Tag Archives: tweens

Stocking stuffer ideas for tweens & teens

When it comes to Christmas, the catalogs and store shelves are filled with fun ideas for the younger crowd. But what about when kids get older? Toys are generally not as exciting, and the gift options become fewer and more expensive. This doesn’t exactly make it easy for Santa’s helpers to know what to put in a teen’s stocking…

In our house, stockings are just as exciting as the bigger gifts – even in the teenage years. But what the kids don’t realize is that I struggle with what to fill them with every year! So this year I enlisted the help of a few Facebook friends, and together we came up with this list of items that teens and tweens might love.

P.S. Feel free to add to this list in the comments!

Stocking stuffer ideas for tweens & teens:
– Silly socks
– nail polish or lip gloss
– candy, gum, mints, etc.
– retro toy from Cost Plus
– magazine
– book
– DVD
– earrings, bangles, etc.
– pen and journal
– lotions and bath soaps
– travel games
– card games
– cell phone accessories
– earbuds

Gift card ideas
– gas
– coffee
– smoothies
– fast food
– movies
– restaurant
– clothing

IOU ideas
– night out sans siblings
– night with later curfew
– night off from chores
– activity of their choice

Talking puberty with tweens

I was talking with a friend the other day, and the subject of his 5th grade daughter’s impending Sex Ed class came up.  At his daughter’s school, the parents were invited to view the video their children prior to the official viewing.  And so my friend and his wife attended.  They learned that Sex Ed at this age actually has more to do with an adolescent’s changing body – helping the 5th graders become more familiar with their body parts, as well as the body parts of the opposite sex.  And my friend was able to sit back comfortably for the most part as the video played…well, almost.

“My daughter is never going to look at the world in the same way,” my friend said wistfully as he described a part of the movie that showed an animation of a penis becoming erect.

And it isn’t because he didn’t want her to learn these things.  Of course she needed to know about the human body, about the changes she was going to go through, and even the changes that boys were going through too.  But it mirrored the feelings of many parents as their child is suddenly let in on the fact that their body holds more secrets than they ever knew about – and so does the bodies of their friends and classmates.

In a matter of one video, my friend’s daughter was about to lose her sandbox innocence.

In 5th grade, Sex Ed is introduced in a class about the changes a tween is about to go through: hormones, sweat glands, body odor, menstruation, nighttime secretions, growth spurts, voice changes, and all of the other things that come along with puberty.  Sexual intercourse isn’t discussed yet in this class.  However, what they cover in this short class opens the door to at least a dozen more questions that aren’t answered – and are encouraged to be asked at home.  These questions might be about the different feelings going on inside, feeling abnormal because everything is growing at different rates, even questions that may lead up to the actual Sex Talk, and all that comes along with it.

The impending arrival of these conversations leaves many parents nervous about how and when to bring the topic of sex up.  No one wants their kid to be the only one still believing in the stork by the time they hit high school.  And let me assure you, thanks to their classmates, they won’t.  However, telling your child “Hey buddy, I’d like to talk about sex with you” can illicit an immediate shutdown from your teen who would rather go to the dentist for a root canal than talk about “the deed” with dear old mom and dad. 

So what to do?

There’s no right or wrong way to bring up the subject, as every family is different.  But it is important to pay attention to cues, jumping through when a door has opened up on the subject. 

Bring up their Sex Ed class at school.  This is the easiest time to talk about puberty and sex.  Ask them what they’ve learned.  Open the dialogue up for any questions they have.  Be as honest as you can with them.  If they ask something personal that you don’t feel comfortable answering, like about your own past or present sex life, don’t be afraid to tell them you’d rather keep that personal.  But whatever you do, don’t lie. 

