Life with a Threenager

Posted on | August 1, 2013 | 19 Comments

No one really warned me about three.

I mean, I’d heard about the “terrible twos” and I’d had people jokingly tell me that the three’s were worse but no one really told me what that MEANT. See, at two, your kid is still sort of smallish. They are easily picked up and deposited in places and if you’re lucky, they still have a crib they haven’t learned to crawl out of.  At two, they don’t quite make complete sentences all the time and when they do, the words are usually a little wrong like “mine” instead of “me” or “she” instead of “he.” So when they rebel against you, it’s sort of like watching a kitten attack a great dane… it’s annoying, but ultimately it doesn’t really do much damage.

But at three.

Oh my GOD at three.

Well, now we’re really a lot closer to four and I see no end in sight for the drama that is my child.  Everything is epic… from brushing his teeth to eating dinner at the table. And don’t get me started on shower time.

Yesterday, my child told me he hated me four times. FOUR TIMES.  When he gets mad, he storms off to his room, screams over his shoulder “I AM NEVER PLAYING WITH YOU AGAIN” and slams his door.  Even his compliments come out tinged with meanness… the other night, he told me if I didn’t turn around so he could see my “beautiful face” he was going to punch me.  There’s not enough booze on the planet to deal with crap like that, I promise you.

It’s like living with a teenager; a small, tyrannical dictator, hyped up on no sleep and self-created sugar… like Kim Yong Il on crack.  His voice goes up an octave, his face turns red, and he screams with all the force of an angry T-Rex when he decides that I’m not giving him whatever it is he wants at the particular time he wants it.

Yesterday it was fruit snacks for breakfast.  The “no” he got drove him into an all out frenzy of hatred towards me where he said he hated me, would never play with me again, and would definitely never even look at me again because I’m not fair and mean and hell, probably ugly and fat, too.  To say that parenting through this stage is exhausting would be like saying swimming the English Channel is mildly difficult. I feel like I’ve got a whirling dervish coming at me at all times and I honestly don’t know if I should laugh, cry, punish, or just back away slowly.

Everyone says four is better.

Four comes in 21 days.  Please pray I can make it that long.



19 Responses to “Life with a Threenager”

  1. Melanie Burton
    August 1st, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    I would take a 2 year old over a 3 year old ANY day of the week. They may be called the terrible 2’s, but the 3’s should come with warning labels and ample amounts of alcohol and Valium. Puberty is not as bad as the 3’s were. I have 2 teenagers. Give me the moody teenager that refuses to talk to me.

  2. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    Seriously. I could take a little silent treatment right about now.

  3. Ray Haupt
    August 1st, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    I enjoyed this! I have two at two and you have helped prepare me for what is to come!

  4. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    Oh you’re in for it, “Mr. Belding!” 🙂

  5. Roxanne Piskel
    August 1st, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    We bypassed the terrible twos and threes and I had to deal with the f*cking fours. So since 3 is so bad, I’m sure 4 will be MUCH better.

    Or I’ll have to send you several bottles of wine…

  6. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    I hope so! I really, really hope so. Otherwise we may move to a vineyard. More cost-effective.

  7. smpridgen
    August 1st, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    AMEN! Roxy turns 4 in September and this year has by far been the most challenging. I’ve wished I could go back to twos a lot lately.

  8. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2013 @ 11:09 am

    Oh the joy of two. So much nicer than this …. three crap. BUT it’s almost behind us. Almost.

  9. smpridgen
    August 1st, 2013 @ 11:14 am

    Rox’s comment makes me dread what may be in store next 🙂

  10. NinjaPanza
    August 1st, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    I’m with you, hoping the fours are better. They just HAVE to be, because I cannot deal with one more crying fit over which toys are OK for the bathtub and which are not.

  11. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

    We have that SAME fight!!!

  12. Noelle
    August 1st, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

    Oh, this makes me feel better to see others deal with the same thing! I’ve “heard” it gets better at 4… but that’s what I heard about 3 as well! We sometimes call our 3-yr son (not to his face of course) Baby Joffrey. Anyone who watches Game of Thrones will understand. We’re “working” on using words instead of going into a crazy crying rage what seems like every other minute. If someone has a good solution to the crying, please post!

  13. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2013 @ 1:54 pm


    Do you know how many times I’ve said “Use your words, bud.”

  14. ryenerman
    August 1st, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    My kids are 6.5 years apart so Oldest was 9.5 when Youngest hit the 3s and evidently 6.5 years is long enough to completely erase from my memory the hell of 3. Sweet cracker sandwich! The defiance, the tantrums, the sudden, irrational outbursts! Youngest turned four two weeks ago and I am waiting to turn the corner. I clearly remember 4 being a good age, so I’m clinging to that.

    If it’s any consolation, Oldest no longer does most of these things (most of the time – evidently we are teetering on the edge of the Tween years with him now – I really timed things poorly 😉

  15. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    Boy did you ever time that poorly!!!

  16. KeAnne
    August 1st, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    Three was HARD. HARD. And like you, I wasn’t really prepared for it. D turned 4 in June, and 4 is better (so far), but it definitely has its own challenges! He challenges me on everything and has mastered withering condescension. Oh, and the dictator phase is still there. But you can reason with him somewhat, so it is a little better. Mostly.

  17. Jo
    August 2nd, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    Two and three were easy compared to four. Oh my, four has been bigger and louder and angrier than anything. To be fair, four at our house also involved some big changes in his life and it seemed like each of those triggered a couple months of bad behavior (regardless of whether the change was good or bad). So J may just be processing some of his big changes with new school and the boyfriend around more and losing his mind when he can’t control the little things he feels like he should be able to control. I hope all shakes out soon. I feel like I can time it to exactly 2.5 months after any big change to get my sweet boy back. Good luck!

  18. Julia
    August 6th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    GIRL. I feel the exact. same. way.
    I hate three. Our little ones must be really close in age, because we out on a less than a month countdown too. There’s got to be some kind of magic switch at 4 because living with this threenager is just plain exhausting.

  19. Michelle
    August 15th, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

    I dubbed four “the f&^$ing fours” – BUT, both of mine had no hint of “terrible twos” and three was equally a breeze. Four? Sucked ass. Badly. Brutally. Fingers crossed that since J did the traditional terrible twos/threes that four will be a breeze for you!!!!

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