Now that I am a mother of older kids, I enjoy reading the blog posts and Tweets and Facebook statuses (stati?) of younger mothers going through the trials and tribulations of parenting toddlers and young children.
Sometimes I laugh... because I remember those days so well.
Sometimes I sigh.... because I miss those days of cuteness.
Sometimes I marvel that I made it out alive with my sanity, which is still highly debateable, and that my KIDS made it out alive!
And sometimes I realize that things have really not changed that much.
Nope... now that the kids are 16 (as of next week), 17, and 21 I realize that they may have gotten bigger, increased their vocabulary, and sleep more, but is all of that really better?
Let's do a comparison, shall we?
2 year olds: cry and throw fits when they don't get something they want.
Teens: stomp their feet, huff away, and slam their doors.
---- ok, so at least when they are in their rooms pouting and tweeting to the world what an awful parent you are, they are much quieter about it. 1 point for teens
2 year olds: picky eaters, wont eat what you give them. The girlchild once went an entire 3 days eating only cold hot dogs and grapes. Nothing else.
Teens: picky eaters- moan and groan that you never fix anything they like, and "EWWW how can you expect us to eat THAT with it's green things and why can't you just order pizza again, and you just don't care that I'm starving and there's nothing to eat." *cue more stomping, huffing off and door slams.
----- 1 point for toddlers who will not let themselves starve and try to make you feel guilty for it
2 year olds: upon seeing you eating something, will come up to you with their big puppy dog eyes and ask for a "bite?.. my wanna bite.."
Teens: upon seeing you eating something, will walk over to you, reach down, take food off your plate in front of you, and then proclaim, "EWWW..how do you even eat this stuff? Can't you just order us a pizza?" And stomp off.
------ 1 point for toddlers who at least have the decency to ask and look cute
2 year olds: will usually (notice I said "usually") wear whatever you put on them and not complain about how "dorky" they look in that adorable sailor outfit until 10 years later when they are going through old pictures for a school family tree project.
Teens: will not buy anything you purchase for them without their being there, and are not satisfied with clothes from Walmart or Target where you can purchase 3 outfits for the price of one at the trendy boutique all their friends shop at. Also... they are the ones thinking they look fashionable in their attire while you sit back and wonder why they would even WANT to go out of the house looking like that.
------ 1 point for toddlers and that cute ducky outfit from Aunt Bernice
2 year olds: don't care what YOU are wearing, or even IF you are wearing anything.
Teens: (mostly daughters) will notify you that you "cannot possibly even be THINKING about wearing that out of the house", because they are, yanno...fashionistas, and would be mortified to be seen with you in your mom jeans, Disneyworld tshirt and Walmart sneakers.
------ 1 point for toddlers who will just wipe their hands, boogers, faces on your shirt anyway so you might as well be wearing that t-shirt
and while we are on the subject of clothing:
2 year olds: go through no less than 4 outfits a day due to food spillage, potty accidents, things that little hands touch and then wipe on their tummies, and baths.
Teens: go through no less than 4 outfits a day due to "that one doesn't fit right", and "omg you faded my favorite green shirt in the wash and now it doesn't match", or "Mom, that is so last month and I can't possibly wear it now!"
------ 1 point for teens however, because they CAN be taught to do their own laundry after those same clothes that were on their body for less than 20 seconds have laid in the floor for a week and a half getting stepped on and wrinkled because you know it's easier just to rewash them than to try and get a teen to iron anything.
and speaking of messes:
2 year olds: tend to pull out toy after toy, enjoying and then abandoning it after their 20 second attention span is finished with it, leaving a trail of legos and doll clothes and puzzle pieces scattered throughout the house.
Teens: don't even get me started on messy bedrooms that never seem to get cleaned up because, "Mom, it's MY space and it's not bothering me, so why should it bother you?"
------ no points here.... too tired from picking everything up. Again.
2 year olds: the cost of playthings--while it takes a lot of toys and baubles to appease a toddler (or at least we think it does according to all that stuff we cram down in the diaper bags and fill the minivan up with), you CAN shop smart because they don't care yet where you get their toys and can be just as happy with a wooden spoon and a pot as the high dollar set of drums from the music store.
Teens: ipods, ipads, iphones, macbooks, xbox 360, xbox 1, Playstation 4012 or whatever version is out now, Google play cards.... pricey pricey pricey.....
------ 1 point for toddlers and a trip to the Dollar Store
2 year olds: can get out of your sight in a store faster than you can blink.
Teens: have to at least find your keys and get out of the house before you know they are missing.
------- 1 point for teens and their noiselevel
2 year olds: sleep sporadic hours... early to bed, up for drinks, early to rise, but they do take a nap--hopefully
Teens: up half the night playing video games or texting the BFF, but sleep til noon allowing a well scheduled mom to also get a chance to sleep in should she want.
------ 1 point for teens who sleep
on the opposite side of that argument tho:
2 year olds can be picked up and moved when sleeping and usually not get too disturbed...
Teens: you have to wait for them to awaken to go anywhere because you sure don't want to deal with the wrath of Khan should you force them to get up before they are ready and do something they don't want to do.
---- 1 point for toddlers: mobility
2 year olds love lots of hugs and kisses
Teens are finicky and only want them on their terms and not in front of their friends.
--- 1sloppy sticky point for toddlers
2 year olds cannot fully express themselves and scream and cry and sometimes bite others because they do not have enough words yet.
Teens have more than enough words and will tell you exactly what is wrong with you and whatever you are doing that does not suit them.
--- no points...noone wins here
2 year olds love to snuggle and cuddle in your lap
Teens want you to stay away from them, until they want you ...and then they still try to sit on you and smush you to death.
------points to both for being loving
2 year olds take your stuff and lose it
Teens take your stuff and don't give it back
2 year olds can only do minimal chores and bribed with a cookie or popsicle
Teens, when you can get then to do it, can do as many household chores as you let/make them, but usually want mega bucks for doing so
2 year olds and the endless repetitions of "Let it Go" or the Barney Song (yes, I'm that old)
Teens and the musical stylings that you cant even make sense of, and lyrics that you don't want your impressionable
precious angel hearing and having imbedded in their brain for ever and ever
2 year olds want to go everywhere with you
Teens don't want you to go anywhere with them
So in a quick wrap up...
It appears that toddlers do have more points, on this grading scale... but the joys of teens are also great.
There really isn't a whole lot of difference in the ages as far as how crazy, tired, aggravated they can make you, but then there also isn't a difference in how much you love them.. and how much they love you. They just show it differently.
I do love being the parent of teens/young adults. It allows more freedom.. but something tells me that in a couple more years, when they are all off to college or out on their own, all that freedom will leave me longing for the days when they ran around the house dumping out cheetoh bags and trying to "help you mama" while making bigger messes.
Because they were just so darn cute...and they were there with me.