I have twin teenagers — a boy and a girl. Recently, the two of them did that cute twin thing and simultanously peeked around the corner of the kitchen doorway. For just a second, I saw a flash of them as toddlers. Chubby cheeks, diapered bottoms, sippy cups in hand.
I blinked, the moment passed, and they turned back into teens, but I couldn’t help but think that maybe those toddlers were still hiding somewhere inside my teens. Once I thought it, I started seeing the signs and similarities everywhere. Teens are, in fact, quite similar to toddlers, simply bigger.
How so? Well …
- Without insane amounts of sleep, they turn into raging monsters.
- Their stomachs are insatiable black holes.
- They have funny things on their faces — for toddlers it is that red ring of juice, for teenagers it is acne.
- They throw tantrums, especially if needs #1 and #2 go unmet.
- They don’t have anything to wear unless mom washed the pink tutu or the special blue jeans.
- They don’t quite form complete sentences and rely heavily on grunts to communicate.
- They don’t form grammatically correct sentences. For example: “Me tie shwoes,” or, “I was all, like, oh snap.”
- They use words their peers understand, but which are mysteries to their parents. See #7.
- They are so sweet (when they’re sleeping.)
- They give the best hugs.
- They have the best laughs.
- Having one means mom never gets a full night of sleep.
- Having one means mom does a lot of laundry, sometimes on demand.
- They make mom want to scream from frustration.
- They make mom want to cry with pride, sometimes over the smallest things.
- Moms switch their ages to describe them: “My toddler is a total threenager,” “My teenager is 15 going on two.”
- They make questionable fashion choices, but insist on dressing themselves.
- They can’t find anything by themselves and rely on mom’s super-finding-power without acknowledging it as a super power and without really acknowledging mom at all.
- They don’t want mom’s help. Except in the instances of #18.
- They’re crazy smart. Ever tried to help a teen with their math homework? Or asked a toddler about dinosaurs?
- They’re total escape artists. Teenagers can run so stinkin’ fast and toddlers are unusually slippery.
- They have fantastic senses of humor, although we’re usually laughing at our toddlers and with our teens. Usually.