Use the media (and you thought TV was just for zoning out).  Turns out that all you have to do is turn on the Boob Tube, and you’ve got an instant example for sex education.  And believe me, there’s plenty.  Scenarios in different sitcoms, stories on the news, even some commercials can induce a topic on sex education.  Pay attention, and use these examples whenever you can.  Take the opportunity to discuss what could have happened if the person on TV had made a different decision.  Point out instances and consequences that aren’t in line with what would have happened had it occurred in real life.  Discuss the cause and effect someone’s choice created for them. 

Have a safe place for deeper conversations.  For my family, it’s the car.  There’s no one to overhear, making each kid feel more comfortable to share or listen about things of a more personal nature.  And since we’re on the road a lot, I have 20 minutes or more of their undivided attention (read: they have nowhere to escape) as we chat about bigger topics.  Sex is one of those.  This is when I ask them what they already know, answering any questions or correcting anything that might be incorrect or slightly off-base.  And I do my best to make it a two-way conversation rather than a lecture that might get tuned out. 

Gather books, pamphlets, or other educational material on bodies and/or about sex.  However, don’t let the pamphlets or the books do all the talking (as I know many of your own parents did).  Let these merely be the conversation opener.  Sit down with your child after they’ve had the chance to read them (even if they choose not to) and talk about what’s covered in the material.  Of course, that also means you need to read whatever you are passing on to your child.  But then you can tell your kids “You know, I actually found this to be of interest” when referencing a certain section of the book.  And let me tell you, there are actually some really great books out there about growing bodies, many that are made to be interesting to the younger generation.  For my son, I got “The Boy’s Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU”, by Kelli Dunham and Steven Bjorkman.  For my daughter I got “Girl Stuff: A Survival Guide to Growing Up” by Margaret Blackstone and Elissa Haden Guest.  Both books covered not only the physical changes, but talked about hygiene, tips on day-to-day life and interests, as well as touching on emotions that are going on inside.  And while both kids groaned when I handed the books to them, I know for a fact that they have each opened them and at least thumbed through them.  And it helped to introduce a bit of conversation about their bodies.

Use your own experiences.  How did you feel when you suddenly needed to go shopping for a bra with your mom?  Were you embarrassed the first time you got an erection?  Was there a learning curve when it came to knowing how or when to change your pad during your period?  How did you go about disguising zits when they appeared overnight?  Did you ever feel like the most awkward kid at school?  If your child is able see you as the gangly, imperfect tween that you were, they’ll feel more comfortable sharing their own insecurities, fears, questions, or concerns about growing up.

And understand that, by no means, is the Sex Talk a one-time conversation.  Rather, it’s a series of conversations to keep having as they grow older and are in need of more information.  The info you share with them in 5th grade is going to be way different than the conversations about sex you have with them as a teenager.  You don’t have to tell them everything you know the first time you talk – that’s going to either make them tune out, or totally creep them out.  But do know that, if the dialogue is kept open right from the beginning, it will feel way more natural and easy to discuss by the time the harder conversations need to be brought up.

Is your child going through Sex Ed right now?  How’s it going – for them and for you?

P.S. I’ve been nominated in the 25 Best Blogs on Single Parenting over at Circle of Moms, and there is a week left to vote.  So far I’m in 12th place!  But I won’t stay there without continued votes.  Will you take a moment to visit the site and vote?  You can vote for more than one blog (and there are some other really great blogs there!), and you can vote every single day.  Thank you so much!

Middle School Madness

"Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down."

My daughter’s door was closed to me, a barrier that couldn’t possibly have been thicker than the wall that was already wedged between us. It had not been a good morning. Words had been spoken and spilled to the floor without any way to sweep them all up. We were afraid to say anything more should it add to the already hurtful things that lay between us. So we parted ways and avoided each other at all costs. And that door remained closed for the better part of the day.

Raising a 13 year old has proven to be a really hard job. It’s wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But it’s challenging as well. Here’s this brilliant person you’ve raised since the beginning. And over time they are changing because that’s what happens when kids grow up. Soon, they are thrust into the in-between world of Middle School, surrounded by other in-betweeners who are all growing at different rates and reasons. Put them together, and suddenly a world of Awkwardness is created.

