Thing One is . . . Thirteen?

13 Luft Balloons!

13 Luft Balloons!

Today is Thing One’s birthday.  Thirteen.  I feel old.  I told her I wasn’t ready for her to be a teenager.  She said she wasn’t ready to be one either.  Who is?

If you’ve been keeping up, yes, my children have birthdays 7 days apart.  It’s like having twins, only different ages and stages and not exactly the same day so you still lose your sanity, just with a very short break in between.  Before, we’ve done a joint party with kids.  We’ve also had a lot of family parties consisting of my parents and cake because my tolerance for any sort of party, especially one with lots of small shrieking people, is very, very short.

But this one was special for Thing One, so I wanted to do something more grown up.  This took some thinking on my part.  Thing One is very hard to shop for these days.  Not on purpose – she knows what she likes, she just can’t seem to convey this very well until she looks at something, and it’s all over her face that no, this was not a good choice.

No really you . . . shouldn't have.

No really you . . . shouldn’t have.

It didn’t use to be this way.  I used to dress her however I wanted, which was “small Laura Ashley clone” Later she had an accessory sister.  I dressed them in matching or coordinating clothes and they were gorgeous.  Great pictures.  Back then, Thing One loved wearing dresses with matching hair bows and lacy socks and shiny shoes.  Her baby sister didn’t care because she was too busy eating her shoes or tossing them out of shopping carts.  Still, they made a perfect set.  Their grandmother loved buying them clothes, so even though I was poor, my kids were freakin’ stylin’.

But then Thing One got older, and decided she didn’t really want to match little sister.  She likes jeans and T-shirts now, not dresses.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since I rarely wear dresses either, but losing my little “doll” was tough.  For a little while.  Until I realized I was getting a real, live girl in return.  Thing One started out with a verbal delay.  She didn’t talk well until after four, but the entire time she was listening and processing.  And one day the results all started spilling out.

This girl has opinions – based on facts.  Like her sister she is smart, beautiful, creative, and so funny.  Unlike her sister, she spends more time thinking on things, turning them around in her head before speaking her mind.  She has friends, but she doesn’t seem to need them around like Thing Two.  She is content to entertain herself in a world of her own, or play the same weird computer game for hours. A game where you’re an animal that bounces around “chatting” with other animals or playing stupid games.  Come to think of it, it’s just Facebook for the younger set, only more honest.

Facebook Training

Facebook Training

She and her sister also love to hang with me, and follow me around, even though I’m not nearly as cool as they are.  I know there will come a day when Thing One won’t need me as much, but right now she’s at such a tough stage.  Not a little girl, not an adult, not quite a moody teenager really.  She’s right on the cusp, and I remember how confusing and frustrating that can be.

Yet she’s much more self-determined than I was at that age, or even now.  When her friend made fun of a strange, awkward girl, she stood up for the kid.  She said to her friend, “Hey, wait, you got baptized.  Aren’t we all supposed to be brothers and sisters and be kind to each other?”  Oooh, snap!  Yes, the kid reads and understands and puts good lessons to use!  I’d have been a big fat weenie and not said a word, though I knew it was wrong.  I was worried about fitting in.  Thing One is more worried about doing what’s right.  Thing One is awesome.

So I decided that since Dad had planned a rocking party for little sister, I would plan a day out with her.  I got her a purse (that she picked out so I knew she’d like it) and a wallet with money in it.  Money she could spend on a shopping trip with me, once we were done having manicures for the very first time together.

It was a great day.  We got our nails done (I’m jealous, Thing One’s look better than mine.) while Thing One gave a commentary on the People Magazine.  “Oh, wow, they actually reported on the Boston Marathon bombing instead of just Kim Kardashian?” Once again, love this kid.

Even 13 year olds aren't impressed, Kim.

Even 13 year olds aren’t impressed, Kim.

We went to the city and ate at an Italian fast foodish restaurant with free breadsticks.  Not sure how many that kid ate.  I miss having that metabolism.  We headed to the mall next where she spent money on a bracelet and asked why she was being charged the Canadian amount.  She’s still getting used to that whole ‘tax” thing.  Bummer, that.

