I found myself googling “what age is considered a tween” yesterday midday. I figured age 10 must be right on the border given some my recent observances. Apparently ages 8-12 qualify as “tween.” Sounds about right.

We are in the throes of tweendom. Like almost everything in parenting, it’s bittersweet. I can almost see Hailey oscillating between her little kid world/self and the world/self version of herself that is a bit older, more observant, and with more depth/emotional complexity.

In many ways, she’s still my little girl. She plays Barbies and creates the most imaginative story lines and she’ll snuggle right up into a little ball nestled under my arm when we watch movies. In other ways I see glimpses of her next life phase like bigger emotions and more social awareness. And clothes.

Let me clarify; she doesn’t care about clothes. If it were up to her, she’d wear leggings and t-shirts everyday. While I’m fine with that for the most part, I also feel the maternal pull to make sure she has some options that present her as a little more pulled together.

That means getting her comfortable with the idea of a button on pants. I’m hardly one to be giving fashion advice and I’m all about her wearing what is comfortable, but it feels like a mom duty to also provide her with more tween style options for certain occasions. Luckily she really likes some of the new items I got for her.

This is all a bit of a tangent.

Yesterday I had every intention midday, when the girls were at each other, to come on here and vent. Because they are so close, and because they are sisters, they know exactly how to push each others’ buttons. Yesterday morning it was constant and it was driving me crazy.

We went on a walk where we talked (I lectured?) about the pluses and minuses of closeness. We talked about how knowing someone well is a gift and the importance of not weaponizing that trust to hurt them when you are upset.

I think it went well though I’m under no illusion it solved sibling squabbles forever, but I do hope it highlighted the importance of trust and another’s right to privacy (if she needs some alone time in her room, we need to honor that).

When David and I went to workout mid afternoon, they asked if they could bake. The Disney Cookbook is still a big hit with them. I told them to go for it. When we returned an hour later from the gym (under the house), it was like walking into another world.

Not only were they both laughing and getting along so well, they had set up a surprise picnic on the back porch for us, complete with two kinds of cookies (AKA: the first test batch) and cards. Heart, melted.

The rest of the afternoon went fine. They cleaned up, we visited the library, and no more squabbles were had. As with everything in parenting that we must figure out as we go, I’m convinced that having a project to work on (in this case, baking) is helpful for redirecting them when they seem stir crazy or are picking at each other.

We split that evening, as Hailey had soccer and Kaitlyn had TKD. Inspired by my newly growing awareness of the tween in my midst, I said yes to all the books and couch snuggles with Kaitlyn while we waited for Hailey and David to get home for dinner.

If you haven’t tried these easy oven baked bean burritos yet, consider this your push to do so. They are so simple and good.

Let’s end with a goal check in:

More presence and patience? Yes. I’ve always prided myself on multitasking but with less distractions I’m a more patient parent.

More time outside? Eh. Not really. I did a mile walk with the girls and 2 miles with David, but that’s about average.

Less phone? Instagram being down certainly helped! I was tempted a few times to log in and scroll (I feel like it’s a mental break when really is ultimately adds to my mind clutter).

Read a novel? Yes! I picked up The Room from Rue Amelie at the library after the internet told me I’d like it if I liked The Nightingale. I’m fascinated with WWII. I read about 10 chapters yesterday evening. The chapters are short and the story moves quickly. There isn’t much character development/depth, but it is an easy read and it’s entertaining enough. I think it’s a good pick to get me back in the reading mode.

Less alcohol? No drinks.

Meditate? I did. It was another 3-4 minutes. I’m not sold on Headspace yet, but I’ll keep it up for the week free trial.

Tracking grocery budget? Yes. I stopped by Publix and spent $26.17 on more eggs (we go through a ton of these; we need chickens), lemon juice, vanilla extract, and coconut aminos. I’m finding since I started closely tracking about 3 weeks ago that I’m stopping by the store more, but I think I’m spending less overall?

I saw a TikTok last week from an onion farmer forecasting that food prices will be up 30-40% in the next 6-8 months. Is this a reliable source? No. But does it have me curious about continuing to monitor our grocery budget closely? Absolutely.

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