And the biggest disease caught from this rampant pool of hormonal teenage-dom is Embarrassment.

There is no cure for Embarrassment except for Time. And even that could take about 10 or 15 years before being tackled. In some cases it never fully goes away, leading to painful years of self-consciousness that stem from these earlier days of being a Middle School teen. In the meantime, this Embarrassment causes mean and rude things to fall out of their mouths, keeps them from hugging you goodbye as they leave for school, causes their eyes to repeatedly roll towards the ceiling, and prevents them from admitting they’re even related to you or the rest of the family – as if they just popped up one day out of the ground. Most of the time they won’t even speak real words, but have resorted to grunting and nodding, or worse – not speaking at all in their efforts to will you out of the room and out of their lives forever.

But inside, there is a multitude of feelings and emotions that, at times, feel bigger than their body. This is why they lock themselves in their room with notebooks of paper to write down their deepest, darkest desires and feelings. And they keep it all secret from us because we couldn’t possibly understand what they are going through. Sure, we parents have been there before. Remember how awful Middle School was? No, you don’t. And that’s because it was SO awful that you’ve likely blocked most of those memories out to distance yourself from a truly horrendous period of time. And I think many of us can agree that we NEVER want to go through those days again.

But my daughter, and other 13 year olds just like her, is going through this horrendous period of time NOW. There are the kids who make fun of every blemish they see, the ones who spread vicious rumors about the picked-on kid of the week, the fair-weather friends, the feelings of never belonging, the Awkwardness, the Embarrassment…. When we drop our kids off at Middle School, we are abandoning them to the pack of teenage wolves that chew them up and spit them out (and repeat) for the duration of the school day. And if they don’t attempt to blend in, they become the one who stands out – and the perfect victim. You see, to a Middle School student, deflection becomes key in keeping all negative attention at bay. What better way to avoid being picked on than to heap negative attention on someone else?

So if a Middle Schooler didn’t already feel awkward enough, they are fighting a daily battle to not be noticed and to be cool all at the same time. Therefore, everything around them they once accepted as a part of their life – their family, their home, the car they’re driven in, and more – becomes a potential for mortification. Thus, they become rude, thoughtless, and fight about the stupidest things. They hold on to their opinion out of sheer will – not just because they believe they’re right, but because they believe YOU’RE WRONG.

My daughter and I eventually did make up, just like usual. But this time, “I’m sorry” just seemed like such a forced thing to say. Instead, she silently apologized by quietly working alongside me as we cleaned up the kitchen. And I silently apologized with careful glances and small smiles. And when it was clear that the worst was over, I reached over and put my arms around her in a hug.

“I love you,” I whispered to her out of anyone else’s earshot.

“I love you too, Mom,” she told me, allowing herself to be hugged.

I’m told that it gets worse before it gets better. Let’s hope I survive this. Let’s hope she does too.

What was the worst part about Middle School for you? And how’s your kid doing with Middle School now?

P.S. I’m entered in the Circle of Moms contest for Top 25 Blogs on Single Parenting. I hope you’ll take a moment and vote for me by CLICKING HERE. You can vote every day until May 23rd, or just once if you want. I’d be honored for your vote, either way. Thank you!

Push-up bikinis for tweens

Abercrombie Kids is marketing push-up bikini tops for tweens. Being that the clothing company makes clothes for ages 7-14, it has caused quite the uproar among parents of 7 year olds who don’t have much there to actually push-up – and are too young to be putting their chest out there front and center anyways. But never fear. Being that the smallest size is for girls 56 to 58 inches tall with a 27.5 to 28.5 bust, the tops are actually too big for a 7 year old, and are more for girls  who are 11 or 12 year old or older.

But even that raises some eyebrows. 12 years olds in a push-up bikini? Are we allowing our tweens to be oversexualized too early?

