I have another teenager in the house!
Hard to believe (for me that is), but my baby turned 13 in January. And I am now officially the mom of two teenage girls.
Bianca was born the year after I finished my articles as a trainee accountant. I was young and scared and everyone tried to ‘teach me the ropes’, which basically meant being on the receiving end of (well intended) advise on a regular basis. One of the partners, who had 3 daughters (all over 18 years), told me that when his girls were teenagers, he wanted to give them away. He said they were nasty, know-it-all and argumentative.
“Enjoy her while she is still small”, he advised.
I did. I enjoyed her (and her sister when she came along 3 and half years later) and treasured every stage of their growing up. I loved it when they started talking. I loved their little quirps and sayings.
But I guess, all along I was a little worried about the dreaded ‘teenager’ years. And of course we have had some blow ups and arguments. My teenage girls are no different and they too believe that they know everything. They will correct my English and they will laugh at my ignorance from time to time.
But, all in all, I am loving their teenage years. I love being able to have a proper conversation with them, like I would be able to have with a friend. It always amazes me that they can identify with issues we as grown ups are facing on a regular basis. Just as we should still be able to identify with issues they are facing.
But, of course, you always worry as a parent. And hope and pray that they will make the right decisions at the right time. With Bianca I am now having to guide her through tough decisions like choice of what and where to go and study after school. And it scares the bejeezus out of me, honestly.
So, when Anya turned 13 last month I was a bit trepidatious about having another teenager in the house. Will she be a difficult teenager? Do I need to worry more? Will she turn out just as level headed as her sister, or will the same parenting have a different impact?
I am still wary, naturally. But recently I have seen a different side to Anya, that gives me joy. I am starting to glimpse the adult she can be one day, and I like her.
She is different from her sister, but that’s okay. We have started having more grown up conversations.
And recently, she has started experimenting with tastes. Which I love.
She is not such a picky vegetable eater anymore! And a few weeks ago, she asked me if we could go to an Indian Restaurant for dinner. Last week I made a VERY hot chilli mince dish (I added 3 birds’eye chillies) and even though she was huffing and puffing, she told me that she LOVED the flavour!
And then, last night I made curry mince (she wanted to eat something spicy). I didn’t want to make it too hot, and haven’t used curry powder in a while, so when she tasted it at some stage (to see if she approves), she declared that it was a bit bland and “did you add some of those chillies again?”, she asked.
I added some chillies and the effect was a much hotter curry than I anticipated. She approved.
And then she said: “Mom, now that I have developed my teenage tastebuds, maybe I should try eating eggs again. And sushi.”
I could barely contain my laughter. She stopped eating eggs some time ago (she was never a big egg eater anyway) and has refused to eat sushi for a long time.
So, I will be taking her for sushi. She has suggested starting out slowly and eating a bit of my eggs when I have it. But I am so very much taking advantage of her newly developed tastebuds!
And maybe this teenager ride will be different. In fact, it most likely will be much different. But I am looking forward to it.
At least we will have a shared love of hot food, and that is something, isn’t it??