[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]W[/dropcap]e’re celebrating a birthday next week, so I went shopping today. Miss C will be 11, and since she’s still in Ohio with her Dad and siblings, what better time to sneak away and pick up a few items for her, right?
While at the book store, I ordered a caramel frappuccino and took my time walking through the aisles, adding books to my basket, checking out the newest titles. Before too long, I ended up in the parenting book aisle, and I smiled at the rows of familiar books I read while pregnant with my own babies. I think at one point, I owned all the baby name books, and I noted that the mother on the latest edition of “what to expect” books looked even more fresh and hip than I remembered her.
Then I noted that after three whole bookcases full of pregnancy and babyhood books, there was one bookcase devoted to raising toddlers and preschoolers. And then it stopped. When I tried to find the books that provided guidance on how to raise tweens and teenagers, the section morphed into books on ways to deal with a problem child or a specific special need. It took some investigating to find the few books that are specific to raising a tween or teenager. I looked at the other aisles, even asked the nearby book clerk if there was a section I was missing (there wasn’t), and later did a search for more tween-specific books online.
Compared to all the books available for the first few years of life, there really isn’t very much out there for parents of tweens and teens.
No wonder the prospect of raising a teenager is so daunting!
After years of being offered advice on how to feed our kids, swaddle our kids, get them to stop crying, introduce them to Mozart, get them to aim for the toilet, how to feed them, get them on a sleep schedule, how to plan the perfect birthday party, how to make flashcards, how to overcome separation anxiety, how to keep them alive until about the age of nine … the parental advice business runs cold.
It’s as if the book industry said, “Hey, once they are ten, the cake is baked. Good luck.”
Good luck indeed.
For today’s Flashback Friday post, I’m sharing this entry from 2006 when we celebrated Miss C’s birthday at our townhouse in our old neighborhood. It was the first birthday party we had for her since moving back to the United States, and it was so much fun. And super hot. The strawberry ice cream cake we got for her promptly melted between the time we took it out of the fridge to the time we lit the candles and sang to her.
But with ice cream cake, who cares? Soggy deliciousness.
You can read it HERE.