The joys of tween boys.

Tweens, am I right? Parenting tweens is – I’m discovering – a funny business. There’s the newly found need for space, the sudden interest in girls, the need for me to tell the kids to GET OUT OF THE SHOWER, IT’S BEEN TWENTY MINUTES. There’s some emotional outbursts, although from what I can glean from my friends with daughters, the emotional outbursts that occur in my house are like a peaceful ocean wave compared with the Lieutenant Dan Fighting With God During Hurricane Carmen of Girl Emotions. Or, say, my Ladies’ Holiday Emotions. So, essentially what I’m saying is that if there is an emotional outburst, it’s more likely to come from me than anyone else, but I am finding that the tween years are slightly more emotional than the robot-level of emotion displayed by the boys in years past.

I will tell you the greatest thing ever about parenting tweens, at least in my house: they like to talk about what they are doing in school, and this translates into some very interesting and entertaining conversations. For example, today we were chatting about myths, and I told them the story of King Midas. They were fascinated; at first by the level of greed, and secondly about all the ways you could destroy the world with such a power.

Speaking of destruction, Mark has been learning chemistry at school, which makes me happy because I loved stoichiometry back in the day. Jake is a bit jealous about the chemistry unit, and has mentioned a few times that he cannot wait until he can take chemistry, so he can make experiments that blow up. Godspeed and wear your protective goggles, please. Anyway, Mark has been enjoying everything about chemistry: the periodic table, litmus papers, and the like. The other day, we were chatting about various fruits, and Jake reiterated his dislike for the following: fresh pineapple, oranges, and lemons.

Me: Jake, you really don’t like acidic fruits!

Mark: Jake’s just a basic kind of guy.


Mark had brought home his creative writing journal, and in it was an assignment in which the students use creative words to describe a person.


Orange hair is mentioned TWICE. Well, I cannot very well deny that it is true, given that any time I’m photographed in front of our burnt-orange walls, my hair fades into the background.


I like that my son sees me as friendly, and I like his description of my clothing and jewelry, but is it strange to take exception at “wears pink lipstick”? I associate pink lipstick with either the frosted pink of the 1960s or the neon colours of 1987. Either way, it’s not a look I want to embrace. Nevertheless, I can hardly think that he will take well to my lessoning him on the different shades of lipstick in my purse – tween boys do have their limits, and I’m guessing he won’t be amenable to learning the difference between “pink” and “shell”.


  1. My heart soared the days my kids told their first decent puns and/or good ad hoc jokes in the way I’m sure some parents hearts soar the first time their kids hit a home run or score a touchdown or something.

  2. That was an excellent joke.

  3. Like Maggie said, when my daughter starting learning to make puns I was thrilled…now both kids enjoy turning a clever phrase. We’re just a punny family!

  4. Not Inadequate says

    Oh my gosh, I didn’t even get that joke until I saw the comments. And I had 3 semesters of college chemistry. Lame.

    I love your hair. I keep trying to convince my kids my gray is really strands of tinsel, but they aren’t buying.


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