Toddler vs. Teenager

Now that most of our friends and family know we have a toddler in the house, a recurring comment has been about how different it is then having a teenager and probably a lot easier.

At first I was like, Hello?  Have you seen me chase this kid all over the house all day long every day?  Do you realize I have no time alone at all?   But then I was like, Wait?  He doesn't talk back or roll his eyes at me!  Or challenge my authority!  Which is easier???  That's a tough one!  I haven't had too much time to think about it so I thought I would take a minute to ponder...

  • Bedtimes can be a struggle for both.  One doesn't obey the rules, but is quiet about it and proceeds to do things that are also against the rules of the house like talk on the phone at 3am.  The other fusses or cries loudly, but is confined and falls asleep without getting into more trouble. 
  • They both can be picky eaters, but I have only seen one throw food on the floor when it isn't what they want. 
  • They both eat non-stop! 
  • And they both whine about eating until they are given some food!  Although one of them can get the food on their own. 
  • Neither one of them are very good at cleaning up after they eat however.
  • One of them can be given freedom in public to walk around on their own without too much worry. (but refer to the time I lost a 16 year old as that is not always true)  The other has to have an adult as a shadow everywhere they go!
  • They both leave a messy trail around the house.
  • Half of what they say is completely incoherent. (more so if they don't speak the language you speak)
  • You wonder ALL THE TIME just what is going on inside their heads.
  • They both go through more changes of clothing per day than you thought was possible.  My laundry has increased big time!!
  • They  both want to do everything themselves, except for when they want you to do it.
  • They both have tantrums that are at times so irrational you will laugh.
  • They both push for independence and will push boundaries.  JJ goes to the bottom of the stairs a million times a day and puts a hand on the bottom step with a grin until I say no!  Remember the instance with the earrings with the teenagers??
  • When caught doing something they should not, they will lie right to your face even though they know you saw them do it.
  • Things that are good for toddlers or teenagers, things that will help them grow or learn or are otherwise beneficial are useless unless they are fun or off limits.
  • Teenagers are usually a lot smarter than toddlers. In fact, they are often smarter than their parents - or so they will tell you!
  • They both take a lot of time.  Teenagers need transportation everywhere and help with homework and toddlers need an eye on them at every second! (especially when they of the busy variety and like to explore!)
I think the biggest difference in having a toddler as opposed to a teenager is that a toddler is much smaller.  If JJ misbehaves or throws a fit, I can simply pick him up and remove him from the situation.  I couldn't do that with a teenager nor would I dare to even try!!  I can physically make JJ go with us to family things or outings and if he protests I can give him a snack and all is good!

In the end, I would say that raising children in general is difficult!  The challenges are always there, but just presented in a different package with a little bit of a different twist!


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