Teenage tastebuds

19 Feb

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.

Anya, ready for her 80s disco party

Anya, ready for her 80s disco party

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.

chiliBut, I never realised her fussy eating habits had anything to do with her teenage tastebuds that have not quite developed yet!

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??


Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Family


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6 responses to “Teenage tastebuds

  1. Eha

    February 20, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Oh Mother dear – what a delightful story: and may this be just the thin edge of the wedge! What a lovely and fun facet of feeling ‘all grownup’!! And for one thing I know the joy of enjoying hot and spicy food . . . and neither of my daughters balked either 🙂 ! . . . Having read your posts from afar for quite awhile now, methinks your ‘teenage ride’ may be different, but, to a large degree it just may be because of how you have raised your daughters . . . best of luck and have fun during the journey . . .

    • Justcallmegertie

      February 20, 2015 at 5:07 am

      Hi Eha! I thought it a story worth sharing. She is a different child and unique in her own way, and I am looking forward to the journey with her. It is so special to see her wanting to put make up on when we go out, and at other times she is such a child still! Hope you are well!

      • Eha

        February 20, 2015 at 6:31 am

        Yes but Gerda – somehow you have always known when to stand by, watch and let go and when to ‘rein in’: like most young teens she wants to fly but is quietly secure knowing that if she falls you will be there: many many parents lack the gift!! Life has been and is both busy and difficult but I think you know all about getting back on your feet, dusting yourself down and . . . 🙂 !

      • Justcallmegertie

        February 20, 2015 at 6:33 am

        Thank you very much. That’s the trick, isn’t it? But it does require thinking about it always…natural instinct is to protect them 😄

  2. Lorraine Forbes

    February 20, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    What a wonderful attitude you have to Motherhood and of course to Life dear Gerda, you are a very special lady!!xxx


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