A Conversation About When Baby Girls Become Teenage Girls

Welcome to a Saturday parenting post here at More Cowbell! All of you who hang out here know that Baby Girl is in the Terrible Two’s and some days I just want to run away.

My wild child, on a GOOD day. πŸ™‚

However, I can always count on my pal, Gene Lempp to put things in perspective for me. He’s got FOUR daughters, which means things get pretty wild at his house. That’s a boatload of estrogen sailing through his living room each night.

The other day, several of us were having our usual Twitter frivolity and the conversation went like this:

Gene: Hi Jen πŸ™‚ Stop picking on August or we’ll have to pull the car over…

Me: @GeneLempp – Bahaha! I keep wondering if I’ll ever get to use that one with an only child… @AugstMclaughlin @TameriEtherton

Gene: @jhansenwrites Randomness is a good way to teach the child to think. You can use them all πŸ™‚

Me: @GeneLempp – Gene, you are soooo bloggable! I love that sentence. πŸ™‚ Might make me drag my butt to the PC to post tomorrow.

Gene: @jhansenwrites *sounds of dragging a body across the floor* wink – Blog, baby, blog

Me: @GeneLempp – OK, o-KAY!! Guess my Saturday parents need to know that whether the kid’s puking or you’re exhausted, life MUST go on. πŸ™‚

Gene: @jhansenwrites I have four girls and life NEVER stops. Ever. Yeah. Wait til she is old enough to discover friend drama…

Me: @GeneLempp – Not looking forward to teenage friend drama. I remember it well. Hated it the FIRST time around…

Gene: @jhansenwrites Just wait, teen girl drama is WAY MORE entertaining from the parent end (may be sarcasm in that statement)

Me: @GeneLempp – Thank GOD. Because it sucked from the teenage girl end. “So and so said that so and so…” #killmenow

Gene: @jhansenwrites Exactly, now you just have to sit through your daughter telling you the same stories… #killmenow

Me:Β @GeneLempp: For real?! The same stories are still in play? With the insane teenage girl shrieking giggles? *moaning* #killmeNOW

Gene: @jhansenwrites Yes. The. Same. Ones. Forever. In. Reruns. Reruns. Reruns…. #killmenow

Me:Β @GeneLempp: Crap, damn & double-damn. Totally was hoping for new material. Enjoy dinner..you’ve inspired me to blog. #killmenow

Do you have teens or almost-teens at home? Tell the truth: which is harder…toddlers or teens? Tired first-time parents MUST know these things here at More Cowbell!


Note: Since we’re on the subject of Gene’s turbo-awesome-ness, I wanted to let you know that The Bookshelf Muse featured him this week as a Writing Hero. It’s a great post – I recommend you click over there. πŸ™‚ Go, Gene!!!!

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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55 Responses to A Conversation About When Baby Girls Become Teenage Girls

  1. Jody Moller says:

    Jenny the whole teen things terrifies me. Daughter turns 6 in a few weeks and the friend politics and bitchiness in Kindergarten has already done my head in. I can’t even begin to imagine what they will be like by 14!!!


  2. @jhansenwrites @genelemp DRAMA includes teenage males. Stepson caught drinking beer b4 senior trip ON THE SCHOOL BUS #killHIMnow

    I married my teenager when I married his dad and we graduated from High School together. (My second time, btw.) The kid couldn’t pick his nose w/out getting caught.

    Jenny, you know there were five of girls in my family–five teens at one time (Team A). Gene, even if you don’t know it, you are on Team B.

    Two of my sisters, then ages 16 and 17, dated the same guy–back and forth, off and on, “I had him first”, “Tough noogies!” The calls I got a the dorm. Oy! No wonder I didn’t ace my freshman year. Well, that and huge gulp of F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

    And, that’s all I have to say about that…


    • Gene Lempp says:

      Oh trust me I know it πŸ™‚ Guys have a different type of drama then girls, but having met quite a few younger males, thanks to my daughters, I’d have to say it is not less in quality. Fortunately, most of us grow out it. Most.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      On the bus???!!! That’s some serious cojones. Those will serve him well in life (as long as he survived teen-hood. He did, right?).


      • Stepson is now the proud father of a sixteen-year-old son, who loses his driver’s license on alternating report card periods. Grades suck? Lose the keys. Grades back up. Get the keys. And, repeat.

