Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Things I Don't Understand

When someone says to a mother of a baby and a toddler, who has been up 6 times overnight, is so exhausted she is nauseous, hasn't slept a good night's sleep in years, who has dealt with 12 temper tantrums, has been on her hands and knees on the floor scraping up dried oatmeal, only to hear someone yell "Mommy! I spilled my milk on the couch," who has changed 4 diapers and two sets of peed upon sheets, has had someone literally feeding off of her every 3 hours, has spit up caked in her hair, has pulled three pieces of gravel out of the baby's mouth while simultaneously putting the toddler in time-out.... all before 8 a.m. "You think this is bad, just wait until they're teenagers."

I don't understand that. Do you? Why do people say that?

Either a) teenagers are really so god-awful with their sleeping in and quietly texting that it makes all this hard baby/toddler shit seem easy; or b) they have completely forgotten the baby/toddler stages.

Which do you think it is? I know what I think.

12 comments:

lisa said...

Touche. It must be kind of like the whole "you forget how awful labor was" because I don't buy that teenagers can be this difficult-- or at the very least its a totally different kind of difficult. At least we'll be able to sleep in at that point (I mean- teenagers should be able to make themselves breakfast right?) ;)

Natalie said...

I've been hearing that a lot lately too. I think it's that parents of teenager or grandparents are so far removed from the infant and toddler stage, they forget how hard the baby stage was. I think, women especially, have some gene that helps us forget the baby and toddler stage quickly. Otherwise, we wouldn't have more than one child. I mean, already, I have to really think about the weeks that Lila was projectile vomiting every time I nursed her. I know that I was a wreck and on the phone with the doctor all the time, but, I can't, for the life of me, bring back those feelings of terror. It becomes more foggy with each passing month.

All that being said, it's kind of cruel when people tell you that it doesn't get better when they are teenagers when they KNOW you are going through hell with your infant/toddler, etc. Some things are just better left unsaid for the time being!

MommyK said...

I think it's a different kind of difficult. And a person may find one more harder than the other depending on what they are equipped to deal with. The baby stages were pretty easy for me, but now that mine are old enough to fight with each other, the sibling rivalry is driving me BONKERS. You know the whole thing where the one kid sits with his finger 2 millimeters away from his sister and says, "I'm not touching her, I'm not touching her," and the sister is screaming her head off because she's almost being touched? My kids do that. These days, I'm bat shit crazy.

Elizabeth said...

Unsolicited comments like that drive me absolutely batty. Another related favorite: "Better enjoy them while they're young!"

Angie said...

I wonder about that, too. Because if they are seriously so much worse as teenagers, than I am going to admit myself to the loony bin. I may be headed there already. Noone has said this to me lately, possibly because my kids have been screaming so that I couldn't hear them.

Feener said...

oh yes, i get that all the time. mainly from my parents. i hate to say it but i do think it is worse. i different type of worry that we can not even comprehend right now. my dad says "small kids small problems, big kids big problems."

i love what angie said that if it is harder she will be in the looney bin. i am right there behind you.

Erin said...

TOTALLY. This is exactly why I NEVER say to a mother of a 6-month-old, "oh just WAIT till she starts CRAWLING!" because it's just a craptastic thing to say to someone who's already overwhelmed.

Let's make a pact to NOT BE THAT PERSON in 12 years. kay?

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference. They are both difficult in different ways. A small child still thinks you know everything and want to cuddle even after getting in trouble. The teenage years is telling them what kind of friends to have. Struggling with homework and the constant sibling fighting. There are pros and cons to both ages. They all have good moments and bad. It is just a different kind of worry when they become very independant. Enjoy the cuddles the most that is the biggest change. It is not cool to hug mom during the teenage years and say somthing nice like "You look pretty." Instead you usually get somthing like "you are a nerd and you are embarassing me." lol

Kristy said...

I have a 16 soon to be 17 year old son. I'll trade ya. You'll beg to trade back in less than 2 hours. You'll be out of gas in your car, you're wallet will be empty and so will your fridge. And then on top of it all he'll tell you he hates you at least ten times more than a toddler does. He'll also roll his eyes, and shrug a lot. Let me know when you wanna trade....

Meg said...

But don't you think, now that you have two, that the younger one is so much easier in a big way? Harder yes, in that he's not verbal or mobile, but yet...he doesn't have much of an opinion, or manipulation skills. And he's easy to play with (just bang crap together) and if you buy him something, he doesn't immediately demand more, and he doesn't get his feelings hurt if ______ (and even if he does, just put him in the stroller and let him scream it out w/o being worried he's being scarred for life). I think I agree that young kids are amazingly more work physically, but now...if someone gave me the option to be alone with the 6 year old or the 2 year old...the 2 year old wins I think. And Taylor just has this passive agressive way of bugging me that...just BUGS me. Maybe because it's more effective than a tantrum, who knows. I could be totally wrong, I just wonder if this is what people mean when they say that. But you are 100% right when it comes to the physical angle...

Angela said...

You get those comments from people who didn't parent their kids when they were toddlers and let them have whatever they wanted whenever they wanted it. So now that they are teenagers, they are spoiled little lazy brats that parents are still not parenting!!!!
Hope I don't eat my words.

Angie said...

This has been running over in my mind today, for awhile, really. Now, our kids make us crazy and are a lot of work, but they are likeable. Teenagers, um, tend to not be as likeable.