Anyone who spent a chunk of their high school, college, and/or post-college years dealing with their hammered friends is well-prepared for life with a preschooler. My little dude is four, and I frequently find myself having early-20s flashbacks while trying to care for him while simultaneously dealing with his antics. While there's no denying that toddlers are like your drunk friends who have gone way past the point of speech or ability to do anything, preschoolers are your drunk friends a couple hours before they've reached that point.
After all, life is a party and preschoolers seem pretty damn excited to have been invited. Their excitement can be a blast, sure, but they’re going to need a steady hand and a boatload of attention to make sure they make it out of the party alive and in one piece and not with some kind of criminal record (because, to some kids, timeout might as well be a prison sentence).
None of this is an indictment against either preschoolers or drunk friends, for I have been both a preschooler and a drunk friend and I’ve experienced my fair share of tun times as both. However, I think it’s important to realize, both as a parent and as a steward of a drunk person, that there is very little difference between the two. (Which can come in handy, since you will be utilizing the same skill set to handle either type of person.) Don't believe me, well let's dive a little deeper, shall we?
They Laugh And Cry At Completely Random, Inexplicable Moments
Preschoolers and drunk people are both incredibly emotional, strange creatures whose moods can turn on a dime. One minute it’s all sunshine and smiles and everyone is having a good time, and the next they are sobbing and throwing their drink because that girl across the room is wearing the same shirt (even though she isn’t and you try explaining that but they are not listening, they never listen when they’re like this).
They Only Want To Eat Crap
If left to their own devices, you will almost never see a preschooler or your drunk friends eat well-balanced, vegetable-filled meals. It’s all about pizza and cupcakes and chips and fries. You try to explain to them that they’re going to get sick to their stomach if they keep it up, but they don’t care and will either just whine at you or get snippy about how you can’t tell them what to do.
They Insist They Can Do Things That They Just Can't
“Check it out! I am going to jump up here…”
“That’s, like, five feet off the ground…”
“I’m going to jump up here, balance on one foot, turn around like a ballerina…”
“...Turn around like a ballerina, and then I’m going to do a flip back down and land in a split!”
“No you’re not.”
“I do it all the time!”
“You don’t, and please don’t try.”
“I’m going to do it.”
“Don’t, because I really don’t want to go to the hospital right now.”
They’re Ridiculously Loud
No matter how many times you ask them to keep it down, they physically cannot. In fact, asking them to quiet down is a challenge to their subconscious to get louder, which they usually succeed at fulfilling.
They Get Really Excited When They Hear A Song They Know
Be it “Wheels on the Bus” or something by The Weekend, preschoolers and drunk people feel the music burning deep inside and they want to share that passion with the world by singing loudly and out of tune, probably while clapping and dancing poorly. It's a gift, really.
They barely have a handle walking, they’re so uncoordinated, but they dance at any opportunity and think they’re crushing it.
They Repeat Themselves. Constantly.
Whatever is on their mind, you’re going to hear about it incessantly. Like, did you know they really love butterflies? Did you know they want to decorate their whole room in butterflies because butterflies are so beautiful? Did you know their favorite butterfly is the Ulysses butterfly? OMG, did you know they love butterflies and that they’re going to decorate their room in nothing but Ulysses butterflies because they are their favorite butterfly of all time even though there are so many other beautiful butterflies? Repeat for what feels like forever.
They Just Friggin' Love You...
They want to curl up on your lap and cuddle with you (even if it’s obvious they’re far too big to fit entirely on your lap), stroke your hair, and tell you how much they love you. Sometimes things will take a melancholy turn and they’ll go on about how sad they would be if something ever happened to you, but mostly it’s all just very sweet…
...Unless Things Take A Turn And They Feel Like You Need To Know Something That's Been Pissing Them Off
Toddlers and drunk friends both have the tendency to be swept up that funny little thing called "honesty." Of course, what they think is “honesty” is really just unfiltered, tactless spewing of whatever it is they're feeling in the moment, which may or may not be how they feel the next moment. Those emotions are fickle and can't necessarily be trusted, but that doesn't keep them from expressing them anyway.
They Don't Consider The Consequences Of Their Actions
It’s up to you to consider those consequences for them, which is annoying and exhausting and often makes you feel like the world’s most massive buzzkill, but you comfort yourself in knowing they will thank you for assistance when they are more coherent and capable.