Parenting Problems/Tips

Attack of the Terrible Threes

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terrible threes

My husband tells me that I like to complain. I prefer to think of it as “commiserating.” I like to commiserate.

Because isn’t that one of the main tenets of motherhood? Complaining commiserating with other moms about how awful the kids were today?

Lately, a common theme has been coming up in my conversations with other moms– the terrible threes.

You thought two-year-olds were the worst? Well I have news for you, sister. Two-year-olds got nothin‘ on three-year-olds.

The Terrible Threes

Three-year-olds can reason. They can manipulate. They have incredible willpower. They have strong, specific desires. They are impatient. But most terrifying of all? They are still dangerously adorable.

It seems that everything is a battle lately with my three-year-old.

We fight about bedtime.

“I don’t WANT one more show. I want two three more shows.”

“I’ll close my eyes in eight nine minutes. But not now.”

“But I’m having a bad dream!” (Said while still awake.)

We fight about meals.

“I don’t like peas.”

“I said I don’t want dinner! I want a snack.”

“Just one bite? Then I get dessert?”

We fight about the responsibilities/privileges that come with being “a big girl.”

“I need someone to carry me.”

“I can’t walk.”

“I want to be a baby.”

We fight about going to school and to ballet class, even though once she is there she has a grand old time!

“I want to stay home.”

“I don’t want to be a ballerina.”

“I don’t want to go ever again.”

“Wahhhhh!”

One recent terrible threes moment that comes to mind is this…

It’s a Tuesday morning. My three-year-old daughter was downstairs watching TV on the couch. I was upstairs feeding my son breakfast.

Lilly had to go to the bathroom, which she refuses to do on her own. Someone must accompany her every time. So she was calling for me from downstairs.

“Somebody come rescue me! I need to go to the bathroom. I can’t walk up the stairs by myself!” she wailed.

I yelled back that she would have to walk up the stairs because she was too big for Mommy to carry.

Her response? To stand there, crying and yelling for me to carry her up the stairs until she finally just peed all over herself and her brand-new fuzzy boots she got.

Fabulous!

Thankfully, I was offered some really helpful advice the other day…

“With girls it just gets worse and worse,” said my friend Trish. “You’re just getting the preview now. The manipulation gets more fine-tuned, so you won’t see it coming but then it will be like you got hit with a log. Good luck!”

So let the commiserating begin! How do you manage your kid’s terrible threes phase?

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  • Trish Adkins
    October 29, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    On any given weekday, you can find mothers of girls in the box of wine aisle.

    • Lindsay
      October 29, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      #girlmoms #winos

    Connect!