There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Three is tough.
Three is really tough.
I had been told that the terrible twos had nothing on the horrible threes, but I had no idea how rough it was going to be.
A perfect family outing can turn sour in the blink of an eye.
A pleasant dinner can end in tears and refusal to eat before you have a chance to say, “please pass the pepper”.
Quiet snuggle time and stories at bedtime can lead to World War III.
Three year old’s can be unruly, unpredictable and unwavering.
They are loud and throw animalistic temper tantrums over minutia.
They are cheeky and disrespectful, cunning and quick.
One minute cute and adorable, engaging and fun and the next he’s the Terminator and out for blood.
From the day he turned three, Lucas, an already very willful child, became a professional terror, especially when temperatures are on the rise, a nap hasn’t been had, he has an empty tummy or has heard the word “no” one too many times.
His father and I became professional negotiators, peace keepers, patience seekers and silent 1 to 10 counters. We are a good team and can tell when the other needs a break.
Time outs, taking toys and other privileges away don’t always work. Neither does yelling. Yelling always makes it worse.
Sometimes we give in.
Sometimes we become short order cooks or we gather our belongings and get up and leave with a kicking and screaming child batting us in the head, we have long discussions about behavior and patience with both one another and our son. We try to teach Lucas what is acceptable and what is not, right from wrong and are learning to say “no” with finesse.
We fall into bed each night exhausted, pray that we made the right choices and are parenting as best as we can and have high hopes that tomorrow is a better day.
Every now and then, but more often than not, we receive heartfelt apologies from our sweet boy, tender “I love you’s” full of remorse and it makes all the horrid worthwhile.