oh-so-bored face complete with a roll of her eyes and a loud sigh has surely made me rethink the joys of motherhood. However, I’m glad I stuck with the gratitude idea because today I’m thankful for Maddie giving Luke and I a little “tween” attention.
Amidst all the awesome things Maddie’s done this week–surf camp, friend spending the night, her choice dinners, movies rented, and ice-cream–she has rewarded me with more sighs, rolled eyes, unappreciative comments, and relentless statements like “Mooooommmmm, I know. I’m 11. I don’t neeeeddddd you to tell me, ugh….” Now I know this is all hormonal, but come on! From the constant bored and hating-my-life look on her face, you’d think she was detained in a Russian gulag.
So today, when I took both kids to the pool, Maddie stayed consistent with her newfound identity by declaring she didn’t want to swim and would instead just lay out and tan and then spent her time on her towel with my new phone surfing the internet. I let her be and after an hour she must have gotten really hot because she jumped in the pool with me and Luke.
And then, for about 30 precious minutes, she was back to her younger self–happy, swimming, doing hand stands under water, and excitedly playing with Luke. She let Luke climb on her back, she tried teaching him how to swim, and she even let him pull her around the pool by her toes. She was even nice to me and thanked me for taking her to the pool (Amazing–an unprompted thank you!!!).
Ahhhh….30 minutes of “tween” attention was all I needed to forgive her for her sour looks, sour comments, and all around sour mood. Of course, by the time we got ready to leave, she was oh-so-cool again, walking ahead of Luke and I with a scowl returned to her face, but I’m still thankful for our 30 minute reprieve. We needed it.