A mom sent me an article the other day regarding this very issue, about how tops have gotten more lowcut and skirts have raised the hem – and how it is OUR cash that is paying for our teens and tweens to dress a lot more promiscuously than should be appropriate.

As for the girls themselves, if you ask them why they dress the way they do, they’ll say (roughly) the same things I said to my mother: “What’s the big deal?” “But it’s the style.” “Could you be any more out of it?” What teenage girl doesn’t want to be attractive, sought-after and popular?
And what mom doesn’t want to help that cause? In my own case, when I see my daughter in drop-dead gorgeous mode, I experience something akin to a thrill—especially since I myself am somewhat past the age to turn heads.
(Read more HERE.)

But Jeanne Sager of Café Stir has a different take on what a push-up bikini top is for a tween. It’s less about being oversexualized and more about giving a tween confidence. For those in the “barely there” club, a little extra oomph when all your peers are boasting mini-cleavage on the beach can be the difference between hiding on a towel covered by a shirt or running around in a swimsuit without worries of being compared to a pancake.

A little push-up can go a long way toward making them feel like their top won’t fall off on the beach (because there’s nothing to HOLD IT THERE). So is it sexualization to make kids comfortable? Not really.

A commenter agreed with Jeanne, giving her own experience:

“…I about said I wouldn’t on a 12 year old then i stopped and remembered what it was like for me at 12 with really no chest to speak of and being horribly self conscious about it. I would have done anything to add a couple extra inches onto my bust just to look normal. However for those parents who are about to yell at you they just need to stop and remember that they are the parent and all they have to do is just not buy it if they feel that strongly about it.”

For me, I remember doing everything I could at the age of 12 to hide my body on the beach.  Bikini?  Uh, no thank you.  It wasn’t that I was overdeveloped or underdeveloped, it was that showing that much skin when I was accustomed to hiding under jeans and a baggy sweatshirt was mortifying.  And at 13, my own daughter has yet to graduate from her comfy choice of swim trunks to a regular bathing suit.  And we’re not alone in this.  Plenty of girls are less comfortable in the string bikinis with a slight push-up that Abercrombie has on their racks, and more comfortable in something a little less revealing. 

And knowing all that, it actually makes me get the whole “confidence in a push-up” thing.  And I can’t say that I would turn my daughter away if she wanted to wear a bikini to the beach that allowed her to move around a bit more comfortably, escaping the awkwardness that goes along with the age – at least for a little while.  But at the same time, that very concept makes me cringe a little….because it also seems that the message we are giving girls is that their confidence lies in the size of their breasts, and that being just 12 isn’t good enough.

What do you think? Are we allowing our tweens to grow up too fast, encouraging them to find their sexuality sooner than ever? Or is a push-up bikini top for a 12 year old more about allowing an older tween to feel more confident in a body they normally feel awkward in?

The SEX talk

It's not the most comfortable talk, but it's the most necessary.

I don’t think there is any more difficult conversation you can have with your tween than the (dum, dum, dum) SEX TALK. Honestly, we’ve spent our whole life as parents keeping it behind closed doors so that the kids don’t see. We’ve taught them the appropriate way to keep their willy in their pants, that “play time” is set aside for “private time”, not when they are sitting in the kindergarten circle discussing the colors of the rainbow. We prepare them for the changes their bodies are going to go through, and buy them a stick of deodorant in hopes of toning down that musky underarm stench (which, sorry, but there comes a time when NOTHING helps). We discuss where babies come from, and describe how they are made using technical terms. But eventually, it comes down to the fact that we need to discuss the big one – doing the deed, the horizontal tango, playing monopoly, the whole shebang….

We need to talk about actual sex.

