3 Going on Thirteen

Wow. Someone once told me that three was worse than two. I didn’t believe them. I thought I’d gotten off scot free on those “terrible twos”. RE was an awesome two year old: inquisitive, clever, funny, entertaining, eager to please. But at three? And only a month into it? I’m going insane. Most days, she’s still RE, and is clever and fun and engaging. But others, like today, I’m not so sure who’s in there. She’s like a whole different person. And I know that it’s developmental, and that she’s exercising her independence, testing limits, and seeing how far she can push me, but man, it’s hard!

Each moment, it’s like a test, and I have to wonder if I’m passing or failing. As I’m the one home with her all day, it’s mostly up to me (during the day at least) to deal with the doling of discipline, and the celebrations of successes. It’s hard to know what’s right though…am I letting her win if I’ve threatened to call off a play date and she’s responded that she didn’t want to go anyway, and I do call it off? Or would it be more of a punishment to make her go? And is it worth the fight getting her into clean clothing (that she didn’t sleep in last night) to force her to get in the car and go play? When all she really wants to do is play dollies at home with mommy? And then, I get to feel horribly guilty for clearly doing too much, and not allowing for time to “just be” and play dollies with mommy.

Like anything that’s worthwhile, parenting is tough stuff. Most days, you walk a tightrope, trying so hard to stay on, stay balance, not lose your cool, because if you do, you’ll fall off, and no one wants to fall off. But, on those rare moments that you can see the other side, or that you actually get to the other side, the high is not something you can explain to anyone who hasn’t parented a child. Seeing your kid “get it” is priceless. Much like the first time your baby uses a potty, or returns a sign to you, or says “mama” or “dada” when you walk into a room, the rewards are endless. As is the challenge. But, that’s half the fun, isn’t it?

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One thought on “3 Going on Thirteen

  1. 3 can be SO fun…and SO not. They really do start testing the limits. Aden was the same way. A lovely, cherubic 2-year-old, and then 3 going on 13, attitude to spare.It’s like all of a sudden they realize they are hot stuff and a big enough to do things on their own. I also noticed that it got worse with milestones, like preschool. Aden went through a phase the first week or two of school (PreK AND K) where he listened to absolutely nothing we said. It is very frustrating. But they are learning and growing, and while there is no “winning” against a 3yo, being consistent is key. They will learn the cause-and-effect – you do x, y will happen, etc. The fun part is the learning and growing at this stage is SO amazing to see. Every day she will learn something new! Good luck; call me if you need me!

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