Thursday, September 25, 2014

Toddlers vs. Teenagers

The elements in the pre-expansive vocabulary years.

I remember when the elements were toddlers and they called me "mom",  how new it was and how special I felt to be in charge of these malleable little life forms that had a million needs. And how easy it would be to screw up.   And now I have teenagers and despite my very best efforts to the contrary, I've screwed up a million times.  Ok, I was mistaken, a zillion.  And then I just started thinking about how everything changes from toddlers to teenagers.

1.  Sleep- Toddlers wake up at the butt crack of dawn.  I don't know why this is, but it just is.  I would dread hearing that first cry about 5am and think, how has this child not learned the joys of sleeping in in these 3 whole years of life?  What is wrong with him/her?  Now, my kids are capable of staying up way, way past my bedtime of about 9:30pm.  But, now I'm up at the butt crack of dawn because I've been conditioned for years to be on this schedule.  Now that the kids actually have somewhere important to be every day, school,  they can't get their lazy asses out of bed.  And when they do, they drink the rest of the coffee in the pot.

2.  Food-  Which leads me to food.  When they were toddlers I always worried and wondered if they ate enough and had enough variety in their diet.  Now, I can't keep enough food in the house.  And even if every shelf in the refrigerator is packed,  I still hear, "there's nothing to eat", anyway.  I do still worry they don't get enough variety, as some things don't change.   Even though I have tons of healthy choices to eat at home, they have both opportunity and access to junk food.  Walgreens is conveniently located just down the street.  No cash?  No problem.  My oldest has a debit card and a bike to feed his junk food addiction.  

3.  Size-  I used to look more like an authority figure when I was bigger and they were smaller.  But, no matter how much I deny it, my oldest is now taller than me.  And my oldest daughter is the same size as me and borrows my clothes all the time.  Is it still called borrowing if the borrower forgets to ask first?  While I'm not short at 5'6", I have already accepted that I will indeed be the shortest member of my family.  And it's going to happen fairly soon.  

4.  Language- Remember how special I felt being called "mom"?  Well, I don't anymore.  Plus no one calls me that, they call me "moooooooooooooooooommmm".  It's actually more like a drone or a moose call.  And it's always for something really stupid.  Like where their headphones are.  As if I have a GPS on every item in the house.  Which I kind of do, it's a mom thing, but's just ridiculous!

5.  Thin line-  You know what they say, it's a thin line between love and hate.  And I think that line starts at about age 11 or 12 where kids' adoration for their parents turns to disdain.  (My youngest has already started this process a bit early at age 9 because of prolonged exposure to teenagers, leading her to believe she's one too.)  But I love them even when they're hating on me.  But sometimes I'm hating on them to, like when they can't seem to remember to flush the toilet anymore.  I mean they could actually do that consistently as toddlers.  It's like some weird regression that occurs when they become a teenager or something.

6.  Social Media- I used to have an outlet for this pent-up frustration.  Social Media.  Where I  could safely bitch and complain about all this kid stuff.  But now the worst thing is, now they're on social media.  And I find that I have to self-edit what I put on there so as to not be embarrassing to them.  Do you know how impossible that is?  I mean everything I do embarrasses them.  Everything, including my Instagram handle "misadventures_of_marie".  I don't know exactly why that's embarrassing in particular.  I mean I could have gone with "mommy_loves_her_elements".  

But that might be misleading, especially when I've just discovered another unflushed toilet with an empty roll of toilet paper next to it..  

Perhaps you can identify your favorite teen's "mooooooooooooooooooommm"  call here


joeh said...

This is great, I'm forwarding it to my daughter whose newly blended family includes a sensitive teenage girl.

Marie Loerzel said...

Thanks, that's great to hear! I've added a teen "mooooooooooom" identifier to the end for fun.

Sine said...

I LOVE this, Marie! Every word of it is so true. Makes me feel better, somehow.

Joy Page Manuel said...

I see that there's a lot of fun things for me to look forward to, Marie. *deep sigh*

Muriel Jacques said...

Toddlers are soooo much easier. Or maybe I just want what I can't get any more...


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