21.11.16

Five ways your teen is the same as a toddler


So maybe you are reading this as the parent of a teen, in which case I expect you will nod along with at least a couple of these. If you are reading this, still in the innocence of life as the parent of a toddler, happily expecting things to change as they get older...well we are sorry, really we are, but sadly somethings never change...

  • Your day still revolves around them

It used to be that you had a schedule based on feeding, naps and potty times. You ran them to music groups, mum and baby groups (or dad and baby groups). You organised play dates and marked craft time on the calendar. Now however, while the things you are organising have changed, you are still running your day according to the teen. You are nagging about homework, telling them to get up out of bed, to remember to put their washing in the laundry (or if you have them better trained than I do - nagging them to actually do some washing). You resist drinking alcohol in the evening in case you need to be a taxi later. And you are up late worrying and trying not to text too much when they are late home...which brings us nicely to:

  • Sleep (or lack of it)

Once you used to find getting them to bed a chore, the never ending rounds of stories and drinks of water. The checking for monsters under the bed and the 'one more kiss'. And then, always just after you yourself had nodded off, the cry of 'MUM' or 'DAD' and a tiny crying body who had a nightmare, or wet the bed (I knew that last glass of water was a mistake), or just needed a cuddle, appears at the side of the bed, you either make room are get up and carry them back to their room, but both options usually result in not much more sleep. Now you would imagine that having a teen would put paid to all that, they can do it themselves, you'd think, but no. Now you have the constant getting them to bed battle but with added backchat of "I don't need to, I'm a grown-up" and once they are in bed, the eerie glow of a mobile as they check snapchat into the wee small hours, despite you calling to tell them to turn it off, only for them to complain they are too tired to get up for breakfast. And this is with out the perils of the teen 'going out' and not coming home and your own bedtime creeping by with no text or word from them..should you go to bed? should you stay up? Are they coming home at all? How can you sleep even if you do go to bed? and then...they are home! at 2am and they need a snack and a chat and dear lord will parents ever sleep again

  • Fussy Eaters

This post was actually triggered by a real life event (not that the others aren't real - they just didn't trigger this post) on Saturday. One of DD's favourite meals is a chicken dish in tomato sauce served with rice. (remind me to post the recipe sometime) any way, the ingredients vary a bit depending on my mood and store cupboard, last time I made it I bunged in a few olives, which she diligently picked out, "I don't like the olives in it" she opined. So this time when I slung the olives in (because, dear reader, I like olives) I was prepared for the teenage moans..what I was not prepared for was "It's yummy, shame there aren't more olives in it though". So yes, you have a fussy 2 year old that happily eats a breadstick on Sunday only to cast it to the floor in furious displeasure on Monday, and you are hoping for this to settle down...well DD is 17 and there is, as yet, little sign of it.

  • Clearing up after them

I assume you've heard about messy teen bedrooms? It's not a myth. Things grow in there. Green things in bowls and the base of coffee mugs, socks go there to die. Picking up a few stickle bricks is nothing, nothing I tell you, to the horror of a teenager's bedroom...let's move on...

  • Adoring them

I know, I'm a slushy mum, but you know how you look at your angelic toddler sometimes (when they are being angelic or are asleep usually) and you just sigh with the perfect beauty and love of them? Yeah well that. When you teen emerges out of their pit room and is all dressed up looking gorgeous and young and vital, and they smile and say "I'm off out, back later" and you love them and feel that familiar warm glow of being a parent...which lasts right until you peek into their room...or are still up at 3am wondering where the hell they are...

Do you have a toddler or a teen? Or both (I'm praying for you) Do you recognise any of these scenarios? are are there any I've missed?


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