Monday, July 23 , 2018, 3:25 am | Fair 68º


She Said, Z Said: Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello WHAT?

Stunned parents of a new 13-year-old wrestle with questions of what's age-appropriate — for themselves

She: Since Koss turned 13 this week I can’t get that Chorus Line song out of my head.

Z: “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three?”

She: No! He doesn’t even have zits yet. “Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello Love.”

Z: He’s not even close.

She: He’s 13. I was running around with boys in cars by then.

Z: Tramp.

She: No. I was a good girl who was running around in cars with boys.

Z: You also looked like you were 20 and your parents were clueless, willfully or otherwise. I, on the other hand, like to think I have pretty clear insight into the mind of our son.

She: Those are famous last words.

Z: You don’t believe I think like a 13-year-old boy?

She: That I know you do. But that thought process can change in the blink of a hormone.

Z: At which point I’ll stop making eerily good predictions, like how I knew he would like a small, personal fan for his birthday.

She: I still don’t get that.

Z: Personal electronics with moving parts? Seriously? What’s not to love?

She: Besides, I’m not sure that being so in touch with your inner 13-year-old is something you should be bragging about.

Z: Up your nose with a rubber hose!

She: Excuse me?

Z: Sorry. Flashback. In any case, I can say with some authority that he’s a long way from any of that trampy stuff that you were into.

She: I was not trampy. I just liked taking rides in cars with boys who bought me things. In my bikini.

Z: I am so eternally grateful that we have a son.

She: Especially since — and it kills me to say this — you’re probably right. He’s not leaping on girls anytime soon.

Z: You’re having phrasing issues today.

She: It’s probably better to have a late bloomer. Gives me more time to prepare.

Z: Prepare? You’ve had How to Talk to Your Child About Sex on your bedside table since he was 6.

She: Prepare is not really the right word. I mean his being a late bloomer gives me more time to train.

Z: Train?

She: You know, work on my moves. I’m already plotting how many ways I’ll cut the arms off of any girl who messes with his heart.

Z: Is that why you were watching that Olympics fencing match so closely?

She: Exactly. En garde, you little hussy! Stay away from my sweet, innocent little boy. Or I will take you with my Sabre in the Foil.

Z: Now you’re just spouting fencing words. Sabre and Foil are both types of swords.

She: Really?

Z: And the field of play is called a Piste.

She: Then the metaphor works. I’ll be really piste if anyone tries to break my son’s heart.

Z: Ow. Phrasing issues and now pun problems. What is wrong with you?

She: Don’t you get it? I’m the mother of a teenager. I’ve met teenagers and their mothers, and they are all a lot older than I am.

Z: It wasn’t even your birthday, and you’re still freaking out?

She: Having kids get older is worse than aging yourself. Once you’re in your mid (mumbles), aging is a slow process. But Koss turned 13 after being around her for what I’m sure was just a couple of weeks. It’s going way too fast.

Z: Which is exactly why I still think like a 13-year-old boy. It’s much less traumatic.

She: Again, I hate to say it — but maybe that’s not a bad idea. Where’s my bikini and a boy with a car?

Z: Yes, dear.

— Are you a parent of a brand-new teenager? Commiserate with She and Z by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Read She Said, Z Said every Monday on Noozhawk and follow them on Twitter: @lesliedinaberg. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns.

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