My Baby Girl is 9: Where Did the Time Go?

Since my daughter was born, every age has been “my favorite age.” However, I will admit that since she was born, I dreaded her turning 8. I figured at that point she would no longer be considered a baby, wouldn’t need all the snuggles and would refuse to wear all of the cute outfits I bought her (little did I know that she would refuse to wear my suggestions long before age 8). I have been so anxious about these tween years.

When I expressed these fears to my father, he assured me that it would be okay; that it would be fun to actually communicate with my daughter and see what kind of person she would evolve into. Eye roll. I was perfectly happy with my baby staying a baby forever. He was right though.

She still needs me

Although she is self-sufficient and can communicate her needs (e.g. access to Roblox, vacations, leopard anything), I can tell that she still needs her momma. She still asks me to snuggle with her at night sometimes, although those requests are becoming less and less. She still has favorite stuffed animals she plays with and loves playing board games with me. We still go to the movies together, although she has to have a friend tag a long now. She also still asks me to pour her juice every.single.time! Now that, I can do without.

But … she is growing up

I can see her maturing as well. Just last week she mentioned being worried about whether kids would think her shoes were childish. She stands her ground when she feels like she is right though and insists on being a good person. I see my sarcasm in her developing as well, much to my horror.

Her baby cheeks are long gone and I have had to give her the talk about puberty because I know it is right around the corner. These days, we can have deep discussions about things and she often offers me advice. Sometimes the advice is completely wild and unreasonable, but hey, she tries. I have made a conscious effort to fight for our closeness no matter what. Even promising to go to college with her when the time comes. She seems okay with it so far, but I know that sentiment will be short lived. I asked her to put it in writing.

Appreciate each moment

I do the best I can and try to treasure each sweet moment because I know this time with her is fleeting. So far, every age still continues to be my favorite age and me stressing out about her getting older was completely unnecessary. It has been fun to watch her grow! I do however try to appreciate each day with her because I’ll never know when it will be the last time she asks me to do something for her. I’ll have to check back in at age 16. I hear that age is a doozy!

Do you have any suggestions on how to handle these tween years?

Simone was raised in New Orleans but has lived all over the U.S. She graduated from Newcomb College in 2003 and DePaul University College of Law in 2006. After law school, she moved to Atlanta and then decided to move back to New Orleans to raise her daughter Madison in 2009. She is admitted to practice law in Georgia and Louisiana. Simone serves on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s House of Delegates and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. Simone enjoys planning fun adventures with her daughter, trying new restaurants and dancing with the NOLA Cherry Bombs. She plans on writing about a variety of topics, including raising a biracial daughter in the deep south and co-parenting.


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