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Life with a Threenager

Saturday, 7 April 2018  | 

Life with a Threenager          

As (naive) first time parents we heard a lot about the dreaded terrible twos. We had so many thoughtful members of family and friends warn us that our adorable toddler was going to become a monster the moment he turned two.           

As his second birthday approached there was a real mix of emotions. Our baby was no longer going to be a baby and we would spend the next year of his life in parenting hell trying to calm his snot filled rages.        

He turned two. Nothing happened. Each month that went by we awaited the tantrums, defiance, fussy eating, refusing to sleep in his own bed but nothing.                   

Now, I am keeping it real and can confirm he tested our patience on numerous occasions, just not to the level we had been so kindly warned about. He may have spent many hours using my furniture like he was in training for the next series of ninja warrior, but he was a manageable with only a small hint of monster.         

As his third birthday approached we smugly told people how easy we’d found the terrible twos. Our boy did not tantrum. He went to bed went he was told and even ditched dummies without any real confrontation. Potty training had been a bit of a challenge, but I will save ‘poo gate’ for a future blog.        

So, there we were! Nearly 3 and we were safe. We were through that awful year of parenting. The terrible twos were over, and we were winning at raising the mini human.        

That brings us to the big 3. Nothing to fear here right? Wrong, so so wrong. He completely changed, almost overnight. We now spend numerous evenings putting him back to bed which either results in laughing in our face while trashing his room or shouting about the gorilla/spider/dinosaur in his room. The gorilla features quite heavily in our day to day life, usually while he’s pretending to be the Incredible Hulk and randomly throwing objects across the room to get said gorilla.        

Then there’s the word no, a word we now hear 500 times a day, usually alongside the phrases ‘you do it’ or ‘I’m too little’. Oh, and even more irritating is the word ‘nope’ which he projects with more sass than a teenager!

He has also developed the inability to pick up any object off the floor without serious negotiation and an agreement to split the workload. I mean the kid has negotiation skills to rival a top Barrister. He’s also recently developed a passion for throwing things across the room, which tend to narrowly avoid his baby sisters head (poor daddy was the lucky target for the plastic burger bun tonight).     

Now when I meet friends at soft play it is with sheer dread. I’m now the mother of the awful kid who pushes other kids out of the way and makes them cry. I spend the whole time we’re there doing the mummy walk of shame to find out why the kid stood next to him is crying. In fact, I already know why they’re crying because I can tell by the look on the threenagers face. I can see the other mums giving me judgemental looks as I clamber the huge slide to capture him.  At that moment I’m questioning if I’m now raising a thug. What if he becomes a criminal? What have we done that is so wrong? where are we going wrong? is there something wrong with him? Perhaps it was too many jelly beans or treats at the toy shop? Why is it always my kid?

Another big change we’ve noticed in the last few weeks is that he’s needing a lot of reassurance. There’s lots of ‘you come with me mummy’ ‘mummy watch this’ ‘mummy I can’t do it’ (interchange mummy/daddy). Of course, we are now balancing encouragement of his independence and reassurance that we’re there and he’s doing a good job but it’s challenging.

In reality we’ve no idea what we’re doing with this. I’m taking each day as it comes and trying not to be a shouty mum, which some days I fail at miserably. When extracting jelly beans from his nose, following numerous warnings about not putting thing up there, I’m trying to keep my cool. It’ tricky though and far harder than I had imagined life with a 3-year-old to be.

He can push us right to the edge of sanity before doing something adorable which reminds us why 3-year olds are so amazing to have around. He knows how to turn on the charm, usually by telling us he loves me very much! Which at least confirms that he is not completely void of emotions and empathy.        

So how did we conquer it? Have we come out the other side? The answer is that we’re still in the thick of it. Winging it every day. Some days he’s the adorable angel and others I’m counting down to bedtime from 6am. He has only been 3 for 7 (long long) weeks. The next 10 months are going to be a rollercoaster I can already tell!     

To add some balance there are good times and plenty of them. Numerous times a day I’m amazed by something he says, a fact he has learnt or a picture he has drawn. I feel my heart swell with pride watching him balance on a beam at gymnastics. Then just like that I offer Dino Paws instead of YO-YO bears and the threenager reappears.          

So, the point in the blog? It’s a shout out to those going through the same. To those who are yet to reach this stage I wish you good luck!  

I’ll sure to keep you updated on the trials and tribulations of the threenager over the coming months.

 

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