I feel blessed. With my first two babies, for some reason; we never experienced the terrible twos. My daughter Addy was able to communicate clearly from a very young age and she would understand logic and reasoning. My son Reeves was just an easy going and happy kid who didn’t really have meltdowns. So when My 3 year old, Dallin hit the terrible twos a little early (over achiever much?); I was blindsided.
Then When he turned three and became a tiny teenager, it knocked me on my butt. The term Threenager, perfectly describes him.
The end of the world came without notice or warning. A simple oversight, such as forgetting to close a cupboard door would set off an epic meltdown. Today he wants the “lellow” cup but tomorrow he will cry uncontrollably for the blue. That normal child sized spoon I just handed him, will ultimately be my demise. He wanted the serving spoon. If his brother has something, he wants it. And patience is not in his vocabulary. The car seat buckle is too tight, it’s not right enough; I put it up too high. It’s like walking through a minefield. You can try to tread lightly and carefully, but there are always hidden dangers. It is exhausting.
There is hope though. The older he gets and the more I learn to choose my battles, we have learned to live mostly harmoniously. I remind myself often that this tiny teenager will eventually learn to control his emotions. As long as I keep appropriate boundaries, he will learn that the world does not revolve around him. The last thing we need in this world is another self centered and entitled human. My sanity is important also, so learning to pick my battles will save me from a trip to the looney bin. As inviting as that seems some days, I’m needed here.
So to the mom with a little dictator in their home, have no fear. It doesn’t last forever. I know my feels hopeless and like we are fighting a war that can’t be won, but there is a light at the end of this very long and dark tunnel. You and your child will survive this. If you are lucky enough to go through early childhood unscathed, and you see a mom in the grocery store with a screeming Threenager; buy her a candy bar and tell her she is amazing.