Murphy’s Law of Parenting a Threenager


Threenagers: miniature teenagers with big attitudes and strong opinions for days.

They’ve got a mind of their own and will challenge you in ways you never expected. If you have a little one who is on the brink of threenagerhood, this might be a useful crash course in what to expect. For the rest of you who are with me, deep in the threenager trenches, let’s just all nod together in solidarity.

  1. Whatever outfit you choose for your threenager, they will immediately deem it unfit and then demand something else.
  2. The outfit your threenager requests to wear will most likely be completely inappropriate for a) the weather, b) the occasion, c) going out in public, or quite often d) all of the above.
  3. Your threenager will harass you endlessly to bring their favorite toy or stuffed animal on vacation with you. You will tell them that it’s not a good idea because it might get lost. It will get lost.
  4. Anytime you do something that can not be undone (i.e. cutting the crust off of a sandwich, donating a toy they haven’t played with in a year, etc.) your threenager will undoubtedly want it to be reversed rightthisverysecond. You will explain that you simply cannot reattach the crust on her PB&J sandwich. A meltdown will ensue.
  5. The one time you forget to ask your threenager with a bladder of steel to use the potty, they will totally pee on the floor in the middle of Old Navy.
  6. If nap time or bedtime falls directly after a meal, your threenager will suddenly become a lover of vegetables and will insist on eating every last bite on the plate in a valiant attempt at bedtime stalling, because they know you will never refuse their request for more veggies.
  7. The thing that was your threenager’s “most favorite” will no longer be their favorite when given to them by you. The mac & cheese that your threenager devoured last week will be snubbed this week.
  8. Your threenager will whine incessantly if (God forbid) you attempt to listen to “your music” in the car. #FrozenSoundtrackAllDayErrday
  9. If you have to bring your threenager with you in the stall of a public restroom, they will proceed to give a play by play of your methods to the rest of the people waiting in the restroom.
  10. Should you answer your threenager’s pressing questions about private bodily matters while out and about in public, they will continue to increase in both volume and awkwardness of their questions. (This happened to me a couple of week’s ago in a Target dressing room, where we had a very interesting conversation about nipples.)
  11. At some point or another your threenager will loudly and incorrectly guess at someone’s gender or gestational status. Sometimes both.
  12. Anytime you dare to dress your threenager in something white and/or expensive, they will immediately spill or rub a variety of messes all over themselves.
  13. The one time you decide to leave the mattress protector off of your threenager’s bed (because the dry cycle wasn’t quite done come bedtime) they will let forth a Hoover Dam’s worth of pee in their sleep.
  14. That moment your hands are covered in chicken juice as you prepare dinner is the exact moment that your threenager will injure themselves or need help wiping or some other task that requires immediate assistance.
  15. The one day out of a week when your threenager finally succumbs to the exhaustion of nap time will be the day that your neighbor decides to do a bit of mid-afternoon lawn mowing and leaf blowing.
  16. Your threenager will want to do everything “all by themselves,” but only when you’re running late and would prefer to help them along. If you ever actually need them to do something for themselves, they suddenly “just can’t.”
  17. Anytime your threenager says the words, “It’s OK, I’ll be careful!” you can safely assume a trip to the ER or a massive clean-up will ensue.
  18. If it becomes uncharacteristically quiet in the house, your threenager is probably up to something.
  19. The one day you decide to leave your stroller at home will be the one day your threenager is “soooo tired” and “really can’t walk anymore.” You will end up carrying said threenager or listening to a whole lot of whining.
  20. Your threenager will drive you crazy and leave you smitten all in the course of a single day.
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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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