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Things to Remember During the Teen Months

Updated on January 8, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

Lessons Learned after Surviving the Teen Months (13-19 months)

  • The nose is just one more orifice to explore; think of it as pointing to their brains.
  • If the circle block goes through the hole, why not the crayons? If the square block goes into the square hole, why not the remote control?
  • “Bye-bye” or “uh-oh” said while they are in the bathroom is a call them out to play elsewhere. When said in conjunction with a toilet flush, call the plumber.
  • When you are playing with the phone is exactly the time to start playing with it too.
  • If it moves, it may be food. If food doesn’t move, it’s fun to move and play with.
  • They don’t know what stingers look like. Until they know it is dangerous, it is just another part of the bug to touch. If it does sting, they probably won’t remember the danger after a week.
  • You will have the poison control number memorized before they are two years old. For precocious and adventurous toddlers, you’ll have it memorized by age 18 months.
  • It is time to get a toddler bed when you catch them trying to climb out.
  • It is time to break out the toddler bed when you find them practicing the teenager sneaking out of the house routine.
  • If you teach them they don’t get out of the high chair before all the food is eaten, they have learned another reason to throw all the food on the floor.
  • The reason 9 and 1 are in 911 is to minimize the number of times your child could accidentally dial it when smashing a hand on the keypad.
  • Remove all long distance numbers off your speed dial before they can reach the phone. (Ours ended up calling Nana long distance a few times, leaving amusing messages in the process.)
  • When someone asks about the funny baby babble message you left them, check your phone log before dismissing their claims.
  • They will discover the toilet before they discover the advantages of toilet training.
  • All old ladies are grandmas until proven otherwise
  • If you dance in the driver’s seat, they will dance in the car seat
  • When you clap when they put trash in the trashcan, their cup and your calendar are next to go.

The concept of a mess is subjective.
The concept of a mess is subjective. | Source
  • If they can climb out of their crib, the baby gate is next.
  • You spend so much time looking down their diaper, why shouldn’t they?
  • When they learn the joys of closing doors, carry your keys with you when you step outside.
  • “Playmate detection” is always on. If there is someone their size within visual range, they will be spotted.
  • If the child gets bored with a repetitive game before the parent does, they are probably sleepy.
  • The longer a parent works on something, the greater attraction it holds. Corollary: if you don't want your child to start taking apart child proofing as soon as you install it, only install it when they are asleep.
  • Just because it looks like a stuffed animal does not mean your child will like the neighbor’s dog. Conversely, the child may assume an agitated animal is a playmate because it looks like a stuffed animal. Your child doesn’t know which is which that until they are scratched / bit / knocked over.

Pretend play involving other children starts at this age.
Pretend play involving other children starts at this age. | Source

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