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Why I (Heart) My Tween

Lyk OMG, sheez a TWEEN!!!!!

My oldest daughter turns 11 today, which officially makes her a Tweener, that in-between stage that is not a grade-schooler, not a teen – and not at all predictable. Too old for toys, too young for boys, right? People cringe when I tell them this, as if I'm about to climb on the water board of parenting. But I think tweens get a bad rap. Sure, in mob-sized portions they can be terribly shrill, silly and vulnerable to cheap marketing tricks. Their music generally sucks. They wear neon colors. They're way too obsessed with the latest cell phone. I, however, have decided to fully embrace this time. Sure, I enjoyed all the "firsts" when she was a baby and the wonder of the toddler years, but, 'tween you and me, I think this is going to be a pretty cool time. Here's why I (heart) my new tween:

* Justin Bieber and the Twilight boys are a heckuva lot easier on the eyes than Barney and those disturbing Wiggles dudes.

* She wants to put hearts and flowers and puppies on everything.

* She still crawls into my lap and holds my hand in public.

* No more temper tantrums. I can handle the drama tween stuff so much better.

* The only person she flirts with is herself in the mirror.

* She asks me what my favorite color is as if this is the most important question in the world.

* She downloads all my apps for me.

* She believes in heaven, her parents' love for each other and the Ouija Board.

* She'd rather hang with her BFFs than boys, the computer or TV.

* She thinks makeup and heels are still for dress-ups.

* She still asks me to read to her.

* The economic benefits of being in-between: I don't have to buy diapers or mini pads!

* She wears hot pink skinny cords without thinking twice.

* She's excited about doing a science project.

* She reminds me to bring my reusable grocery bags into the store.

* She doesn't shave.

* We don't have to listen to Radio Disney anymore.

* She still thinks third base is part of a softball field.

* She sleeps in on weekends and if she does wake up before me, she'll fix herself breakfast.

* Now that her feet are as big as mine, we can share sandals and flip flops. Double the shoe wardrobe!