Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Sign of Tweenhood

The phone calls to friends began slowly and sporadically but have increased to regular occurances. It started at about ten and a half and it was at full tilt at age eleven.

It used to be, that my son would say, "I can't wait to see (insert friend's name here) to tell him (fill in the blank)". He would then remember it until their next face to face interaction.

Only one of my son's friends has a cell phone and he is not allowed to use it to call friends. My kids don't have cell phones.

My kids are not on email and do not do IMs either.

So one day when he asked if he could call his friend to tell him something urgent, I agreed. A quick review of phone etiquette was done and he was off and running.

I have to smile at the enthusiasm and the about what the pressing matter is. Topics are usually one of the following:

Discussion of the release date of a long antiticpated video game for xBox360 (most recently Halo Wars rated T)

Discussing what LEGO sets are coming out soon (his friend found a website that posted spoiler images and information)

Sharing what new 39 Clues cards he has received

Discussing the online 39 Clues game progress

Brainstorming about the content of custom made Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game decks

Talking about the upcoming release of a new booster pack for Yu-Gi-Oh!

Discussing upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments

My younger son acts mature and is friends with all the friends of my older son. My younger son blends in with them and gets along with all of those kids (despite the 2.5 to 3.5 year age difference). The other kids like him too. My kids go places as a packaged set, which some find comical, especially the other parents who can't believe that my younger son is actually younger than their son and my older son.

So a problem with the phone calls was that it was exclusively between my older son and the friend. My younger son felt left out. Soon thereafter permission was granted by the friend on the line that my younger son could talk on another extension.

The phone calls last 30 to 60 minutes or more. The kids never run out of things to talk about, they could go on and on if they wanted. Usually a parent must use the phone or it is time to eat a meal or someone has to go to an appointment, so the call ends.

I have absolutely no complaints about my son using the house phone to call his friends. I take this as a sign that he is definately a tween, moving into more independence and wanting to reach out to his peers more often. I am happy he has long talks with his friends and that his chat is not limited to abbreviations via text message or with IM chat.

In the photo above, my son had been on the phone for over an hour. He likes the freedom of the portable phone and walks all over the house having conversations. On that evening he used the speaker phone for the first time. He and his friend were talking about LEGOs. My son was looking at a big LEGO book we own that the other boy does not own. My son was reading from the book and they were discussing what was in it. Meanwhile, my younger son sat listening and chiming in, while he was playing with the Braintelligent Lonpos 84-T game on the floor. (Note this is my older son's room, the right-brained kid who left to his own devices has a messy room which explains the stuff on the floor.)

My boy is growing up...

The LEGO book is an out of print book published by DK Publishing. It has lots of full color photos of LEGO creations, tells the history of LEGOs and shows some of the old kits. I can't tell you how many hours my sons have spent reading this book. I can't believe it is out of print! Used copies are available on Amazon and I'm sure on other online used bookselling sites as well.

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