Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Teenager or Toddler?

I work with teenagers. I am a parent of a toddler.  At this point in Ari's development, I am beginning to see a lot of common traits.  Let's compare what I know about my 13-year-old students with how my 20-month-old acts.

Sleep

On Monday mornings, okay, on any morning, my first block class comes in looking exhausted. I can only imagine the words they spewed forth at their parents, siblings, alarm clocks, etc., at being made to get out of bed before 7 a.m. Eventually, they brighten up and enjoy class (Yes, enjoy).

On Monday mornings, okay, on many mornings of the week, my 20-month-old, after having woken a couple of times in the night to demand our attention and then fall back asleep before we can get to him, groans and says "Nooooooo" or "Peeeze" when I go to wake him. Eventually, he realizes he loves his mama, and the dog, and his toys, and breakfast, and books, and his tricycle...and...and...he enjoys life.

Verdict: Same

Eating

Teenagers eat CONSTANTLY.  Nearly every block of the day, I have to ask my students to finish a snack before entering my classroom. Their diets are odd, consisting sometimes of gummy bears floating in bottles of Propel and sometimes of pieces of pepperoni eaten from a ziplock bag.

My son is a definite grazer. He loves breakfast and can happily stuff his face with eggs, Almond Butter Toast, hash browns, and recently, French Toast, for nearly an hour.  The rest of the day, he picks and chooses from the variety we offer. Recently, he has been very fond of bananas and cheese (not eaten at the same time), with cheese resulting in a huge grin, jumping up and down, and joyful shouts of, "Cheese, cheese, cheese!"

Verdict:  He's still a toddler. He eats what makes him happy, not just what's available.

Noise Making

Teenagers love to talk, but they also love to simply be heard. One student was practicing a sound that was a great deal like the pig snort of which Ari is so proud. Others just like to shout my name over the chaos of the track (I also teach PE) to get my attention.

Ari enjoys the talking. And the noise making. And the animal noises.  He often shouts my name over conversations, music, or in complete silence, so that he can get my attention.

Verdict: Same

Reading

I teach Accelerated English Language Arts. My students devour books like they have an expiration date. When I put a new book up on offer for borrowing, they practically leap over the tables to grab it. We are currently reading Divergent, and they have voted to have Faction Fridays (I love these kids).

Ari requests that books be piled over him as we read in the chair every night. He wants a blanket over both of us (or whomever he has deemed worthy of reading with him), and then a pile of books, "More! Book! More! Mama, book!"  He devours the books, though he has outgrown actually eating the books, as though we are threatening to make him go to bed (we are).  He reads the books to me, pointing out all the animals and grabs any book I am reading to read for himself. (I love this kid).

Verdict: People who love books are awesome.

Okay, so four major aspects of life considered (what, you don't consider reading a prime area of life? Psssbhhh), and it looks like toddlers and teenagers are pretty much the same.  Luckily, I love both age groups. Score.



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