As I say in my bio, I’m a mom. I have a 10-year-old daughter, N. She is the light of my life, sunshine on a cloudy day, and all that jazz, but MAN. We are fully immersed into the tween years. She’s constantly in her room, I rarely see her full eyeballs– they’re typically rolled up into the back of her head because I’m ridiculous– and she is engaging in a form of “parallel play” I haven’t seen since she was a toddler. She will call a friend, and they will basically breathe at each other while they do an activity; watch TV, draw, read. It’s madness. (To be fair, I have memories of doing the same thing, but I was tying up our only phone line at the time.) It makes me grateful that we have unlimited talk on our phone plan. That’s another thing– we don’t have a landline in our house, and she is home for a short period of time after school, so we decided to get her a cell phone, for safety purposes. This has exacerbated the tweeny behavior. If she’s not actually physically hanging out with her friends, she’s FaceTiming them. We always have another kid in the house, literally or virtually. I get that this is a part of her development, but sometimes I have to put my foot down and take the phone out of her hand or gently escort the neighbor children out of my house. It’s time for us to hang out as a family. She’d never admit it, but I think N is secretly glad for this time. When it’s just us, my girl will curl up next to me. I get hugs and kisses freely. It’s a relief for all of us.