Julie Cole: The Baby Machine


Tween Girls

Why they are my new favourite age and stage

Most parents say that there was a particular age and stage in their child’s life that they enjoyed most. I’ve always identified as a “baby” person. If there is a newborn in the room, before a minute passes, that babe will be in my arms. I’m quite sure that every time I smell a newborn, I immediately ovulate.

Right now I have kids between the ages of 2 and 12 years old and I have been surprised by how much I’m loving the tween girl stage. I get a complete kick out of them. Here’s why:

They are fearless

They can do anything. They will try anything. It has not occurred to them that they “can’t.”

They rollerblade like mini roller derby chicks (without the tattoos), tackle the biggest ski hills and, this New Year’s Day, jumped into the lake for the Polar Bear Dip as I stood on the beach bundled up in my winter woolies, shaking my head in disbelief.

And being fearless means they have no limits. One minute they can be preparing for a ballet performance:

Then the next minute they’re heading off to hockey or baseball to show those boys on their team exactly what “playing like a girl” looks like. There is no boxing them in. They will not be stereotyped.

And because they are fearless, they can do everything they try.

They are not too cool

One minute they are deep into “The Hunger Games” book or talking about the latest app for their iPods, and a moment later they’re dancing to a Wiggles song with their baby brother—and loving every minute of it. I can chat with them about serious issues, yet we can still play chase games and “Blind Man’s Bluff.” They’re not too cool for a game of “Spiders and Flies” and giggle as I chase them around the house. I really love that they are not hung up on material things and still don’t care about stuff like what brand of clothes they or their peers wear. I don’t think they even notice and they certainly don’t ask for me to buy them specific brands. They don’t judge books by covers.

They are untainted

My girls have not been knocked down…yet. I feel like they are at that age just before someone says something mean to them. Everyone remembers that comment made to them in Grade 7 when they were told their ears were too big, their nose was funny, their legs were fat, etc. Adults carry that careless comment around with them—every once in a while wondering if their hair is covering their big ears. I don’t think my girls have had that comment yet. They’ve never had a friend hurt or betray them. They’ve never had a broken heart. No one has told them there is anything wrong with them. My sister said that maybe they have and are resilient—I hope she’s right, but it feels like something we’re just on the verge of. 

For so many reasons, I’m just relishing the fun that is tween girls. Maybe it’s the calm before the storm, or maybe with these two sassy things, it’s just the warm up.