Is your kid on the verge on tween-dom? If you’re uncertain, review this checklist to find out!
If you answer yes to fewer than eight of the items, relax, you’re still in little-kid territory. But if you want to, for once, be a step ahead of your kiddos, now is your chance to get a preview of things to come.
Here we go! You might have a tween if…
1. Your child wants to order from the regular menu, because the kids’ meals are too babyish. They still, however, want the same nuggets and mac and cheese, just the more expensive version. Oh, and they still want a cookie or ice cream for dessert, of course.
2. Jessie, Drake, Josh, Victoria Justice, Zack, Cody, Austin and Ally become their new best friends who they must check in with for hours on end.
3. The Tooth Fairy no longer visits. Instead, you make regular visits to the orthodontist. This is much more expensive than anything the Tooth Fairy ever coughed up, even on those occasions when she forgot to come and gave extra loot to ease her conscience.
4. Animated movies are for babies, especially the ones you really want to see.
5. Your child no longer refers to broccoli as trees or raisins on celery sticks as “ants on a log” and will no longer eat either of them.
6. Toys become a lot more expensive. You thought those big Lego sets were a fortune? Wait until you shop for a family data plan.
7. “Mommy” becomes “Mom.”
8. You suddenly don’t know anything. Before, you seemed to be the keeper of the world’s secrets. Now, your kids make sure to do the opposite of whatever you suggest. You can try to outsmart them by saying the opposite of what you want them to do; in theory, this should work perfectly in your favor. But we’re talking tweens here, so save your mental gymnastics for when you’ll really need them—like when you try to help them with their algebra homework.
9. They shop in stores where everything costs more than you’ve spent on yourself all year.
10. Their bedroom door only opens a couple times a day, primarily 1) when you are not around, 2) it’s time to get something to eat, or 3) they need the cell phone charger. On the plus side, if the door is closed, you don’t have to cringe at the week’s worth of laundry balled up in the corner.
11. Their usual response to any comment you make is an eye roll, sometimes combined with a “whatever.” Either way, pretend you didn’t see or hear any of it, and head on over to the living room and your favorite TV show. To further steel yourself, repeat this phrase three times: This is only a phase.
12. They outgrow sneakers faster than you can make the money to pay for them.
13. The old standby “It’s bedtime. I’ll time you to see how fast you can get upstairs!” is met with a blank stare. You also can’t time them to see how fast they can get their pajamas on, how fast they can clean up or how fast they can feed the dog. Sorry, I know, I loved this one too.
14. And perhaps the worst sign of all: They no longer hold your hand. This is a toughie, and I’m getting weepy just thinking about it. But it’s okay—the good news is, hugs are still permissible (as long as they’re not in public).
So how did you score? If you’ve answered yes to more than half of these, congratulations! Sit back, make a cup of tea and settle in for a marathon of Austin & Ally (hint: Austin and Ally are meant to be together).