The Teenager Vs. the Threenager

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threenager vs. teenager - Boston Moms
Photo courtesy Chirag Rathod.

Dear parents of three-year-olds,

Welcome to the threenage year! This year was created to prepare you for your future as a parent of a teenager. Below is a list of comparisons between a threenager and a teenager to better illustrate what is to come.

Waking up

Threenager: Wakes at the first sight of the sun. Runs rampant until naptime. Denies being tired. Crashes hard.

Teenager: Falls asleep 10 minutes before the first sight of sun. Flops body around and drags self around like zombie until naptime. Complains about being tired. Crashes hard.

Feeding

Threenager: Will beg for food at all hours of the day. Cries when it is not procured immediately. Claims to be starving. Cries when it is served on the wrong plate. Gives dog half of food. Takes one bite. Throws rest on ground. Seemingly survives on less food than a mouse. Begins process over again every hour, on the hour.

Teenager: Will beg for food at all hours of the day. Whines and huffs when it is not procured immediately. Claims to be starving. Eats all food on plate. Eats plate. Eats table plate was on. Seemingly eats more than a moose. Begins process over again every hour, on the hour.

Bathing

Threenager: Denies need for bath until dirt covers 78% of body. Fights like wild hyena about the need for a cleansing. Splashes around gleefully once finally in tub. Refuses to get out of tub. Forgets to use soap.

Teenager: Denies need for bath until dirt covers 78% of body. Fights like wild hyena about the need for a cleansing. Splashes around gleefully once finally in tub. Refuses to get out of tub. Forgets to use soap.

School

Threenager: Complains about going to school. Complains it is too hard. Throws backpack on ground. Stomps feet. Cries. Demands snack. Requires superhuman strength and a shoe horn to get into carseat. Claims need to urinate SO BAD the second car pulls away from house. Entire mood changes when friends are seen. Prances into school like it’s the thing they love most in life. Can’t ever remember what happened at school.

Teenager: Complains about going to school. Complains it is too hard. Throws backpack on ground. Throws body on couch. Huffs and puffs. Drags self to car and throws body into car like a bag of stinky laundry. Entire mood changes when friends are seen. Prances into school like it’s the thing they love most in life. Can’t ever remember what happened in school.

Laundry

Threenager: Will wear same outfit every day until eternity. Has tantrum when clothing needs to be washed. Denies having been wearing same socks for multiple days. Doesn’t care if a full entree’s worth of food is caked onto elbow of sweatshirt; will still wear it because it is their favorite.

Teenager: Will wear same outfit every day until eternity. Has tantrum when clothing needs to be washed. Denies having been wearing same socks for multiple days. Doesn’t care if a full entree’s worth of food is caked onto elbow of sweatshirt; will still wear it because it is their favorite.

Chores

Threenager: Thrilled to be a helper. Overzealous. Should only be given plastic items to clean up, because things often become projectiles due to clumsy hands. Takes eons to complete a simple task.

Teenager: Infuriated about being asked to help. Overdramatic. Should only be given plastic items to clean up, because things often become projectiles due to angry, hormonal hands. Takes eons to complete a simple task.

Bedtime

Threenager: Denies need for bedtime. Fights sleep like a wild hyena. Asks 786 questions to delay getting in bed. Demands snack. Demands drink. Demands story. Falls asleep in bizarre position. Still looks like your sweet baby when they sleep.

Teenager: Denies need for bedtime. Stays awake until 10 minutes before sun rises. Falls asleep in bizarre position. Complains about not knowing why they are so tired. Still looks like your sweet baby when they sleep.

Congratulations if you have survived the threenager year! As you see, your threenager has prepared you for life with a teenager. Because threenagers are so delightfully easy, life has chosen to give you an approximately 10-year break before you begin the process again. This time, you will be gifted with a taller, hormonal version of your threenager. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Deanna Greenstein
Deanna is a mom of five (yes, five) children, who lives in Brockton with her small circus of kids, her husband, their dog Penny, and a few cats. Her life is loud, energetic, mostly fun, often gross (did she mention four of those kids are boys?), and she wouldn't have it any other way. In between carting kids to school, baseball, gymnastics, guitar, dance, track and field and every other kid activity known to mankind, she works as a school bus driver for the city of Brockton, and is the Director of Religious Education at the Unity Church of North Easton, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Deanna also holds degrees in Elementary Physical Education and Dance Education, which she plans to put back into use one day. At parties, Deanna can often be found hanging out with family pets. She follows her children around with a camera like the paparazzi, is pretty sure that 97% of her blood stream is made of coffee, and her laundry is never done. You can also find her blogging at https://eighteenmoreyearsofburpsandfarts.wordpress.com