By Liz Bolton
After years of conflicting messages regarding the age at which children present the most challenges to their parents, scientists have concluded that kids of all ages are effing impossible.
“I was as shocked as anyone,” said Dr. Brenda Nichols, an endocrinologist at the University of Central Florida and coauthor of the study. “I was certain we’d land on the terrible twos as the most difficult age. Incredibly, that seems to be just the beginning of a solid seventeen years of torture.”
The study tracked 53 households and took into consideration race, income level, and educational background, none of which appeared to make a goddamn difference.
“No one is safe from the sheer torment that is raising small children,” said Dr. Wouter Goossens, a professor at Ghent University in Belgium and coauthor of the study. “It’s a literal hellscape, and the only way out is through.”
The study did highlight a few notable years, pointing out that “threenagers” and thirteen-year-olds are the kids most likely to send their parents into an emotional tailspin that lands them in a pool of their own tears on the bathroom floor.
Interestingly, when it came to judgmental onlookers, the study noted that parents with older children don’t know shit. “The next time a dad at the playground says, ‘Oh wait ’til she’s seven, it’s so easy,’ you can rest assured he’s lying,” said Nichols.
The authors of the study plan to continue tracking their subjects to see if adulthood tempers things, but they’re not convinced.
Said Goossens, “I have a 39-year-old colleague who was a real asshole to her mom on the phone this morning, so I think we’re just getting warmed up.”
About the Author
Liz Bolton is a comedian who hails from Brooklyn. Before she had a child, Liz never felt guilty about the tantrums or eye rolls she may have inflicted on her parents; now she does. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and seven hundred stuffed animals.