My family has a tradition of weekly Sunday night dinner get togethers that we affectionately refer to as “Free Feed”. The event was inaugurated circa-2003 when I returned home after a stint living 12 hours away for work. Put simply, I had missed four years’ worth of my mum’s amazing cooking and I was keen to catch up. Some 15 years on, we still rotate between mum and dad’s place, my place and my brother’s place so most Sundays you’re getting a (literal) “free feed” #winning.
Between the weekly food comas and main-lining of English Breakfast tea, I’ve watched my two tweens and their two almost-tween cousins grow up over more than a decade of Free Feeds. But it hit me a few months back that they are all really growing up now.
For years and years it was normal to throw all four toddler kids into the bath together – bubbles, water, giggles and fun literally overflowing on to the floor. We’d turn a blind eye to the mess as it was the easiest way to get four grubby kids clean while we adults enjoyed 20 minutes of adult conversation. Soggy Barbies, plastic toys and bubble bath ruled the bathroom in that era.
But now, as the girls get bigger, baths have turned into showers and all-in fun has turned to bathroom privacy as the biggest cousins’ bodies start to change. And in the clearest indication yet that my tweens are turning into women, they now also declare “Cone of silence!” when entering the bathroom at night. This is a phrase I coined years back when I just needed some alone time after a long day of mummy-ing. When I scream “Cone of silence!” to my family and head to my ensuite, they know that there should be no knocking on bathroom doors to ask random questions, or busting in while I’m trying to relieve my bowel. So, yes, the tweens are definitely turning into women who need their bathroom privacy. Soon they’ll also be hiding in there from their own children to eat the last of the chocolate in peace, without having to share it!