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Code Name: Pomegranate

We have a little secret, here in our home. A code word, if you will. The story begins at Thanksgiving a few years ago, when an extended family member (who shall remain nameless) blurted out these words at Thanksgiving dinner: “Puberty! It’s just puberty…everyone goes through it”. Let’s just say that the child s/he was referring to was not impressed. In fact, I’m pretty sure s/he was hoping the ground would open up and suck them into the burning depths of inner earth (and, no, I’m not talking Tolkien’s middle earth here).

That phrase (puberty! It’s just puberty!) has been repeated oft, as a joke around here. It wasn’t long before we decided we needed a code word, and after some (laughing) discussion, settled on “pomegranate”.

Do you remember the Puberty Distribution in a Large Family infographic I made a while back? Let’s just saying having a child in every stage of puberty all in one house, makes life…um, interesting.

While in New Zealand, Tilly sent me a message on Facebook saying, “Mom, I think you should call the blog Puberty Town” to which a good friend on Facebook responded, “Or Pomegranate Island“.

Lets just say that in recent years we have swapped dirty diapers and sleepless nights  for deodorant and later bedtimes. Strangely, the temper tantrums and trashed bedrooms remain.

Anyway, last week Adalia turned eighteen and Kalina turned thirteen. The day of her birthday, I sat Kalina down and told her we had a very special gift for her very special birthday. We gathered everyone around and, well, you can see how she felt about her special gift…it’s written all over her face.puberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humorpuberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humorpuberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humor

Of course, it was Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds! What were you expecting? puberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humor

And  Adalia got her own box of Pomegranate Seeds as well. puberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humor

Kalina, true to form, invited about a million girls to her birthday party. In our house, we allow a sleepover on thirteenth birthdays (we aren’t a sleepover kind of family, so this is a big deal). She made cupcakes, a cake, had plenty of candy, ice cream and….soda pop! In our house, you also have to be thirteen to drink pop. Kalina chose 2 liter bottles of: Dr. Pepper, Root Beer and Orange Fanta. And, while we’re discussing menus, she also waffles with berries and whipped cream for breakfast. puberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humor

Kalina, our social butterfly, had girls ranging in age from ten up to seventeen at her party. Girls from church, girls from school that she’s met at various activities, girls she’s known her entire life and a girl from her hearing loss group. puberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humorpuberty, large family, large family blog, humor, blog humor, large family humor

Now, I have two months off of birthday planning. Hezekiah is the next child to have a birthday and that isn’t until May. If only I could take a break from the, ah, pomegranate overdose we’re currently experiencing. But you know what, I’ve been a mom long enough to that this too will pass…and someday I will look back on these days with fond memories.



  1. Melpub

    I love the chart. Reminds me also of a quotation frequently attributed to Mark Twain (although he may not have actually said this): When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

  2. jessilee82

    We have an awful of pomegranate going on in this house too. 13 and 12 1/2 year old girls is enough to drive a mom to drink.. or at least eat lots of chocolate in a closet. oh the hormones 🙂
    I hold on to faint hope maybe the boys won’t be as bad.. Lie to me and tell me it’s true 😉

  3. Liz

    Party looks and sounds spectacular. Was that her gift? the party? I know she likes clothes.
    Are the seeds good? I see them at TJ all the time and wonder…hmmmm…

    So I need to know, what is with the magical number of 13 and drinking soda/pop? So.. are they forbidden until then? Or Is it they are not allowed to drink it in the house or buy it with their money until they are 13? Or is it they have NEVER tasted pop before 13? I am just so curious.I read on a blog once someone casually mentioned that their kids don’t eat sweets until after they are potty trained, but they let this one child have a cupcake because..well it was cute or something.

    We don’t buy pop in our house for health reasons. On the rare occasions we go out and have a snack at a place the kids may share a watered down very small caffeine free pop.Thats maybe twice a year. We used to allow one cup at say family get togethers like birthday parties/BBQs.Now that we have so many children( 4 lol) we just say no pop/soda. It’s easier that way as we don’t want our 2 year old and 3 year old drinking it that many times a year(or at all). So……how did you come up with 13 and what are the rules at that time? Sorry, I am just intrigued at how families come up with certain rules for certain ages.

    Hope you have time to answer or include in a future post:)

  4. Verity

    I love your birthday traditions! So much fun 🙂 also how does Kalina at 13 look so much older than some of your older teens?! I’m always amazed by the diversity of large families. Happy Birthday to all xx

  5. Taylor-Tots Mom

    Oh my! I love the code word! (And the look on Kalina’s face is priceless!)

    We are just starting the Pomegranate years in our family. (One child is 16, one is 13, with quite a few 9 almost 10 year olds who are starting precocious puberty – oops! I mean pomegranate-hood.) In not too many years I will have 7 teens at one time. Oi!

    Your idea of a code word is great. We use the word puberty freely in our house (I didn’t want the kids to be ashamed of what is happening to them) but after one of them asked a friend how that friend’s sibling was handling their pubertal changes I realized that maybe a code word would come in handy! Haven’t thought of the right one yet. I might have to steal ‘pomegranate’. 😉

  6. Margery

    Our word is sponge, it all started since five of our children are 13-22 and we have one 7 year old. There are a lot of topics that are important for the the older group to be able to talk about with us, but are not for little ears. Since little guys are sponges when it comes to learning stuff, every time Aidan walked in a room or dinner topics went a little too far into older kid only talk we would say sponge. So it has become the family word, in fact Aidan will yell sponge if he catches Mom and dad kissing in the Kitchen. Which makes us all laugh.

    In fact we keep saying that someday when the older kids get married we are going to throw sponges at them instead of bird seed.

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