My youngest child turned three this week. For a long time, I thought the terrible twos were going to kill me with this kid. Probably because she is a precious little cupcake, baked by the devil. On her birthday, a friend congratulated me for making it through and declared that I must be so happy that the terrible twos were over.
Oh no. I’m not happy and complacent and self-congratulatory. Because I know the truth: the real challenge is just starting. I’m readying myself. I’m doing a movie-style training montage in my head because I know what’s to come.
Three is worse than two. In fact, it’s much worse, except that nobody talks about it. So for first-time parents, it comes as a huge surprise. I think it’s because you’re caught unaware that it’s so hard to deal with. You think it’s almost over, that you’ve successfully run the gauntlet of tantrums and poo-throwing and strong-willed defiance. Then as you reach the crest of the hill, convinced you’ve also reached the promise land of the preschool years, the truth hits you like a sock of quarters to the back of the head.
Three is two with practice.
For a look at the top ten reasons why three is worse than two, you can click here.
Another reason the horror of the threes is under everyone’s radar is because it doesn’t have a pithy nickname. If you’d heard of it, maybe you’d be ready for it. Here are a couple of my suggestions. Perhaps we can choose one and use it in a world-wide campaign to raise awareness of how your life is NOT going to get easier.
1. The Throw Your Hands Up Threes
2. The Year of The Rabid Howler Monkey
3. The Maybe Mommy Should Consider Yoga or Medication Threes
4. The Year of Yes, They Are Totally Doing It on Purpose
5. The Just Drink Directly from The Bottle Because You Can’t Win Threes
The good news? Four is supposed to be awesome. The bad news? Thirteen makes three feel like a vacation.