We’re not talking the kind of sex that other people are doing. We’re not talking about what their parents are doing. We’re not even talking about backtracking to how babies are made (though that is a BIG part of the discussion) using cute diagrams and musing over the miracle of life. We’re talking about what they will be doing with their own bodies one day. Or, even though we don’t want to believe it to be true, what they may already be doing. And we need to talk about the reality of sex – the good parts as well as the bad.

I had this discussion with both of my kids a little while ago in the car. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been keeping the discussion about sex an open topic since they were little, keeping it age appropriate. But as of late, I’ve been stepping up the discussion. My daughter is just about to enter Jr. High. And at her age, kids are already starting to share relationships with the opposite sex. This next year she will be introduced to all sorts of new topics. And when it comes to the big ones, I’d prefer that she get her information at home first. At any rate, I started out the conversation by asking her about her recent Sex Ed class she had attended at school. I asked about the topics that they had covered, and she said that they had discussed a bit about the changes that are occurring in girls, but had mostly covered what goes on with boys. The boys had watched a video that discussed girls’ changes.

“So they didn’t cover sex yet?” I asked her.

“No, I think we talk about that next year,” she said.

“Ha ha! DQ’s having sex!” the Taz piped up in the back seat. He giggled while his sister looked ultra annoyed.

“You don’t even know what it is,” DQ fired back.

“Yes I do,” the Taz said smugly.

“Alright Taz, what is it?” I asked him. And he started making kissing sounds and wrapping his arms around himself. “What is that?” I asked him. “Kissing? Is that what sex is?”

“Yup,” he said.

“Wrong!” DQ said.

“What is it then?” the Taz asked, suddenly really interested in the conversation.

“Are you sure you want to know?” I asked him. He nodded.

“You don’t know what you’re asking for,” DQ giggled.

“Tell me,” the Taz begged.

“Ok. It’s when a man and a woman come together, and the man puts his penis–”

“Nooooo!” the Taz cried, falling over in the backseat acting thoroughly disgusted.

“Do you want me to continue?” I asked.

“Yeah, keep going,” he grimaced.

“The man puts his penis” (groan!) “in the woman’s vagina.”

“Auuuugggghhh!” the Taz cried. By this point, DQ was giggling uncontrollably.

“People have to have sex to make babies,” she told the Taz.

“But how does that make a baby?” he asked.

“Well,” I started.

“No! No more!” the Taz said, laughing.

“You sure?”

“No. Keep going.”

“When the man’s penis is in the woman’s vagina” (augh!) “he has what’s called an orgasm. Stuff comes out of his penis called ejaculate. And in that ejaculate is something called sperm. The sperm travels to the egg inside of the woman, fertilizes the egg, and then a baby begins to grow inside of the woman.”

“Do you have sex?” the Taz asked me.

Ok, pause. If I were married to the kids’ father, this would be an easy question to answer. Yes. Of course I am having sex. No, we’re not trying to have babies anymore, but sex is an incredibly enjoyable act that two people share when they are in love.

But I’m not married.

I understand that there is a virtue for saving yourself for marriage. I actually have several friends who have done this. And, especially in this day and age, I applaud the gift they are about to give their husband on their wedding night. But I have already experienced sex. And let’s be frank. I like it. I’ve experienced casual sex, and I’ve experienced relationship sex. And in my single life, I’ve come to the conclusion that sex with someone you love and who loves you back is a million times better than those of a one night stand. And I have also realized that casual sex is never really casual, that intercourse leaves a bit of your soul with that person so it hurts that much more when expectations don’t work out the way we had planned. So I get why saving yourself for marriage is actually an excellent choice. But I don’t exactly want to live my single life without it, or feel like I am in a rush to get married just to have sex again. Being that Mr. W and I don’t plan on getting married anytime soon, I would probably wither up and die in certain areas of my body…

And, wait a second… Isn’t the sex talk supposed to only be uncomfortable for the kids? I really wasn’t prepared for the tables to be turned. But what choice did I have? I needed to answer them. And so I did.

“Yes,” I squeaked.

