Romper

13 Ways Your Toddler's Life Is Just Like Yours In Your Early 20s

Taylor Wasikonis/Romper

Here comes a super original statement: Kids are growing up so fast these days, aren't they? One day, you're holding them in your arms, singing lullabies and rocking them to sleep, and the next day they're functioning exactly like a young adult: walking, talking, and telling you to text them goodnight instead of kissing their forehead. (OK, maybe that last part is a little bit of an exaggeration, but please forgive me. My son just went up another shoe size and I'm in a really weird place today.)

All joking aside, as my little has gotten older, his life is starting to resemble a 20-something’s in more ways than one (and of course, that one way is just wanting something to drink at weird hours). I mean, parents experience some crazy throwbacks to other stages of life, but that's nothing compared to what I'm seeing with him. We've heard the jokes about how babies are like drunk people, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Now that he's entered toddlerhood, I believe we’ve reached the peak of this phenomenon. If he was capable of growing a beard, developing a side hustle, and operating an Apple Watch, he’d be virtually indistinguishable from a Millennial. Here’s what I mean:

They Don’t Do Anything Alone

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20-Something Life:

You most likely have roommates, at least at some point in your 20s. At 20, I had about 90 housemates; at 21, I had five; and at 22, I had two. I was hardly ever alone, and I think it was better that way because I probably would have left the house while wearing my shirt upside down. Hey, cowl necks can be tough. And even if you don't have roommates, how often do you go out without your friends? Exactly. 20-somethings move in herds.

Toddler’s Life:

When I try to think of my toddler doing anything alone, my head explodes.

They Think A Plate Of Cheese And Blueberries Is Good Eating

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20-Something Life:

Who am I kidding? I still think this.

Toddler’s Life:

We would eat this for every meal if we could. Wait, did I say "we?"  I meant he. He would eat this for every meal if he could.

They Probably Aren’t Ready For Serious Relationships

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20-Something Life:

Your early 20s are known to be a time of oats-sowing and bad decision-making. My partner and I actually met at 18 and 19 years old, and while it took us a few years to get together, I’m still kinda floored that we did because he saw me through some ~pretty~ unflattering stages.

Toddler’s Life:

Based on how he likes to stare at other kids on the playground as opposed to interacting with them, I think we’ve got a little ways to go before we’re ready for friends.

The World Feels Way Big And Scary, But Also Kind Of Exciting

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20-Something Life:

The months leading up to and following college graduation are pretty much a tornado made up of stress and looming reality. As invigorating as it can be to leave the safety bubble of college, living away from campus, getting and keeping a full-time job, and maintaining relationships can take a toll.

Toddler’s Life:

If given the chance, I think he’d venture about half a block away before getting seriously freaked out. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere, but I'm not going to go looking for it because I would prefer not to tear up at the thought of him growing up right now.

They Feel Really Proud After Doing Simple Things Like Reading a Book

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20-Something Life:

I, umm...did not manage my time well. Enriching things like books or museums or conversations with the elderly, or creative things like beading or card-making or pottery-painting parties; Those things were not part of my regular routine. I always seemed to have more important things to do, like not getting fired for being late, finding my other boot, and using coffee shop wifi to email my boyfriend and buy P. Diddy songs online.

Toddler’s Life:

He gets so adorably satisfied after he flips all the pages of his board book that I don’t have the heart to tell him it’s upside down.

Dancing Is A Semi-Regular And Very Awkward Part of Life

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20-Something Life:

There is always an excuse to dance. College parties, roommates playing a song you want to show enthusiasm for, bachelorette parties, weddings, realizing you have leftover Thai food in the fridge... The list goes on.

Toddler’s Life:

He bops up and down anytime one of his gajillion musical toys gets bumped. As much as the songs get stuck in my head, I can’t say that I mind because toddler dancing might be one of my top five favorite sights on the planet.

They’re Not As Grown-up As They Think They Are

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20-Something Life:

OK, technically, we’re adults when we’re in our early 20s, but my definition of “adult” was much looser back then. I still had metaphorical training wheels for the first few years I was out of college, just ask my well-loved, old-school Nintendo.

Toddler’s Life:

He’s walking. He’s talking (sorta). He’s using a spoon (sorta). As far as he’s concerned, he’s not only an adult, he’s a full-on ~boss~.

They're Just Starting To Find Their Voice

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20-Something Life:

You can talk about any topic you want, when you want to...and not because someone assigned you to write a paper on it. Sweet, sweet freedom.

Toddler’s Life:

By "voice," I mean he's starting to find a vocabulary of more than 12 words. It's a start.

They Can't Be Trusted To Make Good Fashion Choices

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20-Something Life:

I tried, you guys, I really did. However, my limited budget and inability to talk myself out of buying something on sale meant I had a random closet full of pseudo-professional clothes and leftover party tops from college. And a beanie goes with everything.

Toddler’s Life:

He would wear capes all the time if he could. Say what you will about what's socially acceptable, I think he might be on to something. And a beanie goes with everything.

Your Relationship With Sleep Is Complicated

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20-Something Life:

At night, there was always something else I'd rather be doing than sleeping, but during the day, there was nothing I wanted to do more.

Toddler’s Life:

There's just always something else he'd be rather doing, period.

You're *Probably* More Dependent On Your Parents Than You Care To Admit

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20-Something Life:

I mean, perhaps you're one of those super-independent young adults who has it all together. I realize some of you are out there. However, the rest of us were probably leaning on our parents in some capacity, whether emotionally, financially, residentially, phone bill-y, or hungrily.

Toddler’s Life:

It's not an exaggeration to say that when he's awake, he goes no more than 45-60 seconds without confirming that he has the attention of me or his dad.  

Your Taste in Music & TV Is Somewhat Questionable

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20-Something Life:

I mean, I used to DVR Rock of Love and  a friend come over and watch with me. Like, we not only made time to watch it, but we celebrated its existence and enthusiastically watched it together.

Toddler’s Life:

Old MacDonald and ItsyBitsy Spider have their place, don't get me wrong. But I think most of us could agree that there's a reason we don't willingly sing them after the age of four (or five? My little isn't even two yet so perhaps that's wishful thinking...).

You Make Poor Decisions

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20-Something Life:

All the time, everyday.

Toddler’s Life:

All the time, everday.