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Behave Yourself, Mom!

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My girls are 7 and nearly 11, and every day, there's more they can do on their own. They buckle their seat belts all by themselves, make toast, and cross the street to play in the park (never knowing I'm scanning the traffic from behind my bedroom curtain). But even as I'm trying to give them more freedom, they're limiting mine!

It started with my older daughter telling me I can't chat with her friends in the car; apparently, once your child hits double digits, it's uncool for Mom to be anything other than a silent chauffeur. Then the girls demanded I not hum while we're out shopping...or wear clothes that resemble theirs too closely...or...the list goes on and on. At this point, pretty much all I'm allowed to do is walk with my eyes pointed straight ahead like a carriage horse, or dig through my pocket to buy things for them. It's not like I can't sympathize — I remember being a tween too, and how I'd want to sink into the floor whenever Mom embarrassed me. (Even worse, when I was 20, my parents once showed up at the same restaurant where I was having a date! Argh!). So I'm trying to tone down my, well, existence, to suit my kids' "growing" needs. I'm drawing the line at hip-hop dancing, though: I won't stop, even though my kids let me know I will NOT be doing a pop-and-lock in public.

How about you - are your kids clamping down on your behavior yet? Spill on what makes them freak!