        It used to be his cell phone and all electronic device privileges. Then, Zach started swiping and using his parent’s phones. And, he wasn’t smart enough to delete the evidence. Just like my stepson — he can’t pick his nose without getting caught.

        The stories I should tell. Ooooh! I feel a G-L-O-B coming on.


  3. Gene Lempp says:

    LOL! I totally remember that conversation. Of course, pratting on about the wonders of a house of women is one of my favorite past-times. I love them all dearly. Even when there is drama. Makes it easy to understand why I don’t watch TV – best show is moving around me all the time, live. Thanks for including me in this awesome post, Jen πŸ™‚


  4. prudencemacleod says:

    Ha. I have good news. If you live long enough (as I have) you only remember the good stuff. Thanks for a fun post.


  5. I have three daughters. Two are in their 20’s now.. and my youngest just turned 17 two weeks ago! Teen drama is insane! The moodiness, the mind changing, the sleeping ’til 3 pm in the summer.. But, I love it when I really reflect on the joy she brings me on any day. Great post!


  6. Julie Glover says:

    Toddlerhood is physically exhausting, teenagerhood is emotionally exhausting. That’s my take.

    Meanwhlie, I woke up this morning expecting to see T.P. all in my trees because I told the students who asked ahead of time if they could wrap our house, “Wrap away!” meaning “Get busy, make it good, and my teenage son will have to clean it all up. Mwahahahaha.” Instead, I think they interpreted my message as “keep the wrap away from my house.” 😦 Now I’m wondering if I’ll have to explain to my kid why his is the only freshman band member’s house that didn’t get wrapped. Anyone want to help me T.P. my own house before they wake up?)


  7. Toddlerhood was tough, although mine had the terrible threes not the twos. Delayed onset. Teenagers are worse. When they were toddlers you appreciated that every tantrum had a reason. Can’t have that icecream truck? Well, I feel badly for you. Teens, not so much sympathy. In fact I cry more now with teens than I ever did with toddlers. Toddlers want you to kiss the boo-boo better. Teens give you the hand, the screaming and the cold shoulder. Although, at the end of all the parent rejection, when it gets bad they still want to climb into your lap. Even though they are bigger than you!


  8. Ohhhh, this post gave me a few more grays, just reliving some things. LOL. I think Gloria and I should hook up…I think we have the same stepson. πŸ™‚ I married mine as well, he was 13 and sweet and loving and then 16 came and the aliens swooped down and stole his soul. Drunk fests, he was found asleep in the street next to his car one morning, drove another car into a canal. Drama drama drama… He’s 22 now, thank God he survived it all. Still worry about him, but at least there is a smarter head on his shoulders. My daughter is 17, and wears. me. out. daily. I can go into her room (which could qualify on Hoarders) and speak to Jekyl, and five minutes later come back to Hyde. Never know what kind of life-altering horror she just dealt with via text message in that five mins, but the one sure thing is that I’m going to get the brunt of it. Driving is another exercise in gut-wrenching terror. I don’t sleep till she gets home, I don’t breathe easy till she’s inside these walls. And the friend drama? I remember all that too, but it quadruples when you add in the ease of cyberbitching. When horrible things get put on Facebook for the world, there is nothing more heartbreaking. I have had to root my feet to the floor to keep from getting in my car and going to string up some foul mouthed snotty little girl and slamming her mom for good measure. The mommy tiger comes out in those teenage years. I think because we remember the hurts still…we can relate. Ooooooh the fun you have ahead, Jenny!! LOL!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m laughing my a$$ off about the Hoarders comment. My mother said when I moved away to college, that my carpet was still brand spankin’ new when I moved out because the carpet had never seen the light of day.


  9. amyskennedy says:

    Love every single second of it, the teen angst and drama, all of it. You can’t fix any of it, but you can be there for them, and you can love them.


  10. I loved that chat. Who knew I’d be mentioned in a teen girl conversation other than by my poor parents years back? LOL

    Having been a difficult toddler and teen, I can tell you this: If she’s a handful, she’ll probably grow up and out of it, especially if you give her the freedom and wings to follow her heart. (At least that’s what worked with me.) My three sisters were tamer all along, so you just never know…

    You’re such a lovely, caring person, Jenny. I can’t imagine your baby girl not turning out wonderfully. For bumps, well you always have the ever-wise guru Gene. πŸ˜‰


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You seem to think I know what I’m doing in this parenting business, August. *points to self* Hello? Newbie parent here! πŸ™‚

      I too was a difficult teen and I grew out of it just fine too. I guess there’s hope, not matter what her shenanigans, eh?


