Teenagers are just like 3 year olds, only bigger

Posted on January 13th, 2012

Copyright Sujin Jetkasettakorn

After years of parenting I have made a stunning discovery.  There is very little difference between a teenager and a 3 year old. Okay, fine. A teenager usually has bigger feet. And usually the teenager can reach the top cabinets in the kitchen. But other than that? There’s pretty much no difference.

Look, I have studied both species in their native habitats for years. I’ve spent hours in the grocery store. And Chuck E. Cheese (just thinking about that germ-infested horror known as the “ball pit” causes flashbacks). And I’ve spent time in the wild, no-man’s land known as Target. So I feel confident I can tell you – there is very little difference between a preschooler and a high schooler.

They both are still learning about people and life:

At 3, your average preschooler is curious, yet willful and stubborn and may have a flair for the occasional zinger. For example, while in a familiar place, such as the toilet paper aisle of Target, a 3 year old may choose to suddenly ask in a very loud voice why bananas have brown spots and quickly follow that question by asking why the lady standing next to him has brown spots on her hands too.

Your average teenager is curious, yet willful and stubborn and may have a flair for the occasional zinger. For example, while in a familiar place, such as the toilet paper aisle of Target, a teenager may tell the parent in a very loud voice that he learned in science why bananas have brown spots and that possibly the mother may want to try hiding the ones on her hands with makeup.

They both do dishes:

At 3, the average preschooler may delight in washing plastic dishes in his or her pretend sink. He may put on a frowny face when one of the dishes is dropped on the floor and the dog grabs it to use as a Frisbee. He may then abandon the washing game to chase the dog.

The average teenager will wash dishes with a frowny face. He will find delight when he drops food on the floor that the dog eats. He may then abandon washing the dishes to chase the dog around the kitchen.

They both put away their clothes:

The average preschooler will put away his clean clothes by dropping them on the floor because he is still too short to reach the hangers or the top drawer of his dresser. The average teenager will put away his clean clothes by dropping them on the floor. This is because he is lazy, or as he prefers to put it, “he is too busy to pretend to be neat.”

They both clean their room:

The average 3 year old will put his toys away only when asked by the mother to do so. And even then, a certain quantity of LEGO or other potentially lethal toys may be left out on the floor because in the middle of cleaning his room, the 3 year old suddenly realized that he was missing a new episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

The average teenager will put his toys away only when asked by the mother to do so. And even then, a certain quantity of RC car parts or other potentially lethal toys may be left out on the floor because in the middle of cleaning his room, the teen suddenly realized that he was missing a new episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

They both try to say bad words:

The average preschooler may try to get away with saying bad words. He will, occasionally, whisper the word “butt nugget” and check to see if the parent is listening.

The average teenager may try to get away with saying bad words. He will, occasionally, whisper the word “shit” and check to see if the parent is listening.

As you can see, after years of observation, research and just plain being a parent, I have determined the obvious. There isn’t much difference between a 3 year old and a teenager.

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2 Responses to “Teenagers are just like 3 year olds, only bigger”

  1. Beth Says:

    LMFAO @ butt nugget, that is now officially my new favourite saying, and I will be using it in everyday conversation (while checking to see if son one and two are listening).

    But REALLY??? Can I honestly not expect my life to get any easier, like, at ALL? I was hanging out for the teenage years when they stay in bed all day (no more night waking, yay) can get their own food (meaning no more thankless cooking for me. But not doing the dishes to chase the dog? Hadn’t thought of that), and I hereby promise that the first time either child says something embarrassing when too old to get away with it because they are little and cute I will instantly and without any guilt whatsoever start wearing my bra on the outside of my clothes in public and start hitting on their friends, ha. Teach them to embarrass me at the shops!

  2. Laurie Says:

    LOL @Beth – butt nugget is an actual term Junior whispered at 3. And 4. And 5. And…you get the picture. Whenever he said it, I had to do a quick look away so he wouldn’t see me laugh.

    Sadly, it doesn’t get easier. Oh, there’s this brief period at about 11 where they like you and still think you are smart – but once they hit the teen years you become a full-fledged idiot and they regress to a 3 year old. But don’t worry. You don’t have to wear your bra outside your clothes to embarrass Sons 1 and 2. Just the mere act of drawing breath while their friends can see is humiliating enough for them :)

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