I first heard the word "threenager" while reading a blog post. Apparently, to some, three-year-olds are a lot like teenagers.
But it's a little different when you have an actual teenager. In my eyes, teenagers are scarier than threenagers. And here is why.
1. Teenagers are bigger. So they can take you down if they wanted to. Three-year-olds can attack your knees. They do bite, but it's more chilling to see the person you made towering over you--eyes blazing with anger, with red pimples all over their face.
2. Teenagers voices are deeper. When they are upset with you, shouting is terrifying when it's no longer in an adorable chipmunk voice. I'd laugh at my three-year-old when they got upset because it was amusing to hear, "I don't YIKE this!" I don't laugh as much when my teenager booms, "Nothing is going right today!" and the walls are shaking.
3. If teenagers throw a fit in public, people judge. This is because everyone assumes a teenager should have their feelings in check. Newsflash: they don't. If a three-year-old is throwing a fit, some people will throw sympathetic looks towards the parent. Looks that say, "We've all been there. Hang in there." When a teenager does it, people mutter something about juvenile detention facilities.
4. Teenagers want more expensive things. A three-year-old might beg for a plastic Paw Patrol set. A teenager is like, "Can I have the new iPhone?" You might assume that when kids get older that it won't be as expensive--finally, no more toys--but it's not true.
5. Teenagers won't stop eating. You'll watch as they inhale most of a large pizza. A three-year-old will pick at their food. They'll be content with a bag of character fruit snacks. But a teenager will ask for more food, even if they've just eaten ten minutes ago. You'll be amazed when they go, "There's nothing to eat!" You'll say, "But I just went grocery shopping two days ago. There's plenty." You'll open the pantry door and blink with disbelief when you find that everything is gone.
6. The mood of a teenager can change instantly. One second they'll be laughing and you'll think, "This is great!" The next second they'll be wearing a scowl and grumbling something about how "their life is over." Yes, a three-year-old can have terrible mood swings. But again, it's not quite as frightening to hear a chipmunk voice go, "My life is OVER!"
7. Teenagers have a bigger vocabulary so their words can hurt. A three-year-old might go, "You're a poopy-head!" That amuses me. A teenager might write a long letter on how you are ruining their life. They might go on a tirade on how "they didn't ask to be born." A three-year-old will eventually tucker out and be ready for a nap. One hour later, and your teenager might still be ranting.
8. ....or a teenager might fall silent and not speak at all. A three-year-old is rarely quiet. But when a teenager goes quiet, you wonder what's happening. Are they talking with a pedophile online? Are they secretly doing drugs? Drinking? What's happening? What's going on? And all they'll say is, "I'm fine." Are you being bullied? WHAT'S GOING ON? "Fine." A three-year-old will tell you all about their day. "Janie picked her boogers. Parker wants to know if he can paint his cat. Dora found the hidden treasure."
Bottom line? Teenagers are frightening creatures. Sometimes I even wish my teenager could morph into a three-year-old again.
But then I remember how my three-year-old couldn't be left home alone. So I think I'll keep the teenager.
Even if he does scare me sometimes.