Girlie has officially been 11 years old for one month today. She starts middle school next week! With that timing in mind I thought I’d share some highs and lows of living with 11.
Girlie decided she wanted to start working out with me. I had been going to LA Fitness but the youngest they allow is 14. I cancelled that membership and we joined the Y. They allow kids 10+ to use the weight machines (but not free weights) while supervised by a parent/guardian. I did a lot of research and eventually modified Jamie Eason’s LifeFit Trainer to work for us. We’ve had a lot of fun at the gym together, even if she doesn’t always want to go. Then again, neither do I.
11 is utterly attached to devices unless/until we declare them off limits. Her phone and ipad rule, the actual TV less so. This can be really annoying but is also really helpful (and not just so that her dad and I can watch TV) but because…
At 11 relationships with your friends are of utmost importance. I’m really lucky to have this work from home job so I can have Girlie home with me and host friends (at 11 we don’t call them playdates anymore) or drop her off at friend’s houses but even with that it’s easier to text and Facetime than to schedule time with friends every day.
This has been the first “old school relaxed summer” that Girlie has ever had. Every other year HH and I both worked full time outside the home so Girlie would be at day camp when we weren’t on vacation. This year she’s done a few weeks of different camp programs but has also gotten to enjoy being lazy (and bored sometimes!) at home.
We have really strict rules about devices and social media. This can be hard. It seems like her friend’s parents are either no-phone whatsoever or allow full access to apps. Being in the middle is tricky since we have to monitor and research like crazy!
We have brought her friends to Disney and Universal with us and I am so relieved that her friends are great kids. Theme park days are long and hot and expensive and her friends have been wonderful. I consider some of her friends’ parents to be my close friends, which helps. At 11 Girlie goes on all the rides with us and is able to occupy herself in lines and while waiting at restaurants.
At 11 Girlie is even more obsessed with the Harry Potter universe than she was at 10! I love it ’cause I’m a total Potterhead too, although sometimes it gets a little much, even for me. She’s also gotten really into the Percy Jackson series. 11 is a little less Doctor Who and a little more Doctor Strange. I’m ok with that.
One of the things I distinctly remember about being 11 was getting in trouble for tone of voice and attitude and genuinely having no idea I had given any. I try to keep this in mind and give a quick reminder instead of completely losing my cool. This seems to work pretty often, especially since most of the time Girlie has had absolutely no idea that she was projecting any kind of attitude or using a disrespectful tone. The rest of the time? Well, let’s just stay positive.
I remember back when Girlie was about 3 or 4 and my being ecstatic when she would play by herself for 15 minutes. At 11 hours can pass in solo reading or pinning (the only social mediaish thing we allow) or watching videos or crafting. 11 is still snuggly, smart, and fun with some moodiness and sarcasm mixed in.
11 is definitely my favorite age so far.
PS Here are some of my other posts around Girlie’s Birthday: