Six vs. SixTEEN

The 6-year-old at Sesame Place.

The 6-year-old ties her own shoes.

Sophie has lately been showing us two distinct attitudes.

The 6-year-old is delightful. She enjoys craft projects, makes friends easily and loves to play dress-up with her sister. She recently learned to tie her shoes by herself and would probably name Silly Bandz and American Girl dolls among her favorite possessions. She wears her hair in a ponytail and enjoys swimming. The Tooth Fairy visited her this week and brought prizes that were quickly declared “awesome.”

The teenager takes a call on the iPhone.

The 16-year-old is another story. She talks on the phone incessantly, loves music by Katy Perry and Taio Cruz, occasionally uses the word “hate,” and can throw a tantrum worthy of her mother’s teenage self. This Sophie has been known to roll her eyes or sigh out of exasperation when one of her parents says something unspeakably dumb. She most definitely does not want her hair done in any juvenile way. Her prized possessions include a Nintendo DS (hot pink, of course).

The teenager can sulk like nobody's business.

One of the things that makes this phenomenon so interesting is that Sophie can flutter between these personas so quickly. We might help the 6-year-old put on a dress that matches one her doll is wearing, only to find that the 16-year-old is upset because her BFF hasn’t come over yet.

These flashes of teenage attitude make her parents wonder (and sometimes worry) about what life will be like 10 years from now!

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