Both of the kids nearly suffered from whiplash as they turned to face me.

“YOU DO?!?” they cried. Both of them took turns telling me exactly how they felt about that – how they thought it was so healthy for me and Mr. W to express our love in such a caring and mutual way, how they were glad that we were comfortable enough in our bodies to be able to share them with each other. But it sounded more like this:

“Ew! Gross! You’ve seen Mr. W naked? He’s seen you naked??? How many times have you done it?”

And through this revelation that they really had no idea that their mom was “doing it”, I realized another thing. I had just been the one to break through my kids’ innocence and give them more knowledge than they even had an inkling about. As far as they were concerned Mr. W and I slept in flannel jammies when I went over there, our bodies covered from the top of the neck all the way down to our feet. We hadn’t even seen each other pee (something else my kids were horrified about upon discovery). Basically, I had just revealed to my kids that it is possible to have sex outside of marriage.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have never pretended that I would tell my kids that waiting till marriage is their only option. Just like I am not reserving sex for only marriage for myself, I couldn’t possibly hold my children to that regard. But I quickly explained to them that while sex is intended as an act inside of marriage, it is possible to have it when unmarried. That’s when I took the opportunity to explain the heartache that occurs with sex, how you have to be so careful to not have sex with a person that isn’t going to handle you gently, body and heart. And I also explained that sex does feel good, but it feels better when it’s with someone you love. And, along with that, I touched on how there are also dangers that come with sex – briefly touching on unplanned pregnancy and the kinds of STDs that are possible, and how there are some people who will force sex on another person.

Even though I shattered the remaining fragments of my children’s innocence, it was actually a really good conversation. And I’m happy to say that it has opened up more discussions since, ones that are less traumatic since we got the hard stuff out of the way.

CLICK HERE for tips on how to initiate a discussion about sex with your tween or teen, and things you should be thinking about before the conversation even starts.

Anyone else having “the talk” with their kids? When did you start? And how did you initially introduce the topic?

Texting Queen

My daughter sat on the couch, her phone never leaving her side. Every now and then it would vibrate. Like clockwork, she would flip it open, read it, then send back a quick reply. This wasn’t just going on for a short time, this had been going on all day long. I asked her who she was texting, and after many retorts of how little business it was of mine, she finally told me it was a boy at her school. The fact that she was texting a boy was not alarming. Most of her friends are guys, and she and one of her longest known guy friends texted each other often. Most of their texts consisted of “Sup”, or “LOL”, or “My brother’s a dweeb”. Nothing to write home about. And definitely nothing that raised my eyebrows (except to roll my eyes at how lame it was). But this was different, this was a boy I had never heard of. And with the way they were texting each other for hours on end, it was obvious that this was not just some friend.

This had to be a boyfriend.

Of course, she denied it. Nevermind that she had been hunched over the keypad of that phone all night. Nevermind that she had been guarding it so that no one saw what she had been texting. Nevermind the silly grin that was escaping from her usually blank stare when nothing that amusing was going on in real life.

“Come on DQ,” I said. “Admit it. He’s your boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend!” she exclaimed.

“Why don’t you just call him?” Mr. W asked her as she furiously typed in some letters and hit send.

“Talking on the phone is so old-fashioned,” she explained to us ignorant old fogies. “Besides, you can’t take back words when you say them, but you can always hit delete before you send a text.”

My daughter has played the love game before.  The experimentation with adult things like love is a common game in the elementary years. Two kids decide they like each other. They decide to “go out”. They might talk occasionally while at school, but more likely than not they’ll avoid each other like the plague. The relationship might last a long two or three days, or go for even longer by lasting a couple weeks. Then one member of this coupledom will decide that they actually have a crush on someone else they hadn’t really noticed before (usually after the crushee expresses interest), and the relationship ends.

