I have to tell you guys something pretty scary, pretty anxiety inducing, pretty unbelievable … Wait, I have to take a deep breath and say that again without all the cracking in my voice (like the one I hear around the house each day) … My son is officially a tween. Everyone knows, this time in life is a major turning point — a time of self exploration, acclimating to the social mores of tween/teen culture, learning which hair products work best, and feeling like a total loser (whether you have tons of friends or none at all).
Being a tween reiterates the fact that they’re no longer our little boys. As terrifying (for me) as that is, I’ve actually been banned from writing about it. Seriously, after calling us moms of boys jealous shrewsand exploring what to do when your tween actually pays attention to you, I’ve literally been given a writing restraining order — imposed by mothers who can’t stop sobbing and giggling … while sobbing. Though I can no longer wax poetic, I can list the numerous indicators that your little boy has entered big bad ‘tween years. Here are 36 of them:
1. Ninety percent of his responses to questions are in the form of grunts, which can only be deciphered by tone and length.
2. A text bings, he runs away.
3. He spent more time on his hair on the morning of the first day of middle school than he spent on his hair during the entire 5th grade.
4. His entire life is documented in a series of “selfies” on Instagram: “This is the breakfast I ate … This is my bus … How do feel about me? Use this handy emoticon chart to let me know …”
5. He asks you to drop him off a block from where he’s going. “Dude all your friends know you don’t drive and you didn’t walk here… you’re not fooling anyone.
6. He wants abs.
7. You have to explain the proper use of words you would never find on a vocabulary list, like “douchebag,” so that he doesn’t embarrass himself at lunch (expect new words weekly).
8. He locks the door behind him everywhere he goes.
9. You may need to pry his Beats off his ears with a crowbar.
10. He’s saving for $15 socks and has become obsessed with sneakers. (On the bright side, thank G-d someone else loves shoes as much as you do. On the down side, he grows out of them in a month.)
11. He went from thinking you knew everything to thinking you know nothing in a matter of weeks.
12. You’ve been introduced to all of the Axe products on the market … and there is a shocking amount of them.
13. All of a sudden he has nothing to say to girls he’s been playing with since nursery school.
14. He asks if you’re dressed before entering any room, covers his eyes, yelps, or just flees — as if seeing something, anything, would scar him for life and literally sear his retinas.
15. He went from this dirty kid in sweats and tees with holes and stains to caring if he’s worn his that item too recently and if his breath is sufficiently minty.
16. He vehemently argues that he is right about everything — with everyone, but the pets (though I’m sure I’ve witnessed mine in a heated debate with our dog).
17. You don’t have to beg him to shower … though you may have to beg him to get out.
18. The kid that once streaked on a daily basis freaks out if you see him in his underwear.
19. He (or some of his friends) look like they could put a razor to good use.
20. His voice cracks more than an American Idol contestant who makes the outtakes episode and resembles the sound of an alto that’s been kicked in the balls.
21. You’re currently the most embarrassing person – EVER! You’re probably embarrassing him right now, by reading this.
22. He uses the phrase “That’s what she said,” when it actually makes sense.
23. He wants to see most the movies you want to see, you just need to debate whether he can and whether it’s weird to see them with him. Hello, Bad Grandpa.
24. He wants to give things away that have huge nostalgic value to you like, every stuffed animal you saved over the years… the massive amounts of Pokemon cards he made you buy and play with, those Transformers you worked like a dog to make into a truck, or those animated videos and bedtime stories you can recite by heart.
25. That yummy little kid smell is gone … after a day of playing sports you’d like to air him out along with his uniform.
26. Holy crap he’s nearly/or is taller than you and he probably weighs more. When did that happen? He was just 7lbs 4oz yesterday, right?
My top responses from my Facebook Fans:
27. Shivering in a hoodie is more tolerable than being seen in a winter coat. – Sheryl
28. He rolls his eyes when you say, “How was your day?” – Loren
29. When How to Hug a Porcupine becomes your favorite reading material. – Tina
30. The answer to every question is the word “fine” but with various inflections. Mad = FINE. Tired = fiiinneeee. Sad = (fine). – Kathleen
31. Your taste in music suddenly sucks. – Jenny
32. Your monthly grocery bill starts competing with your mortgage. – Laura
33. He asks you a question and as soon as respond, he tilts his head, curls his lip, and says, “That’s your answer?” – Amy
34. You play BINGO and call, “O-69,” you hear laughter and snickering, then a student announces, “It’s just a number people, just a number.” – Loren (middle school teacher)
35. When you ask him to explain something to you on the computer and he offers instead to make you a YouTube tutorial – Leslie
36. Suddenly you can pee alone. – Erin
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