My Love/Hate Relationship with the Wonderful Age of Three

01/23/2013 1:00 AM

01/21/2013 5:55 PM

When my son was 3, I was 40, pregnant, and exhausted.  Being pregnant says a lot, but my son also didn’t sleep a full night when he was three, either. We had night wakings, night terror. You name it.  We had it.

Fast forward four years, and I have a 3-year-old again. This time, I’m not pregnant.  Thank god! But I’m still exhausted mentally, if not physically. Knock on wood; we haven’t had sleep issues with our princess … yet.  And I am holding my breath on yet. But boy does she give us a run for our money with her independent streak.

I love the age of 3 because this is the age when children blossom into little preschoolers.  Children become more independent.  Diapers are a thing of the past.  Three-year-olds are learning so much, and their little personalities are developing.  Seeing new experiences through their eyes is invigorating. Three-year-olds can be so cute, but yet … so bad and so frustrating.

And that, folks, is why I hate the age of 3, too.

Every day I feel as if I am walking on eggshells, and I’m not sure what is going to set the 3-year-old off. 

If I tell her no, that she can’t paint at 8 a.m. on a weekend before I’ve had one cup of tea, watch out! I have to barricade the door because she’s grabbing her backpack and running away.

She screams for me to pause the TV so she can go potty.  She won’t go to the bathroom until I do it. If I accidentally restart the TV for her, then watch out. She may lie on the floor, cross her arms, and make my life hell for 20 minutes because she wanted to hit the pause button. Hmmmm, didn’t that just take away the purpose of letting her watch TV in the first place, so I could get something accomplished.

She has to pick out what she wants to wear and put it on herself, even if she is putting the shirt on upside down.  She will not accept help, no matter how much you want to help her.  Getting her dressed, which used to take five minutes, now takes 20 minutes.

Let’s not forget naps. What naps? She thinks naps are no longer needed and will fight me daily when I try to get her to take one. So far, she’s winning the battle on that one most days.

By bedtime, she’s so exhausted that she doesn’t want to bathe.  That’s a battle, too.

When she was 2, I thought she would never talk, and then comes the age of 3.  I can’t get silence now if I try. It’s nonstop talking.

Sometimes the conversations are enlivening, and they help me remember the best part of this challenging age in my child’s life.

She makes a great lunch partner now, and we never know what she might say because inquiring minds want to know.

“Why is pooh-pooh called No. 2?”

Yeah, you’ve got to love the age of 3.



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