Three Year Olds: Causing Parents Everywhere to Swear Off Future Children

Yep.  I'm three now!

Yep. I’m three now!

Guys.

Seriously.

What is this age?

I’m starting to think that they say “Terrible Twos” to lull you into a false sense of relief.  That if you’ve made it this far it’s only downhill from here.

Wrong, friends.  I feel like I’ve been lied to, like the lying liars who repeat “You’re almost done!  Just five more minutes!”  the whole way to the summit, all 20 hours of it.

Honestly, age two wasn’t that bad.  We were armed with some pretty mad talking-her-down-from-the-ledge skills through the Harvy Karp book about toddlers (highly recommend. Although it’ll make you unappreciative of three).  What his book didn’t cover, however, was how to handle, not tantrums, but just naughty.

It’s like she’s suddenly become super aware of this deep desire to light her hair on fire just to watch it burn.  You’re going down with me suckers!

I have become that person.  You know, the one that seeks out the parents of other delinquent three year olds, digging for stories of parental frustration and toddler nastiness to ease my own burden.  Why not suffer together, I say.  And yet, for those who are blessed with angelic spawn that listen and share and don’t ever hit, the conversation becomes rather bleak, punctuated with squints, wrinkled noses, and blank stares (thoughts of “Oh my child would never do that!” written all over their face).

Which leads to more digging for veterans who can tell me:  It’s normal.  It’s a phase.  It’s ____ (fill in the blank with whatever will help you feel better).

Grandparents are generally sympathetic but find these stories a bit funnier than they should, the universal payback from all the horrors we caused in our three-year-old life.  Don’t worry Anne.  Someday you’ll have a three year old that will also terrorize you and cause you to question every bit of parenting skill you have.  And I’ll be there to laugh a little too hard and send her home when she is a butthead.

So for the millions out there suffering, I have a feel-good pick-you-upper.  The other night we were snuggling and giggling and completely out of nowhere she bonked me on my cheek.  Seriously.  WHAT JUST HAPPENED?  After losing every privilege I could come up with and sending her to bed, I was wracking my brain for the cause.  What was it I had done to cause this mental break in my child?

And I was like OH ya.  She totally got that from me.  You know, when we were just hanging out and I thought it would be funny to kick her dad in the back of the knee.  Shoot.  I should probably stop doing stuff like that in front of her and maybe she’ll stop copying me.

Anne, when you’re ready to return from your out of body experience, we’re ready for you.  And we love you.  And hopefully all this spice will translate into a rockin teenager who will be the easiest person on the planet to get along with and we will love you even when you drive your car into a ditch.  As long as the car is okay, of course.

Seriously.  I love being a Mom (said with all sincerity in the world and almost as much sarcasm).  How is it so?  I just wish I knew what the heck I was doing.  It seems like you sure do.

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