Sandy Hook Tragedy: Teens Speak From the Heart Hey, Readers! Sometimes something happens in the world that is so overwhelmingly tragic that the attention of the nation turns to it and is affected by it. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary is one of those tragedies: 26 people killed, including …Read more. Critter Litter Driving Her Crazy! Hey, Cherie! I have a problem with pets. It's not that I don't like animals. I love animals so much. The problem is my parents are crazy for animals, and everyone knows it. Like people who don't even know us know it. Well, we had two cats, Mittens …Read more. Dad Ditched, Now Mom Dating More Than Her Daughter Hey, Cherie! I'm a sophomore in high school, and this is the first year I'm allowed to go out on group dates. I was so excited to get to 10th grade because this was when my big sister Darby was allowed group dates, and I remember watching her get …Read more. Girl Heartbroken Over Cat in the Hat Hey, Cherie! I'm 13, and I am the saddest girl ever. My cat, Dr. Seuss (I named him after the author who is famous and wrote "The Cat in the Hat") is my best friend. I got him from a shelter when he was just a little ball of black fur that …Read more.more articles
Funny Valentine Isn't So Funny
I read this book you wrote, "Searching for David's Heart." It was a really good book. The guy in it, Sam, reminded me of myself. Like how he's smart and weird and kids dis him because he's short. I'm the shortest guy in the entire eighth grade. You just made Sam up, right? So I figured maybe I could confide in you and you would understand. So here goes.
Every year the eighth-graders do Lock Down Night, where we all sleep overnight at school in the gym with sleeping bags. We play games, have pizza and do other stuff. Since we all start high school next year, it's like this big thing that everyone looks forward to.
Honestly, there aren't a lot of things involving school that I look forward to because most of the time I find it incredibly boring. Plus, I had this best friend since first grade but his family moved to England. Since then, I've been kind of a loner. So there's this new guy at my school. I'll call him Pete, even though that's not his name. It has to be really tough to be the new kid who shows up at the end of eighth grade. Pete is short like me, wears glasses like me, and he's smart and funny. We started goofing around at Lock Down Night. It turned out we had a lot in common, like we both love sci-fi; we both hate moronic pop music and girls who shriek really loud just to attract attention. We got to be friends fast and it was pretty cool, or so I thought. The first day back at school after Lock Down Night, I found this card in my locker. It was a valentine and it said how much the person who sent it liked me. It was signed "Your Secret Admirer." No way is there a girl in my class who would send me a valentine, unless it was to make fun of me, so I know it has to be from Pete. I don't care if he's gay or whatever, but I'm pretty sure I'm not gay and I don't like him like that. So what do I do now? What if he tries to kiss me or feel me up, or something? You can't just be friends with a gay guy who wants to be more than friends with you, right? So what do I do now?
—I Like Girls Even Though They Don't Like Me
Hey, I Like Girls!
The good news is — you made a new friend and you guys really clicked. The bad news isn't that Pete might be gay, it's that you feel like maybe he's hitting on you and you bat in a different league.
This does not have to be a big deal. In fact, the less of a big deal you make out of it, the less embarrassed Pete will be. Let's hope you guys can hang out and let your friendship grow. You could go at this kind of sideways, like tell him about some girl you like at another school. No need to oversell this — Pete will get the message. You're into girls — he isn't — whatever. Some people thrive on having tons of friends, some people don't. One true friend who "gets" you can make your life a whole lot happier. And yeah, a straight guy can be "just friends" with a gay.
This is so weird and gross it makes me want to barf. I'm 12. My little sister is almost 4 and she still isn't toilet trained. She wears a diaper and refuses to use the potty. She crouches in the corner and lets 'er rip and then the whole house stinks. I can't even have friends over because this is so disgusting.
My mom has tried to toilet train her, but Mom goes to college and works full time, so even though she's really ice and a good mom, she doesn't have much free time, and I don't have a dad. Last week when my sister pooped in the corner, I yelled "No!" and slapped her hand. She just cried and ran up to her room. But seriously, what am I supposed to do?
I can almost sniff the stench from here. I'm not a therapist, so this is just an educated guest. Maybe your sister isn't getting enough attention because your mom is so busy, and she refuses to get toilet trained as a way of getting attention. Sometimes even negative attention can be better than no attention at all. I suggest you show your mom this column — your question and my answer.
I give your mom major props for being a single parent, working full time and going to school. Maybe she could make an extra effort to carve out some special time with your sister — even if it's only 10 minutes — and maybe you could, too. Providing there isn't any physical reason that your sister has nasty nappies, some extra loving attention from you and Mom might do the trick. Baby girl will want to poop just like her big sister.
Cherie Bennett is a best-selling author of books for teens and young adults. Visit her website at www.cheriebennett.com. To find out more about Cherie Bennett and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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