Thursday, September 2, 2010

Smells like tween spirit

Last Thursday was Meet the Teacher day (or hour) at my daughter's middle school, and I swear you could smell the hormones -- and pheromones.You would think these girls hadn't seen each other in 10 years, not 10 weeks. And the preening! Yikes!

And along with the additional homework that seventh grade entails has come additional demands from the resident adolescent female. Seriously, I am starting to feel like a hostage negotiator -- except I am the one being held hostage.

First up, she wants her ears pierced. (I had promised her years ago that when she turned 12 she could get her ears pierced, so I probably have to pony up on that one.) Second, she wants a new bed. And a new mattress. And a new desk and chair for her bedroom. And a new chest of drawers. (Thankfully, She Who Will Not Be Ignored said she is fine with the paint color -- lilac -- and her rug, which is also lilac.) We told her that we would accede to her wishes if or when we could sell or give away her current bedroom set, which is in excellent condition. (Though we caved and said we would take her IKEA -- just to look -- this weekend.)

NOTE: Anyone looking for a great wooden loft bed with matching fitted storage system = small chest of drawers, book shelf, and pull-out desk? Would be perfect for a child 3 - 9, male or female.

Also, she would like more iTunes. And a whole new wardrobe for fall.

On this last point, the spouse and decided to give her a prepaid debit card. So this year, she will be doing her own shopping, albeit escorted by Mom. If she blows all her money on one or two purchases, too bad. (Must. Be. Strong.) So we told her to do some research online, pick a few stores, and let me know where she wants to go shopping so I can look for coupons beforehand. (Note: We are buying her a good pair of sneakers and a good pair of shoes for day-to-day wear, and underwear, and her winter coat and boots, but the rest of it she's responsible for. And if she wants more stuff, she's going to have to babysit or pet sit for it, or wait until Hanukkah.)

And in case negotiations fail (or scientists do not quickly invent a teenager vaccine), I told the spouse to reserve a room for me at Silver Hill Hospital.

Pray for me, people.


Betty Cracker said...

I feel your pain. We have a similar situation here. But one advantage of the spiraling list of demands is increased leverage as the holder of the purse strings.

Want that new pair of skinny jeans? Clean up that pig-sty you call a room.

Must have that kewl app for your iTouch? Kindly scrub the toilet while I consider it.

Take out the trash. Put away the dishes. Dust. Vacuum. Pick up the dog poop in the yard.

In the end, hiring a competent maid would probably be cheaper. But we've found this new level of tween acquisitiveness to be not wholly without advantages.

Cristina said...

I let my tween get pierced ears younger, but this year for her 12th birthday she wanted a second hole in each ear, and I drew the line. We compromised on a haircut with side bangs (which I hate) and a new phone (sans internet) but I felt like I was negotiating a corporate takeover through the entire process.

Anonymous said...

Make sure she gets underwear and socks!!!!!!!! ( I know from experience - why get underwear when you can spend $50 more on THOSE jeans?)

Pre-paid cards are a great way for them to learn - way under-utilized!

Anonymous said...

A vaccine? You're way too late - she's already well into the process and there's no stopping a runaway train!

We might, too, begin with the pre-paid credit card, though small-cash items (such as chewing gum and movie-theater snacks could be a problem).

I agree with Betty Cracker - putting the tweens and teens to work teaches them that there is no such thing as a free ride!

EMM said...

At least you get a trip to IKEA! Good'll get through it. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, J. I know a tween who's almost EXACTLY like that! Maybe you should try duct tape. It's cheap, effective, and it works. Trust me.

Have fun! :)