My eldest, BP, turned 11 in August but I've noticed subtle changes since the beginning of the year. Occasional outbursts and crying for no reason are just some of the things I've had to deal with. Lately I've been comparing my life now to when BP was a toddler and realised that not much has changed.
Although you may think that by 11 years old BP would be able to dress to himself I still have to check him every morning. On school days I have to make sure he's not wearing yesterday's shirt, said shirt is tucked in, and his tie is in place. At the weekend he often wants to walk around the house in pyjamas, not terrible if we're not doing anything, but when we are I have to make sure he's wearing appropriate clothes.
I still have the same discussions about what he can and can't wear that I had when he was 3.
Toddlers ignore you for fun, don't hear, or don't understand. It's much the same with Tweens. I have to tell BP to pick things up 10-15 times before he'll do it. Any request I make has to be repeated at least twice but often more. Most of the time he acts as if he doesn't know what I'm talking about.
You know when your toddler hasn't had enough sleep because the tantrums are at their worst. It's not much different with a Tween, I know when BP hasn't had sleep because he gets upset easier.
BP's tantrums are not the kind where he rolls around on the floor stamping his feet, they're more the screaming and shouting directed either at me, the Hubby, or LP. He snaps at me, skulks around the house hanging his head, and it takes that much longer to get him to do anything. With BP's tantrums it's like the whole world is against him.
Toddlers can be happy and pleasant one minute and the next transform into evil-doers. That silence is not because they're happily enjoying playing with toys, it's because they're up to no good. If you go and stop them, that happy child will transform.
Tweens are the same. One minute BP can be happy, talking about friends or other things he enjoys, and the next minute he'll be in floods of tears for no apparent reason. This is often when tantrums arise too and he'll lash out at anyone around him.
Food on the floor, in their hair, on their clothes, and rarely in their mouth, Toddlers have a love-hate relationship with food. Either way you get through lots of it. Tweens don't get food in their hair, usually, but even at 11 years old they get it on their clothes and the floor. The amount of food they can eat is crazy too, sometimes BP can eat as much as the Hubby!
When I was growing up I didn't think about how my life affected my parents, it was all about me. Now I'm the parent I suddenly have sympathy for them. Parenting is a tough job, we constantly go through changes and just when you think one phase is over another, tougher phase, begins.
Are there any things you would add to the list?