Dale and I were hoping for a couple more months before we technically have 3 teenagers in the house, but I think that is past praying for at this point. There are certain signs that you can see in your "Tweens" as they get into the milestone years call "TEENAGER". If you have teenagers, then you understand the capitilization on that word. If you don't... well, don't worry, your time will come. Mwhahahahahahahaha!
For example, there is a certain language of monosylabic grunts that is indiginous to the teenagers. Now, lest you think, "Hey, we survived the world of Toddler-ese, how hard can it be?", let me assure you, it is totally a horse of a different color.
The singular language of toddlers is something you can learn to understand more quickly than Teenager-ese, because toddlers are actually trying to say something COHERENT. Teenagers... not so much. They are just responding in a monosyllabic grunt with no effort or desire to be coherent.
Mama to toddler: "Would you like some juice?"
Toddler: "Ummm... peeeaaaaze?"
Mama to preteen child: "Would you like some juice?"
Preteen child: "Yes, please!"
Mama to teen: "Would you like some juice?"
Now, in context that could mean "Sure thanks!" or "No thanks". So, I have to resort to retraining the teen to respond clearly and politely, like a regression into toddler years, strangely enough.
You can also see their penchant for independence growing. Not necessarily a bad, thing, by the way. They need to have some independence to MOVE OUT later. However, for now, ours are spreading their wings in little ways. I saw it in our oldest when he first asked to ride his bike all over the neighborhood, then go fishing with his friends, go down to a friends farm to help out, etc. Again, not a bad thing, just noticeable that he was wanting to go away from home more, instead of hanging out here.
The twins, are not due to turn to official teenagers until May, but it seems to me they are already there. I had proof yesterday when we were out together shopping. We had a some errands to run, and Dale needed some hardware stuff which, for the record, I COULD have gotten without too much trouble, and I needed some stuff for a welcome basket for the missionaries we are hosting next week, which Dale COULD have done as well, but we decided it would be easier if we all went and I took care of one list while he did the other.
The girls went with me (and Isaac, since I had the cart and he was sitting in it watching his sister's antics with amusement), and off we went. I made the mistake of going past the nail polish. Sudden the twins were stopped, and pouring over different colors, and so I allowed each of them to pick a new color. Jerusha wanted some pink, but since I already have 8 billion little jars of different shades of pink, I told her to just wait until later and I would paint her nails a pretty pink, which satisfied here.
We were about ready to check out when Caleb asked about getting sneakers. Dale confirmed my inquiring look that he did indeed need new sneakers, and there were some on sale, so he went off with Caleb and we waited towards the front of the store. Then I noticed the clearance racks... 1$ an item! We all congregated around them, and the twins kept finding things they liked (and needed... an extra bonus!). They each got 3 or 4 items. The boys were not so lucky, but didn't seem to care. My oldest enjoyed rolling his eyes and trying to answer his little brothers question of the day, which was "What is with girls and shopping?".
Esther has been in a purple phase, and most of her items were of that color. Elizabeth is into black. I blame it on her Grandma Van, who once told her "if you don't know what to wear, wear black". Grandma meant it for going out somewhere, or dressing up. Elizabeth has taken it as her life's motto. For now. At their age their tastes will change a thousand times.
I am not an "all black" fan, but there are bigger battles that will have to be fought, so I chose to just smile and remember that at least she is the one wearing it, and I don't have to.
Jerusha got a couple of cute little things. At least I have one girl NOT in the teenage phase, and as long as something is pink, she is happy. For example, this little coat she got... for a buck! Can't beat that!
And she (well, I...) couldn't resist this t-shirt.
Now don't tell them, but I do get a kick out watching their symptoms. While we were digging through the racks, the girls were looking at a couple of sweaters. At one point they both pulled out the same style. There was a sudden frenzied consultation between the two about who was getting what color since they didn't want to look the same.
Then, after we got home, they were on the phone for over an hour, updating their good friend, and then their Grandma about all their purchases and what color they are doing their nails, etc. etc....
Esther and I went out for a jog and when we got back the twins (also known as the Magpies) were chattering about what they were going to wear, what color their nails were to be, what to do with their hair. You see, we were having a pizza party for some of Benjamin's friends.
All I could think was... oh no, the "boy" thing is starting already?
Esther put my mind to ease.... sort of. At my raised eyebrows glance in her direction she said, "oh, it is just for practice. We figure it doesn't matter what we look like for Benjamin's friends, but it doesn't hurt to practice looking nice for when we meet someone who counts."
Oh yeah. They got it, and they got it badly.
Welcome to the TEENAGE years.