You’d think I’d know this from past experience. Not just because I’ve been here before as a parent, but also because this used to be my job. People used to pay me to wrangle three year olds for 8.5 hours every day.
Three year olds are tiring.
Three year olds are hard.
Three year olds have multiple personality disorder.
Three year olds are something else.
I’m sure I’ve subconsciously blocked all memory oh those hard bits and only kept memories of the good bits, other wise I’m sure there is no way I would have had another child…. let alone a fourth one. (Yes I’ll be writing this post all over again in three years time!)
But there are good bits.
That’s the odd thing… there are loads of good bits, really good bits. Moments when they are just so gosh darn cute you are sure they are simply going to burst from all the gorgeousness. Moments when they are just so lovely and so loveable your heart swells with pride at this beautiful young person you are raising.
And then, the good bits vanish, and you are left with a screaming, flailing, snotty creature that you are sure can’t possibly be related to you.
There is punching and yelling, spitting and kicking. The word ‘no!’ and ‘go away’ ring in your ears constantly. And the tears…. so many tears.
The suddenly he crawls into your lap and tells you he loves you…. and the whole Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde cycle begins again.
As hard as it is to parent a three year old, it must be just as hard to be a three year old.
To be so grown up one moment and then so little and out of control the next must be very confusing and frustrating. To be one giant vicious cycle can’t be much fun.
I am trying to remember that.
I am trying to remember that he is still little. That he is dealing with a new brother. That he is just three.
I’m trying to set firm but fair limits, because I believe he really needs them right now. He’s going to push those limits but he needs to find something strong and solid to bash up against when he does it. Even when that causes floods of heart broken tears, which it always does, then he needs to find comfort and understanding.
I’m trying to give him time. Even when he tells me he needs this in the most frustrating ways – sitting on his sisters head with his fingers in his ears while I am feeding and not able to get up and give actions to my words. Especially when he tells me in the most frustrating ways.
I’m trying to give him words. Even though most times he can not use them, hopefully one day, when his world settles down a little those words will be waiting for him.
I’m trying not to sell him on ebay….. even though I think his blonde hair and blue eyes would fetch quite a price.
And I thought two was tough!?!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
life in a pink fibro says
I hear you. Oh boy, do I hear you. The number of times every day that I say to myself ‘he’s just three’ cannot be counted. I call him my Little Big Boy. Not quite one or the other.
they are so darn cute, working with a 3 yo today I asked him a question and he said his brain didnt remember that information, I nearly fell off the chair….
Oh boy 3 yr olds ! Taking me from being frustrated to laughing hysterically all in the one day :-)
Missy Boo says
I’d consider buying him on Ebay but then I remember 3 comes before 4! And 4 is way worse than 3 ;)
Yep yep yep. Threenager in the house here.
Kristin (Wanderlust) says
It seems that every age is immensely challenging and every age is achingly beautiful. But three is especially so, isn’t it? I often try to see life through the eyes of my children; it helps me deal better with the challenging times. xo
Ohhh! Part of me thinks “oh what a little sweetheart” and then the other part of me wonders how *I* am going to deal with 2 three year olds in a years time! Eeek! I’m scared!
I too wrangle a three year old. It is utter hell isn’t it? One minute sunny, the next a rainstorm. It must be tough in that little brain but oh how I wish I understood how to smooth out the weather patterns! I have 21 month old twins and like Sharnee, I absolutely dread dealing with two of them. At the same time. argh!
Kelly B says
I’ll make you a deal. I’ll swap my cute blonde-haired-blue-eye-constantly-whinging boy for yours.
Nice to know I’m not alone.
Poor wee boy and poor mama. I am selfishly so glad that I have mamas like you to go before me so I can prepare myself for the next stage :) Of course we have just started 2 and a half, wish me luck!
Oh Kate, that last line has scared the pants off me! I’m finding 2 tough right now…..
i hear ya. the ‘terrible twos’ never happened for me, but at 3 it simply blew me away. i laughed at your last lines, after an exhausting trip through a supermarket i put my son with the goods on the carrier band and said : “i want to give this back! do i get cash or a coupon for a return?” i got an awkward silence and a shocked cashier girl and then an older chick almost cackled and said “i feel your pain! it goes on until they leave the house!” .. kids are fun.