By Samantha Wassel of Between the Monkey Bars
Disclaimer: I admit that I’ve never raised a tween girl, so I’m not exactly an authority on the subject. However, the fact that I’m a full-grown woman now (all flat-chested, 5’3’’ of me), indicates that I was one at some point in my life, and when I look back on my transition from prepubescent girl to pubescent tweenager, I cringe at some of the things my mom had to put up with.
Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed that I’ve had to put up with some of the same things as I raise my twin toddler boys: similar milestones, similar challenges, and similar frustrations.
It makes sense if you think about it. After all, the toddler years and tween years are both transitional periods. A toddler is caught between being a baby and a kid, and a tween is stuck in that awkward place between kid and teen. Raising either one can be tiring, awkward, and—at times—downright messy.
1. There can be a lot of blood involved.
With a Tween Girl: OMG, her vagina is suddenly spewing out copious amounts of red liquid as if it’s transformed into Mount St. Hell-on-Earth. Puberty has officially erupted, and, chances are, her cycle will sync with yours (because God has a funny sense of humor like that).
That equates to a lot of bloody tampons. You’re basically living in a hormonal version of the GOT Red Wedding episode.
With a Toddler Boy: He spends most of the day running into things, stabbing himself with kiddie silverware, diving off of playground equipment, challenging his siblings to biting matches, and pretty much finding any way possible to get you to fork over one of those Paw Patrol Band-Aids he made you buy at Walmart.
Not to mention the fact you probably have to bite your tongue a lot to keep from screaming when he’s engaged in any of the aforementioned activities. Depending on the state of your canines and the strength of your jaw, that could add to the amount of blood you’re dealing with.
2. One minute you’re their best friend, and the next minute they don’t want to be anywhere near you.
Tween Girl: “Thanks for showing me how to use this tampon mom, and for taking me out for ice cream afterward. You’re the best.”
Three seconds later…
“OMG did you just say ‘tampon’ in front of the cute boy who scooped our ice cream? IHATEYOU.”
Toddler Boy: (When you allow him to watch Despicable Me before bed): “I love you, Mama.”
(When you turn the movie off): *Unintelligible screaming*
3. A decent chunk of your income goes to the purchase of proper-fitting absorbency materials.
What a Tween Girl Needs: Something that will keep her Aero undies pristine. And it needs to be super smooth. Oh, and don’t forget colorful wrappers. Tampons are obviously more effective when they’re packaged like they belong at a Pride parade.
And priced like they belong in the Amsterdam Diamond Museum.
What a Toddler Boy Needs: Whatever keeps him from quadrupling the amount of laundry you have to do in a given day. Despite the nomenclatural implication, Huggies seem to do anything but hug his little penis close to his body. You could try buying generic, but they’re about as thick as the mesh panties you got in the hospital when he was born.
Curse you Pampers, and your expensive but effective Baby Dries. At least you can use your Pampers Points to get him more loud, annoying toys he doesn’t need.
4. There tends to be a lot of drama.
Tween Girl: (When you refuse to drop her off at an unsupervised high school party): “You are ruining my life!”
Toddler Boy: (When you accidentally put on Toy Story 3 instead of Toy Story 2): *Screaming, thrashing, throwing of random objects*
5. You have to give “The Talk.”
To Tween Girl: “So, it’s like…when we grill out…and you…er…stick a hot dog…in your bun…BUT NOT UNTIL YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH TO MAKE YOUR OWN HOT DOGS…and even then you’ll want to…make sure the hot dog is covered…with the proper…um…condiments…and…stuff…”
To Toddler Boy: “No, Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood is not a real place, and we can’t go there for vacation this year.”
6. You watch them become increasingly aware of certain body parts.
Tween Girl: “Whoa, I’ve got boobs.”
Toddler Boy: “Whoa, I’ve got my own squirt gun.”
7. You also notice them becoming increasingly aware of certain body parts on the opposite sex.
Tween Girl: “Have you seen Harry Styles’s abs?”
Toddler Boy: “Mama, where’s your squirt gun?”
8. You’re not ready for them to grow up.
Conversation with Tween Girl:
Tween: “Mom, can I go see the new Mockingjay movie?”
Mom: “Oh, sure! Why don’t we hit up Panera for dinner beforehand and take the Scrabble board and make a night of it?”
Tween: “Umm…no…like…can you drop me off? Kylie, Ava, Jackson, and I were all planning to meet up there.”
Mom: “Oh.” *Piece of soul dies* “Sure, I guess. Does Ava need a ri—JACKSON, ISN’T THAT A BOY’S NAME?”
Conversation with Toddler Boy:
Toddler: “Can I go down the big slide?”
Mom: “Sure, do you want me to help you up the ladder?”
Toddler: “No, I can do it myself.”
Mom: “Well, I’ll just stand behind you.”
Toddler: *Shakes his head and pushes you away*
Mom: *Heart breaks*
9. You are constantly running late because they can’t decide what to wear.
Tween Girl’s Dilemma: She can’t determine whether the blue shirt or the red shirt makes her boobs look bigger.
Toddler Boy’s Dilemma: He can’t decide whether to wear his socks on his hands or his feet.
10. You love them unconditionally, even when they’re being total jerks.
Tween Girl: *Eyeroll*
Toddler Boy: *Flicks spoonful of yogurt in your face*
About Samantha Wassel
Samantha Wassel is a Stay-At-Home Mama to the cutest twin toddlers in the history of all Toddlerdom. When she’s not running her borderline-offensive mouth, she’s running masochistically long distances, often with the aforementioned toddlers in tow. She enjoys reading, writing, baking, marathoning, complaining, photographing, playgrounding, and Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie chocolate bars. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, The Mid, In the Powder Room, Bluntmoms, and Mamalode. Follow her on Facebook and check out her personal blog, Between the Monkey Bars.