‘Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable’ ~Plato

  • They both love ‘crap’ food. Remember those days when your toddler would only eat white toast (with the crusts cut off and cut in neat squares… oh no, I mean triangles…oh no, I mean star shapes…) well now your teen has access to pocket money and a bit of independence, the lure of McDonalds, Subway, and 7eleven is strong and seems to be where most of his (I mean your) money is spent.
  •  They both love to do dangerous things. When my son was little he moonwalked backwards off a brick wall. A little while ago my now 14 year old decided to do a vertical push up off a rock wall with waves crashing menacingly below him.  Same same. Note to self: book into hairdresser for touch up to the new grey hairs that have mysteriously arrived.
  • Take an iPad off a toddler and watch the ensuing meltdown. Turn off the Wi-Fi before they are finished, and behold the fury of the toddler reincarnate as the teenager screams in frustration about not being able to watch some random YouTube video of an American teenager playing Playstation (nb. I will never understand the appeal of this for as long as I live!)
  • Getting out the door on time with a toddler dressed appropriately for the weather with matching socks and shoes is a parenting rite of passage we all go through. Getting your teenage son to sports practice on time with his shin guards, sports shoes, drink bottle and a jacket all accounted for and present, is nothing short of a holy miracle.
  • The toddler and the teenager are both similarly amused with the sounds that emanate from their bottoms. I don’t think this ever changes unfortunately!
  • Toddler speak vs teenage speak. Both moderately grunty, occasionally whiny, and often hard to comprehend.
  • They don’t like being kissed (any kisses that manage to land are soon wiped off the face with the back of their hands) but they love leaning all over you, particularly while sitting on the couch watching TV.
  • The toddler and the teenage boy can both be resistant to bathing and getting clean. A bath or shower may require some long winded negotiations, however when it is time for their hair to be washed or nails to be trimmed, be prepared to use all the bargaining chips in your parenting toolkit!
  • The sleep patterns of a toddler may be more disruptive, but getting a teenage boy to physically go to bed at night, is equally as challenge as getting a toddler to go nighty-night after 25 stories and just one more drink of water!
  • The toddler and the teen can both drive you crazy, cause you grief, and make you want to tear your hair out on occasion, but just sometimes when they look at you with a twinkle in their eye, and tell you that they love you, well then they are the most awesome creatures on the planet!