“DQ” has had boyfriends, but somehow, now it’s different. She’s 12, almost in Jr. High.  Having a boyfriend is getting closer and closer (if it’s not here already) to extending past ignoring each other and the occasional awkward glances.  It’s a little nervewracking to even think about.  Not only that, kids are more available to each other now, and DQ is no different.  Why?  Because now she has a phone.

Giving her a phone was not a choice I took lightly. I had been hemming and hawing over it for well over a year. It was true that many of her classmates were now getting phones, but I was not about to let that be my deciding factor. If her classmates were all getting Shetland Ponies, our imaginary corral would still be empty. The decision was solely based on how available I needed her to be. And because she was old enough to be staying home alone, and because I needed to be able to reach her when she was waiting to be picked up or over at her father’s house, I finally came to the decision that a phone was a necessity.

When she got her phone, ground rules were set up. Phone curfew was at 9 pm sharp. (Side note here. This was a rule my parents set up for my sisters and me when we were kids regarding the old-fashioned rotary telephone. Of course, it was lame. I mean, who goes to bed at 9 pm? Now I know. What parent wants their phone ringing at all hours of the night? 9 pm is a PERFECT cut off point.) At 9 pm, the phone is to be turned off and plugged in to charge. During school hours, the phone stays off. Talking time on the phone was ordered to be kept to a minimum, since I was not about to raise my minutes on our shared plan. And there was not to be any internet access at all on the phone (something I made sure of with my nerdish technical capabilities of disarming them). If she broke any of these rules, the phone would be confiscated – no questions asked. But to be realistic, I was allowing her unlimited texting (before 9 pm, of course). After all, she was a tween.

DQ has been really good about following these rules. Every night she plugs in the phone, and every morning she goes through it to see what she’s missed. The phone has basically become an extension of herself, and the best way for her to keep in touch with her friends outside of school. But best of all, it has made it incredibly convenient for me to be able to locate her when she texts me from a friend’s house, or when I’m searching through a crowd of students when picking her up at school.

On the day in question, the phone never left her lap. We watched some Survivor, and she glanced at the TV in between a fast typing conversation. The show ended and I instructed her to plug it in before bed. I went to kiss her goodnight, and she was being a little jumpy.

“Where’s your phone?” I asked her.

“It’s downstairs, plugged in, just like you asked me to do,” she answered matter-of-factly.

I wasn’t buying it.

“Alright, where? I’m going to go check,” I said, looking her straight in the eye.

“Go ahead,” she countered, challenging my threat, her gaze never leaving mine.  (Seriously, cue some Good, Bad, and the Ugly music here)

“Alright,” I said, and started to leave the room.

“Wait Mom!” she called. I turned and smiled, holding out my hand. She sheepishly went into her backpack and pulled out the lime green instrument.

“Good thing you caught me,” I told her. “You almost lost your phone.”

The next day I wouldn’t let her have her phone back until after church. I admit it, it was to torture her. I knew that she was waiting to get that phone back with baited breath to find out if her “just a friend” had texted her back. She finally did get it back, and away she went to leave the real world and enter the land of “LOLs” and “BRBs”. We were leaving the grocery store and on our way home when I drilled her again.

“I don’t know why you don’t just admit it,” I said. “Obviously he’s your boyfriend. I wasn’t just born yesterday.”

“Mom, he’s not my boyfriend. He’s just a friend.” And she hunched back over her keypad. We were just entering our complex when my phone dinged. I checked to see who had sent me a text. It was from DQ.

“I’m pretty sure my mom figured it out.”

With the advances of technology, you can send a friend a note in seconds flat. You can tell them you’ll be late meeting them. You can let them know you are thinking of them. You can find out what they are wearing to the latest party, or if that person you were avoiding happens to be there. Or you can hit the wrong button and send a text that was meant for your BOYFRIEND accidentally to your own mother.

Yes folks, the jig is up. And the only thing I can do with this little snafu is place it in the giant book of AWESOME.