Having a Tween Is Bittersweet

elevator buttonsWhen my kids were little and we would go into an elevator and they would claw each other out of the way to get to the buttons first (OMG, who decided to put elevator buttons at toddler-level anyway?), I would say to myself, “Someday, they will grow up and not care who pushes the buttons. It will get better. Someday ...”

Well, my kids are 10 and 12, and they still care who pushes the elevator buttons.


I’m still waiting for the day when they grow out of it. Or maybe it’s just a sibling thing. I mean, will my son be moving into his college dorm in five years, pushing some other freshman out of the way to hit the floor button first? Or does he reserve this behavior for his little sister?

I had some idea of what I’d be in for as the kids got older: hormones, independence, violent video games, online safety, all of these things I saw coming. I just didn’t realize that that part of my sentence would run concurrently with the toddler crap.

This is such a strange age, between child and teen. My son is two inches taller than I am, rides public transportation in New York City alone, has a cellphone, and needs a shave. I’m pretty sure that if a police officer saw him behind the wheel, he wouldn’t even get a second look. So to see him shove his sister and yell, “MY TURN!” is bordering on insane.

We went to the Jersey Shore last weekend for some R&R, and the elevator button/room key scuffles were at an all-time high. I got tired of brokering deals (“OK, you get to press the ‘up’ button, then she gets to press the number button, then you get to swipe the room key, but she gets to pick what’s on TV”), so we started taking the stairs. It wasn’t just because of the buttons, the stairs were actually in a more convenient location, but not having to hear the arguing was a bonus on top of the extra FitBit steps.

I wish the vacuum cleaner buttons held the same excitement for him.


Image via Alexander Boden/Flickr

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