Hello, Tweendom

My son will turn 11 next week. When he turned 10 last year, he was still in that “little boy” phase. He didn’t look much different than he did when he was in second grade and showed no signs of puberty being close. So, when he announced that he was in his tweens, I chuckled to myself, since he still seemed like a little boy. This year, however, things are very different.

To start off, the boy has shot up 5 inches since this time last year. We have bought so many clothes over the past year, and since he’s still in growth spurt phase (as he has been for the past five months it seems), the jeans we bought him on Black Friday are getting close to being too short. His voice has gotten a little deeper, too. If you compare his school picture to the past three (which all looked almost exactly the same), there’s no doubt that he has left those little boy years behind. And if the growth spurt and everything wasn’t proof enough, then the behavior sure is.

I’ve heard parents complain about the tween years. “They hate us, they think we’re wrong about everything, they’re grumble and complain all the time…” I thought to myself that surely my good-natured little boy would never go down the path of the Dark Side, but you know how the my-kid-will-never works out, right?

The Look has become a fixture in our lives lately.

If pictures below look anything like your life, then you just might be raising a tween. Or a three-year-old.

Just kidding. I see a fair amount of that surliness, but not all the time, of course.

Wish me luck.

What’s new in your world? 

#AtoZChallenge: ‘J’ is for JTT

If you enjoyed all of the cringe in ‘H’ is for Hanson Wallpaper a couple days ago, then you’ll probably like this post, too. Pretty much any girl who grew up in the 90s had a crush on one of the following people: Devin Sawa, Rider Strong, or Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT). You can check out my friend Becca’s blog to, in part, verify this fact.

I was a JTT girl. He was cute, funny, sarcastic — what wasn’t to love, right? When he ventured out from Home Improvement to making movies such as Tom and Huck and Man of the House, well, that was even better. (We will pretend like Lion King and Pinocchio don’t exist as far as JTT goes…those were an insult to my tween self who wanted to see him in the flesh.)

One summer when I was 11, my family and I went to the beach for vacation with some of our extended family. One of those people was my older cousin, who also had a huge crush on JTT. She claimed him as being hers since she had spotted him on TV first, and if you remember anything from that age, then you know that being the first to claim someone is everything. (Case in point: when Baby Girl and I watched a Hanson concert on TV the other day, she asked who the brothers were and announced that Zac was hers. Unfortunately for her, he was claimed by me over a decade ago, so she’ll have to move along.)

Why on earth is a child this age claiming someone, anyway?

Being the first to lay claim meant that when you inevitably cross paths with the celebrity while you’re out shopping at Walmart or getting snacks from the gas station near your house, that you got dibs. This is like calling out “shotgun” — the front seat, just like the celebrity, is yours for the taking.

For the record, my list is not laminated.

With that in mind, while we were on our vacation, we spotted a guy who looked exactly like JTT. And by “exactly like,” I mean that he could have passed for JTT’s fifth cousin. As you may (or may not) have guessed, laying claim to someone not only meant that you get dibs on that celebrity, but it also meant that you get dibs on anyone else who looks remotely like that celebrity. It doesn’t sound fair, but it’s one of those unspoken rules.

Even though I had no claim on the JTT lookalike, I still joined my cousin in the stalking. Yes, stalking. What else could you call two girls who hung back about 30 feet and followed a guy around for a few days, watching his every move?

There was even one moment mid-stalk fest where my cousin’s dad came looking for us because we had been gone for an hour past when we were due back to the hotel, and we tried to blend in with some people on the beach so we could continue watching the beta version of JTT work on his body boarding skills.

Yikes.

So, JTT sorta lookalike, I don’t know where you are now or if you ever got more decent at riding waves on your body board, but know that you had a couple of fans. And if you were aware of being followed, then I apologize, and I promise that if you ever feel like someone is watching you now, it isn’t us.

It just hit me that my son is only a year younger than I was when this happened, so I guess it won’t be long before he’s following around someone who looks like Jyn Erso from Rogue One or has someone tailing him. Yikes again.

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#ThingsKidsSay: Ruining Reputations

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed Little Man making the transition from calling me “Mommy” to calling me “Mom.” At first he started calling me “Mom” in front of other kids and called me “Mommy” in private, but now it’s mostly “Mom,” unless he wants something. He’s nine now, so it’s about that time, I suppose.

Yesterday I showed Little Man a draft of a doodle post that I’m working on. It shows him doing something when he was younger, and in the picture, it shows him addressing me as “Mommy,” since that is what he called me then. Accuracy and all. This, I’ve found out, is problematic for me tween-to-be.

Those hobbit-sized feet are also accurate.

That’s me — the ruiner of reputations. Maybe that will be printed on my gravestone. I wonder how much longer I’ll be able to refer to him as “Little Man” before I’m accused of ruining his street creed.

What have your kids said to make you chuckle lately?

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