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HUMOR AGES & STAGES

Common Symptoms May Include: indecisiveness, outbursts (typically in public), sleepless nights, unpredicatable moods You still don’t get a full night’s sleep. With two year olds, you have fights about bed times, they have bed-wetting accidents, bad dreams and like to get up early. With teenagers, you have fights about curfews, you worry what they are doing while they are out, you doze restlessly on the couch until they get home and then you hear them gaming or Facetiming long after you have gone to bed. You worry when they are quiet. Two year olds are loud by nature. They haven’t mastered their inside voices, they play act without fear of being made fun of and their toys are unnecessarily noisy. When they are quiet, they are probably up to no good. Teenagers are very similar. They come through the family living spaces like tornados – talking, playing music and with phone alerts going off constantly. They share stories about their day as they fill up on after school snacks and head upstairs to unwind. It’s when they enter the house quietly and go straight to their room without a word that you worry about what is going on in their world. You always have to pick up after them. It’s understandable when your two-year-old misses the garbage, cleans up spills haphazardly hoping no one notices, leaves her towels on the bathroom floor and her handprints all over the place. Sadly, even after 15 years of reminding, you will still find her doing these things. The only difference is that the handprints are bigger. But, at the end of the day, both a two-year-old and a teenager appreciate everything their parents do for them — even if they don’t quite know the perfect way to tell you.

Pam Molnar is an essayist, mother of three and a terrible twos survivor. With the help of her teens, she is fluent in sarcasm, hashtag and autocorrect.

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