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Mommy' s Little Almost-Teenager

Yesterday morning Cora had a friend over to play. While the young girls giggled happily together, Maddie a bit of the old man out, I took advantage of the pint-sized distraction and cleaned a couple of rooms. Maddie, bored, ambled into where I was and said, “Mom, can I talk to Elise on the phone?” Maddie’s friend has been out of town a couple weeks and my daughter was clearly missing her – as well as looking for something to do that didn’t involve helping five-year-olds dress up the cat.

“Sure, kiddo, let me go get the phone and call Elise’s mom on vacation for you, and she’ll hand you over to Elise if Elise is available.” I was headed towards the house phone when Maddie said, “And Mom? I really think I should get my own phone for Christmas this year.”

I stopped and turned back. “That, unfortunately, is not going to happen. Cell phones are not healthy for kids your age to use, so it’s going to be several years, honey. But,” I continued, “you are welcome to call your friends on the family phone any time you’d like.”

Maddie considered the state of affairs grumpily. “I guess I’ll just use the family phone, then, for now,” she said, and I dialed up my friend Mary.

Mary answered. “Hey, what’s up in Texas?”

“Hello, is Elise available to speak?” I asked in my best secretary voice.

Mary, startled, recovered quickly. “Um, yes, I believe she is, let me go get her!” And I handed the phone over to Maddie.

“Elise?” Maddie said eagerly, starting to pace around the room with energy. “Hi! How are you doing? What are you doing right now? Have you done anything fun recently? Have you – hang on Elise.” And here Maddie stopped, looked at me, covered the phone with her hand and said, “Excuse me, Mom,” and then walked in silence to her room. As she threw herself onto the bed, I heard her say, “Sorry – now where was I?”

What just happened here? When did my just-finished-first-grader turn into an almost-teenager? For the next fifteen minutes or so I could hear a low murmuring conversation, punctuated with giggles and the occasional “Oh my GOSH! I can’t believe it! No WAY!” Every time I’d walk casually past her room she’d be flopped on her stomach, feet swinging in the air as she laughed and giggled, propping herself up on her elbows.

When Maddie finally signed off she brought the phone back to me, flushed and happy. “Thanks Mom!” she sang as she waltzed away.

Seriously, what just happened here?


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