  11. I survived three of them and in truth, I raise both my daughters before my son again. He was a handful. teenager with the brains of a 2 year old. Man didn’t smarten up until he was 30. Irresponsible????oh yeah.

    i used to drive them to school every day on my way to work. 3 weeks into September they call to tell me they’re expelling my son for failure to attend!!! What ???????
    ” I’ve dropped him off every day.”
    “Well, he hasn’t come inside.”

    I race home and sure enough, he’s in bed, sound asleep. then he tries to tell me it was the first time. I mean come on, now, really.

    give me girls anytime. they cried and screamed about school but they went.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      NO!!! That’s one of those fantastic stories that you wish had happened to someone ELSE. I’m so happy for you that you got him raised. I’ll confess, I’ve had boy relatives who would do that exact thing.

      You know this is where that old Irish “curse” will come in handy. Make a toast where you wish for him to have many healthy children who are just like him. πŸ™‚


  12. I need to teach you about screen shots. πŸ˜‰


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Screen shots, WHAAAAT?? Is this where I capture hideous behavior on the computer? I’m all over it! We’ve video’d a few tantrums on our phone for blackmail later.

      If that’s NOT what you mean – Explain please. I’m new at this and need all the help I can get. πŸ™‚


  13. Elena Aitken says:

    My babies are ten now and let me tell you, with the girl…drama started around 8. Definitely grade three was the start of friend drama.
    What scares me now with boy/girl twins is as they get older one of them will likely be dating the others friends. Or having a crush on someone’s friends. OR….AHH
    I can’t deal!


  14. Diana Beebe says:

    I have two girls. We just survived middle school with one. She started high school with a fantastic group of friends, and I’m sure she’ll make new ones. The #killmenow conversations started in 4th grade and continued through half of 6th grade when she’d finally had enough of the mean grils (yes, they can start in 4th!). Admittedly, I reached my limit with the uber mean girl and let her have it. The polite admonishments to let my daughter be herself were ignored one too many times. We didn’t car pool after that, and finally that girl left mine alone. These are the kids who listen to the bullynig assembly and have NO clue that they are the reason those assemblies take place.

    My other one turns seven next week, so I’m going to enjoy the quiet period before the next #killmenow conversations start. I’m also going to make sure that she’s not one of those mean girls. Nothing ticks me off more than parents who have no clue that their kids bully, lie, or misbehave (that includes the uber mean girl’s mother). I know you can’t see what your child is doing at school, but you can monitor texting, FB, and listen to the way they talk to and about others when you’re in the car (some kids don’t know you can hear them from the front seat).


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Wow, Diana. Just WOW. Soooo sorry you had to watch a round of Mean Girls. Doesn’t it just make you want to jump in and scratch their eyes out? I agree that you need to be on top of what your kid is up to.

      All the Facebook and text bullying make me so sad. It used to be kids were safe from their peers once they made it to their front door.


  15. I love Mark Twain’s quote on the subject of the teen years. “When a child turns 13, you put him in a barrel with only a hole to feed him through. When he turns 18, plug the hole.”

    I’ve survived two girls and one boy and I can tell you I considered a barrel on more than one occasion. Working through grandchildren’s tween and teens now and it’s not any prettier once removed. It’s a never ending cycle whether you’ve boys or girls.

    Great post.
    P.S. I checked out Gene. Thanks for the intro.


  16. Karen McFarland says:

    Ah, you guys are having way too much fun over here! LOL! Darn, if I don’t love a good TP party! But here’s the thing. Julie, I fear that you may have ruined your chances since you gave them permission to TP your house verses the rebellious, under the radar TP party and took the fun out of the equation. You used reversed psychology, which apparently worked. Do let us know if you get hit. With the TP that is. Now about teenage girls. Ack, I hated being a teenage girl myself and all the drama that went with it. And as you know I had boys. Not that I planned it that way. Nature just took it’s course. But after listening to all my friends that had girls, I have to say I’m kinda glad I had boys. Their Dad was/is an amazing father, so we didn’t have much of a problem with them. He spent a lot of time with them both and so did I. And I think that’s a huge key to parental success. More time, less crime. Just sayin’. It works. πŸ™‚


  17. Piper Bayard says:

    Toddlers are more work but teens can be more infuriating. They know exactly how to push your buttons and they can and will do it with deliberation and forethought. When they’re toddlers, you can put them in their rooms bodily, and you always know who they’re with and what they’re doing. Teens have figured out that short of a padded cell, we require a certain amount of cooperation to pull off the parental dominance bit.

