Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What you can learn from a 12-year-old girl

Our niece, Katie, is spending the week with us and having a 12-year-old girl to hang out with has been something of an education for me.

For starters, I had no idea a girl could eat so much. She pretty much matches Eric's dinner quantity but then an hour after dinner, she has to eat again. During the day, she eats regular meals and several snacks. It's mind-boggling the amount of calories a growing kid has to shovel in every 24-hour cycle.

Then there's the shopping. She's tireless. I'm stopping for espresso just to keep up with her. In three hours today, we visited four major stores with lots of looking, lots of trying on and several purchases. She's been great helping me pick out new clothes, since my recovery from the Oct. hospitalization has added about 15 pounds to my body and the docs want me to keep it on if I can. Too bad insurance doesn't cover a new wardrobe!

Katie said she'd like to find a book series she could get into to keep her interested in reading. We had a few minutes to kill at SouthPointe this morning, so we popped into Barnes and Noble. We checked out the "teen" section. I had no idea what teens were reading these days, but let's just say it's not what I was reading when I was a teen. We were both sort of dazed after reading the book jackets and summaries on the backs. Yikes. They should have ratings on fiction sort of like movies and video games. Much of what I read should have been labeled "parental guidance" at the least.

Mace is driving Katie nuts, I'm sure. He never lets her rest and loves playing with her, doing puzzles, reading books, playing with trains...she's game for all of it, including games like Chutes and Ladders. One of Mace's funny sayings that he just spouts occasionally is: "This world really freaks me out." Well, this week, I've been thinking that often about the teen world and what it's going to be like when Mace gets to be that age.

I just hope he'll be able to find decent books to read. Yeesh.



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