Fortunately, Thing One wears out as fast as I do.  She is not my “shopping” kid.  So after eating some double stuffed cookies (no calories there!) we headed home.  The teenage years may be tough, but maybe they are off to a good start, at least.

Happy Birthday, my Thing One.


29 responses

  1. Happy Birthday Thing One – your mum may act a little ‘looney’ but she loves ya and from the sounds of things (pardon the pun) she is bringing you girls up very nicely indeed & loves you to pieces 🙂

    1. Thanks. She seems to like the looney so far – we’ll see how the rest of the teen years go!

      1. 🙂 yes have fun with those 🙂

  2. Happy birthday to your thing 1!
    My thing one will be 16 and a half tomorrow. She told me this yesterday, by the way. I stopped counting half years fucking years ago.

    1. Oh, my, 16. Yeah I’m not looking forward to that whole driving thing. I still don’t like driving really – scary. And half birthdays! With them being born in the summer their half birthdays are Christmas anyway.

      1. Yeah…hold onto 13 as long as you can…

  3. You know she’s old enough now to sign up for an actual Facebook account? Mwa-ha-ha

    1. She has no interest in it at the moment. So far so good.

  4. Thing one is awesome!! Say happy birthday to her from me.
    I like the way she stands up to people, that’s really brave at that age. She’s got opinions based on facts- smart. She sounds like one of a kind. Probably raised very well ;).
    Really wonderful post. And perhaps she’ll read this one day and she’ll be proud, just because you cannot be not proud if you read things like this!

    1. She did read it and liked it except for the bit on her Animal Jam addiction. Snort.

  5. Happy Birthday to Thing One. She sounds awesome.

    1. Thanks so much. She really is.

  6. Happy birthday to Thing One! Mine and my sister’s birthday are 6 days apart.

    1. That must be fun. My brother’s birthday is two days before Christmas. All at once then nothin’ for a whole year. I like June better.

  7. Great post, Alice ! =) She sounds awesome, just like her mumma. =) My foxling will be 13 this autumn, and I am a bit weirded out at the prospect of having a teen in the house… showing my age here ! Love the bit about her metabolism, if I think hard enough, I can remember eating whatever I wanted, sigh. =) Have a wonderful day, and congrats on the milestone.

    1. Thanks and good luck to you. I still eat what I want but it’s starting to show. Bah. Stop eating the cake Alice, stop it stop it – oooh more birthday cake!

  8. Mazal tov to Thing One, and to you for having her! I am always joyous on my (now 28 year old!) son’s birthday, first of all because I am so happy to have him, and also because I will never, ever forget the four days of labor that crescendo’d up to a C-section, resulting in a beautiful child with a tall cone-head from being stuck in my pelvis for four days, and how ecstatic I was when he was finally extracted, kicking and screaming, from the womb he had grown so to love. We are still very close, in a more mature way. I wish you many, many more birthdays with Things One and Two, as they grow and differentiate and become who they are destined to be, with your help.

    1. Thanks. They are growing up fast. What a birth story! Thing One has heard enough of my stories and my friends’ that she has determined she is adopting. Haha!

  9. Happy Birthday, Thing One! Thirteen doesn’t have to be scary (though sometimes it does creep up on you. . . 😉 ).

    1. It certainly crept up on me! When did I get old?

  10. Happy birthday, Thing One!!

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. 😀

  11. Happy birthday to her! So nice to hear that she stood up for that other child. If there’s one thing that I want to relay to my daughter it is to stick up for the downtrodden.

    1. I feel exactly the same way. I’m very proud of her.

  12. Happy Birthday, Thing One! Continue being YOU and to heck with anyone else. Keep on thinking and being smart. It’s up to you and your sister to outwit your parents, remember!

    Alice, I really do think your kids are amazing.

    1. Thanks. She liked your response!

      1. Somehow I had a feeling she would. But it’s true, both kids are amazing.

  13. You have an amazing little girl, Alice. I don’t know a lot of kids that can stand up to a bully like that.

    Happy (belated) birthday, Thing One! Hope you had a fantastic day with your mom 🙂

    1. Thanks! We did have a good day, although my manicure has already come undone. Not too surprising considering we’re talking me here.

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