    But I love the way my baby girl (14) and I are becoming friends. She even told me the other day that I was her best friend and the coolest person she knows. That was a couple of hours before a tantrum that made my ears bleed.

    Bottom line? Every age has its pros and cons, and they are ALL the best age. Good luck!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Piper, that’s so sweet…it’s rare for a kid to think their parent is cool. πŸ™‚

      Speaking of the bodily thing – the other day I had to hold her in time out with my feet. Just sayin…


  18. Julie Frayn says:

    I survived the “I want to go on the pill so I can sleep with my boyfriend” discussion at 15. Before that was some frank talk about oral sex and why girls should not give in and do that at the age of 13 (or any age where it’s not reciprocal and you’re not mature enough to handle it). There was best friend drama and school drama and mother drama and father drama followed by mother and father divorcing drama. She’s 20 now. She’s perfect. So is her 18 year old brother who finds drinking a big bore. Maybe I’m just lucky, but I found all ages challenging, all ages wonderful, and every new drama a test of my mother mettle.



  19. I love teens. Seriously. Other people’s teens. I spend all day teaching them.

    It’ll be very different when my 8yo twins are teens. This I know. Especially “the dark year” (half way through grade 8 to half way through grade 9).


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      The dark year is the one where they lose their minds to hormones and zits, right? Where every single thing on their body is out of control and their minds fall into the Pit of Despair? Or is that older than that… LOL.


  20. Lynn Kelley says:

    I love that Twitter conversation. Great fun! Your baby girl is adorable. Enjoy every minute. They grow way too fast.

    I have three daughters and one son, all grown. If I get started here, it will turn into a novel. We’ll have to get together for lunch one day. Oh, the stories I could tell you. Basically, I’m so thankful I survived the stupidity of my teen years (sneaking out my window at 16 to go dancing at a nightclub – my friend had a fake ID and we all shared the same one to get in), and now I’m extremely thankful my kids and hubby and I have survived the stupidity of the kids’ teen years. Payback is a you-know-what. My middle daughter left incriminating evidence – bent the screen on the window. Don’t get me wrong. We had lots of wonderful times, too. My girls and I would dance around the house to “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and lots of silly fun.

    Toddlers are a breeze and there’s no comparison. Tantrums make us want to pull our hair out, but teen years make our hair gray and fall out on its own! On a serious note, I recommend every parent with a daughter to read Reviving Ophelia way before their daughter becomes a tween. I wish I’d known about this book before my girls were teens, but I didn’t read it until about six years ago.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      *Looking up Reviving Ophelia…*

      I am enjoying Baby Girl, despite my complaints about tantrums. They aren’t the largest part of our day ~ they’re just really vehement. She puts her WHOLE SELF into them. πŸ™‚

      Still, if she decides to be the same teen I was, I’ll want to really run away. I’m crossing my fingers that, since she’s had a better childhood, that she’ll have a better teenhood.


  21. zkullis says:

    Wow….. This entire post has me sweating bullets. I am, by nature, a very protective (read as overly protective) person, but I think that I would hit overdrive with a teen-daughter.

    Scene One: Teenage daughter explaining latest drama, using hands to hit anything nearby, using incoherent text-speak high-pitched cry-talk. Zack, dazed, a scared look on his face, frantically flipping through pages of his recently purchased “Teen Girl talk for Dummies” book, his lower lip quivering.

    Scene Two: Zack in bedroom, speaking into phone, pointing at ripped up “Teen Girl talk for Dummies” book, using incoherent government-speak high-pitched man-cry, yelling at older buddy because he didn’t tell Zack about this part of raising a girl.


  22. Toddlers please…ANY DAY over teens! UGH! Teen BOYS have drama too, at least mine does.


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