Turn and face the strange.
David Bowie’s legendary lyric in his song Changes pretty much sums up the recent changes in how I relate to my teenage daughter these days. It’s like every corner of my life has become really strange since Margaret turned 13 in August. Here’s a rundown of my ch-ch-ch-ch changes.
Food – Margaret was a picky child. Her love affair with chicken nuggets began shortly after I started nursing her and feeding her homemade veggie and fruit mush at 13 months. That affair went on far too long I’m embarrassed to say (OK I’ll fess up, three years). She was completely monogamous and wouldn’t cheat on her chicken nuggets with anything else. No matter how much we tried to get her to try some variety. We’d dangle Mac-n-Cheese in front of her but she was 100% committed to her nuggets. It was cute and terribly frustrating all at once. Thankfully, her food scope has expanded exponentially since then. A few years ago, she became attracted to other foods – even non-American foods. She fell in love with Mexican food and that affair is still going on today. She started to flirt with Asian foods a few years ago and I’m happy to report that she’s very fond of dating Vietnamese foods like Pho and is seeing the appeal of Korean BBQ – two of my favorites. What’s happening now is that as she eats more of the foods I love, the more I buy the foods we both love. But I’m noticing that as she’s eating them too, when I go to the fridge to fulfill a craving, the food I had thought was in the fridge is gone. At first I’m confused. My husband is an anti-foodie. The 7-year old eats all of 4 things. And then I remember that Margaret must have eaten it. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled that she’s becoming a teenage foodie. But it’s strange having to share my beloved flavors with someone. I’m just used to having them all to myself, you know?
Wardrobe – I’ve written about this before but it’s gotten worse. Margaret still thinks she’s entitled to my wardrobe. Meaning it’s at her “beck and grab.” A blouse here, a pair of shoes there. OK, I’m game. But what burns my butt is that she rarely returns my clothes until prompted by my yelling, “Where’s my cardigan!” to which she responds hastily with, “Oh, it’s right here, I forgot to give it back.” Or wash it. Or iron it. Or hang it up. The worst is when she’s not around and I have to enter her room. I usually need to go to therapy after that.
Entertainment – Ever since we’ve given Margaret permission to stay up later at night, she’s begun to show an interest in what we’re watching sometimes. Lately, we’ve been watching Frasier on Netflix since it was one of the best comedies on television and she loves the repartee. Which is great. But it’s also a bit…strange. Frasier is fairly vanilla, but there are sexual innuendos that make for some awkward family TV watching. But then again, it could be far worse. Some people I know watch Game of Thrones with their teenagers. Ummm…nope. (Side note: just started reading the book series and so far it’s great and no mention of b–bs.)
Makeup – ooohhhh. Don’t even get me started on this one. At 13, Margaret knows far more about makeup than I do. And she isn’t even allowed to wear makeup outside of the house or on stage. Clearly, I’ve never been big on wearing makeup.
Here’s her makeup bag.
Yes, I’m turning and I’m facing the strange. And just like Bowie recommends, I’m not telling her to grow up and out of it.
Because time may change me, but I can’t trace time.