I have yet another threenager in my house. I felt smug that my kids appeared to bypass the dreaded ‘terrible twos’ that everyone talks about, I naively thought that that was the worst stage as everyone talks about it so much. But no, the worst stage for me has been, and still is the threenager. Symptoms include serious sass and attitude followed by fits, crying over the smallest thing and did I mention the rage?!
I’m supposed to be at work whilst dad has the kids today but I’ve just popped upstairs to my flat to find my threenager rolling around on the floor screaming and sobbing - I live above where I work so the proximity is close! - when I asked her what the matter was she says that she doesn't know, when I asked her to think about it and try to and explain what the matter was she said that she still didn't know, when I said that that was ok she screamed that it was not ok! I can only surmise that I have somehow made the whole thing worse by pointing out to her that she doesn't know what the hell the matter is and that this has incensed her further and realistically it is best that everyone evacuate immediately.
Second guessing the hysterics of a 3 year old is impossible they are like a live grenade waiting to go off at any point, you never know when it will happen, what will trigger it or how you can diffuse it. When, like me you are on your second go of the threenager, you are a little prepared but things can be going along so well and then BAM the pin is out and there is no going back. Has anyone ever succeeded in putting that pin back in?!?!?
Yesterday we had a glorious walk in the sunshine with Jess the Crocker Spaniel we are dog sitting for F&N’S grandparents. Half way through I turn around and find the threenager laying on the floor declaring that she can’t walk any more and that we have to be at home immediately…we were 2 miles from home..I was alone with 2 kids and a dog….I was quite simply screwed!
I am sure that the threenager is not just a phenomenon in my household there are others out there but no one seems to talk about the curse of the threenager, I mean are there even any books that discuss this phenomenon?
One reason for this must be that the older your kids get the less time you have to overanalyse what you and they are doing. There is no time to leisurely read a book on the many changeable behavioural aspects of your children. If I have time to read I will personally be reading a book of my own choice thats for sure - who wants to spend the whole day parenting to then spend any down time reading about parenting? I want to escape to a world of fiction to dull the senses and relax! And as the kids get older society believe that you should know what you are doing I mean you're out of the scary newborn phase you've had two kids surely you know what you're doing by now???
My problem is that I never truly feel like an adult, I never think that what I am doing is right and I feel that surely everyone else knows how to parent and adult better than me?! In my head i’m still a teenager making a mess of everything and just hoping for the best. I have found however that the joy of parenting is that most parents I encounter feel the exact same way, they question everything, wonder if they are doing the right thing and hoping that their decisions don't mess their kids up too badly. I have never met a parent that is like ‘yeah i’m nailing this, I am on top of life and bloody winning’ (to be honest if I ever meet a parent like that I will be avoiding them at all costs!) So when my hormonal, crazy threenager has these episodes I take solace in the fact that most of the parents I know can match, or even better my worst days, we can bask in our inability to get things right. I also look at my slightly older child who has come out the other side of the threenanger and survived (just!) and know that all these phases are food for the soul and ultimately my inspiration for fluffy blog posts like this.
When my threenager erupts I try to remember what other parents have told me about their own crazy broods and I try to smile in the face of the rage, so whatever crazy stage you are in remember someone else (probably me) has had a worse stage. Whatever feelings of failing you have with parenting, rest assured someone else has felt it too (also me) , and remember that raising these mad little humans is never going to be easy but my goodness it is bloody fun!