The toddler years are legendary. Parents shudder at
the thought of the terrible twos but comfort themselves with the
thought that they will leave that behavior in the past and it will
quickly become a distant memory.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are many
similarities between the toddler years and the tween years. Here
are just a few of the surprising ways that tweens are like toddler,
all of which I have witnessed in just the past week.
Surprised? Me, too. Or maybe other parents are just much
better than I am at remembering the teething schedule. I thought it
was just "every freaking day for years on end" when they're really
little, but no.
I had completely forgotten about 12 year molars. But they
exist. They make their appearance during the tween years, and while
there isn't the wailing that comes from poor teething toddlers, it
can be a little ouchy.
The other day, my tween was a little cranky and later
said, "My mouth hurts." Confused, I asked her to show me where. She
opened up and pointed to the back of her mouth. On each side were
two shiny new molars peeking through her gums.
I believe the technical term is "erupting" but it that
word just doesn't seem like something that should happen in a
mouth. It's also a bit over dramatic - this happens to pretty much
every human being and certainly isn't something of Mount Vesuvius
Earlier this week, my tween asked if she could take a nap
after school before dinner. After I picked my jaw up from the
floor, I told her yes. I really thought she was just looking to
avoid me, but by God the kid went up, crawled into bed and
When I checked on her, she was sleeping that good, hard
sleep of toddlerhood; the kind where the afternoon light shining on
your face and making you sweaty doesn't disturb you in the
Given the napping, I shouldn't be shocked at the fact that
my tween is in a growth spurt, but holy height, Batman, the kid's
We will all pause for a moment of silence when she becomes
taller than I am, right? That will probably be in a few weeks.
Worse yet, I did not learn my lesson when my kid was a
toddler. I got a winter coat on sale, buying a size up from this
year thinking it would be great for next winter. My tween tried it
on earlier this week and it fits quite nicely now. She's been
wearing it all week. Who doesn't love a new winter coat in
mid-March? I think I did the same thing when she was two. Maybe
I'll learn next year.
Inappropriate winter weather
I'll never forget my toddler putting on snow boots and
announcing she was going to play in the snow. She was wearing
nothing else. Just the boots.
Thankfully that hasn't been a problem this winter, nine
years later, but it seems that some of her peers are still
impervious to cold.
I have been baffled for months by the boys I saw this
winter walking home from junior high wearing shorts when the
temperature was in the single digits. Didn't that hurt? I asked my
tween to please explain this phenomenon. She looked at me and said,
"Are you asking me to make sense of junior high boys?" She may just
have a point.
It appears that history does repeat itself. Just like
toddlers, tweens keep you guessing and on your toes.
Although she’d like to be taller and have more time to dive into good books, Shannan is awfully happy with her life in the western suburbs, where she moved after a decade of living on the north side of the city. She blogs about parenting a tween at Tween Us on ChicagoNow and at Families in the Loop.
See more of Shannan 's stories here.
What to do with your weekend, delivered every Thursday.
Great deals and chances to win prizes, delivered every Monday.
Exclusive offers from our partners,usually delivered twice a week.
Resources for parents of children with special needs,delivered the second Tuesday each month.