Maureen Turner: We Are Family


When the 12-Year-Old Acts Like a Baby

Is She a Tween or a Twoddler?

I have written before about how quickly Eleanor is growing up, all the changes she is about to go through, and the talks we have had. She just turned 12; she is a tween. between, not a teenager yet, but not a child. She has started talking on the phone more, she has started using Facebook, and she helps out around the house more.

I have to admit, I like that she is getting more mature in some respects. She is very helpful with the younger kids, she is more than happy to run to the grocery store for me if I forget something, and she is interested in learning to cook dinners so she can help me even more.

There are times though where we feel she regresses. She has days where her behavior seems more juvenile than the 2-year-old. Her table manners go out the window, talking with her mouth full and acting spazzy.  The other day, it took her 40 minutes to eat a bowl of oatmeal. She tries to duck her chores and “forgets” to do things like hang up her clothes or put away her belongings.

Tom has developed a term for this. On these days, she is no longer a tween... she’s a “Twoddler.” (No, not the Twitter toy for babies, a tween that acts like a toddler.)

She doesn’t like the term, but that’s kinda the point.