by Jeanne Sager
I made a startling realization on a visit to my aunt's house recently. My cousin, the little girl who convinced my husband that he wanted to start a family, is no longer a baby. She's turning into a teenager!
Technically, at 11, K. is what they call a tween these days (what we called a pre-teen when I was, well, a tween). She won't officially be a teenager until she's 13.
But if there's one thing I learned last weekend, it's that kids don't wait until their 13th birthday to become teenagers. It just ... happens.
Worried your little kid is becoming a teenager? Behold the signs:
1. They're using deodorant (or needing to at least).
2. The bathroom shelf looks a lot like the acne aisle in the drugstore.
3. The jokes that used to make them laugh now elicit an embarrassed shrug and a, "You're so weird!"
4. They've perfected the eye roll.
5. Their doctor has started talking about the HPV vaccine and STDs.
6. They freak out when ANYONE enters their bedroom, not just their little brother.
7. They REALLY can't hear anything you say to them, because there's always a set of earbuds in their ears.
8. No more 5 a.m. wake-up calls.
9. They refuse to let you pick out their clothes.
10. They are pushing you to let them get a job so they can have their own money.
11. They want to stay home alone (and you're seriously considering it).
12. Their reasons to buy them a cellphone actually sound reasonable.
13. You've found yourself wearing an item from their closet all day before you realized it wasn't yours.
14. Your Victoria's Secret catalog has gone missing, only to be discovered on their bedroom floor.
15. The number of texts showing up on your phone bill has skyrocketed.
16. "I can do it myself" has morphed into "I'll get around to it sometime."
If you nodded your head along, I'm sorry to tell you, but you have a tween who is quickly becoming a teen. But don't worry, the teen years will be over before you know it. Wait ... I just made it worse, didn't it?
Is your kid already trying to morph into a teenager? What are the telltale signs?