I am a mother of four children, and if that isn’t crazy enough, I’m currently parenting a toddler and a teenager at the same time. Lately, I’ve come to noticed many similarities in these stages of development. Toddlers and teenagers, you see, are a lot alike—they get along really well and I truly believe it is because they instinctively understand each other. So if you have a toddler or a teenager, you might be able to relate to a few of these truths.
You Might Have a Toddler or a Teenager If…
…there is a daily struggle with clothing. Or should I say lack there of… My toddler and my teen refuse to wear the clothing I pick out for them. We have very different opinions on what constitutes an acceptable outfit.
…at any given time someone is having an emotional outburst. This includes the parents. Toddlers and teens have big emotions that can result in tantrums of crying, foot stomping, yelling, and door slamming. Going a day without anyone having a major meltdown (especially mom) is a miracle.
…you have no food in the cupboard. They are eating non-stop. My largest expense is groceries and although I am able to see food in the cupboards, my children are constantly complaining that there is absolutely nothing to eat. Rest assured, however, my kitchen is always fully stocked with an abundance of wine.
…you need to buy new clothes for them every week. I guess when you eat non-stop it makes you grow. These children are busting out of their clothes at the seams in a matter of weeks. My next stop after the grocery store is always the clothing store.
…the answer you get to any simple question is an emphatic “No!” Sometimes “No” is followed by a very unfriendly, “GO AWAY.”
…you wonder what happened to your little baby. Seriously though, did I not just get home from the hospital like last week with this baby of mine? What happened? One minute you have a teeny tiny baby, the next you have a toddler. You blink once more and you have a teenager!
…you do not have many long conversations. They prefer to give very short answers using the minimal amount of words required to communicate. Sometimes they just grunt like a prehistoric cave person. It makes it very hard to understand them and you often find yourself longing for a good adult conversation.
…you are struggling to keep them safe from the dangers of this world. Both toddlers and teens like to take risks and test their limits (as well as the limits of those around them). At every turn you want to run behind them so they don't fall. But you can't always catch them and sometimes they fall hard. You have to remind yourself that very step in their journey is a lesson learned.
…you need a good connection to WIFI to keep them entertained. They can sit for a long time in front of a computer watching videos and movies and listening to annoying music. And more often than not, you don't mind when they “Netflix and chill” because then everything is calm for the moment.
…you are emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of the day. Both the toddler stage and teenage stage proves a difficult time for everyone in the family.
…you look at them and cry as your heart bursts with pride and love for the person they are becoming. Although this stage of life is full of trials tribulations—and defiance—it is also an amazing time of growth. They are learning something new about their world every single day and it is just incredible.
…sometimes all you can do is laugh. If you have a toddler or a teenager, it is vital that you maintain your sense of humor. Otherwise, you will be joining them in a tantrum of epic proportion. Try not to take things personally. Remember that the next time you blink your eyes these little people will be adults. Make sure to take lots of photographs now so you can embarrass them later when they are adults. I can't wait!