The great thing about having two girls who are different ages is that the youngest one is able to translate my older daughter's adolescent angst.
We play an alphabet game in our family where you have to use a letter as the first letter in a description about the person to the left or right of you at the table. My older daughter says things like "fishy" and "crabby" when she is forced to describe me, while my youngest says things like "fun" and "cute."
"Why doesn't your sister say nice things about me when we play the game?" I ask my little one as she sits on my bed wrapping a stuffed animal in toilet paper one night.
"Mommy, she has to be that way. It's not cool for other people to think you think you're mom is cool," she says insightfully as if this is a universal truth that an adult of my age should certainly be clued into by now.
"And what about you, you still say nice things about Mommy," I say sweetly.
"Sure, I'm still little. It's OK, but it may change," she says fashioning a toilet paper knot on the sarong she has just created for her stuffed cat.
"When?" I ask sadly.
"When I grow up. Don't worry, I'll still think you're cool. I just won't say it in public," she says looking up from her project to kiss me on the cheek.
"Well, that's a relief," I say, drawing her in for one of many bear hugs that I hope will continue even when it's no longer cool.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.