We’ve entered a new phase. It’s the “hang out” phase.
“What do 11 year olds do when they get together?” a very astute friend asked me. My answer? “I have no idea. I guess we’re about to find out.”
I’m trying to encourage my sweet 11 year old to open her circle of friends. She has playdates with a group of 4 other girls, and they are, except one, weird. One is so painfully shy that, when she finally answered a question I asked, after I’d known her for 9 months, had her at our house, taken her to the Butterfly Pavilion and Percy Jackson, all this, and when she finally answered a question directly, without whispering the answer to Oldest Daughter, I felt like Superman after he turned the world back. Successful, but oh, so tired. Another is the Magical Creatures Queen. She and 11 year old are sorceresses, demi-gods, witches, etc, all with an elaborate set of rules that I’ve stopped trying to understand. And what happens if you use a magical word wrong around Friend #2? She corrects you. With a very long, detailed explanation. A third friend hasn’t bathed since 3rd grade. The fourth friend, who never was weird, recently dropped the group in favor of “hanging out” with girls who bathe, do not play the 6th grade version of D&D, and who actually use their verbal skills. I don’t care much for some of the words I’ve heard that group use (example: 11 year old girl to 11 year boy, “I’m a girl and I can prove it!”) So, it isn’t that I really want her to move to those friends. I’d just like to see her extend her friendship to girls who speak loudly enough that I can hear, use words I understand, and don’t grease up my house just by walking through it.
So today, New 11 Year Old Friend has come over. And the answer to the Sphinx’s riddle?
11 year olds give each other makeovers, cook rock candy, and microwave frozen spring rolls when they get hungry.
And they don’t need me around.
Except to clean up, because now there’s peppermint candy all over my floor and the blender is being filled with what I think will become a peppermint chocolate chip shake, assuming they remember to put the lid on.
And kudos to me for not reminding them to put the lid on.
Because I do remember being 11, and one thing is very clear. 11 Year Olds may need Mother Figure to buy the food, but they do not need Mother Figure to speak unless spoken to. She must not make jokes, use slang, listen to music or talk about people 11 year olds know.
Ooops. Hope 11 year old doesn’t read this.