So you want to have a teenager

teenager playing cards

What is that? You didn't say you wanted a teenager, you said you wanted a baby? Well, I hate to break it to you but babies turn into teenagers. I know, that is a scary thought but don't worry, babies and teenagers actually have a lot in common.

First of all, they both need a lot of sleep but neither babies nor teenagers ever want to go to bed.  With both of them, you will find yourself pacing the floor begging them to please go to bed because morning comes really early.  The benefit to teenagers is that they also do not like to get up so they won't appear at your bedside at 5:45 dragging a teddy bear and suggesting you play cars with them.  That is a joy solely reserved for you with your two-year-old.

Both babies and teenagers also want to eat.  All the time.  Both of them are picky.  Babies want food with no discernible color such as Cheerios, fries, and nuggets. Teenagers, on the other hand, want pizza with a side of buffalo chicken, at least that is my experience. They also both leave a trail of food debris behind them.  Babies leave goldfish and cheerios in your couch, teenagers leave chip bags on the floor and empty orange juice cartons on the counter.

Both of them are convinced they know best and they don't want anyone to tell them what to do.  We will leave it at that.

Can you imagine how excited you will be the first time your baby speaks?  How happy you will be and how you will try to get them to say more words?  You will be just as pleased when your teenager communicates with you. In case you think you are destined to a life where you are always trying to get your child to talk, let me assure you that in the middle years children never stop talking.  They are more than happy to endlessly discuss the ramifications of their favorite TV show or debate which Lego set is best.  In fact, they will probably still be talking as you tuck them into bed.  If you have kids like mine, they will talk in their sleep. Teenagers and babies make you work for it. I think they don't talk just because they know you want them to.

Babies and teenagers can both destroy a room in ten seconds flat.  Just take a two-minute shower and see what your toddler has done to your living room in that time.  Or watch what happens to your house when your teenager walks in the door from school.  A backpack left here, a sweatshirt there, shoes the size of boats kicked off in the middle of the room.  If you are fortunate enough to have a teenager and a baby at the same time then just go ahead and buy a bulldozer.  You are going to need it.

With both of them, you will see the charm below the annoying brattiness.  That two-year-old who is whiny and difficult?  You will know it is because he needs a nap.  That sixteen-year-old who is kind of mouthy?  You will know it is because she is feeling shy.  With both, you will feel a little annoyed with the people who can't see below the surface.

Teenagers and babies are both funny.  Not always intentionally and they are not always pleased with you for finding them amusing but they are funny.  It is their saving grace.

Both of them are clumsy.  Babies because they are just learning how to do basic things like walk and hold things, teenagers because they are trying to learn how to do the same basic things with a body that has grown so big that it feels like it doesn't belong to them.

Both of them find inappropriate humor amusing.

Both of them bring more joy into your life than you thought possible.  And more work and worry.

So you want to have a teenager.

I have one you can borrow...


  1. Hee! I'll have a teenager in 5 more years, oh goody. And his shoes are already the size of boats, sigh.

    1. My son wears size 13 and I am really, really, hoping his feet don't grow anymore!

  2. My mother had my little brother when I was a teenager. God bless her

    1. My mother did the same thing. Brave women, weren't they?