The Case of the Three Year Old

Oliver, sleeping off a hard morning of being three!

What is it about three-year-olds?

Why are they such stinkers?

Don’t get me wrong, I adore and love each of my children with my entire heart and soul, but when they turn three, something overtakes my small ones, and they become… difficult (to put it mildly).

The littles in my home remain in this state of…difficultness.. for a year, maybe eighteen months, when they then emerge from their grumpy, disobedient, obstinate cocoons into nice, mostly pleasant little gentlemen again.

I’m in the thick if “three” right now with the one we call Oliver. He is a sweet gentle boy most of the time. But, like the little girl, with the little curl. when he decides to be..difficult… he does it thoroughly.

“Oliver, please get out of the baby’s chair.”

*cricket cricket*

“Oliver out of the baby’s chair, NOW!”

*cricket cricket*

“OLIVER! I’m going to count to three then straight to your bed! OUT NOW! 1…2…”

“OKAY! FINE!” he roars. Then complies, whilst wailing loudly for all to hear.

I get that at this age they are coming into themselves, discovering that they have valuable opinions that only rarely match up with their Elders’, but why do they feel the need to rebel about everything?

I am kind, I offer choices ala Love and Logic, I am stern, I am funny, I am mean, I am loud, I am quiet.

I can not win!

Oh three years old. You are befuddling!


Morgan writes of the joys and pains of mothering five little ones. She’s currently a solo-mom while in the process of moving the entire herd to New Hampshire from Utah. It’s a good life. Come visit The Ing Family.

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  • Anonymous

    I hate the threes! People tried to tell me the twos were bad, the whole “terrible twos” thing is crap. It’s the retched threes that get me. All four of my children have turned into miniature Donald trumps at three, whining, and yelling, and thinking their hair actually looks good like “THAT!” Fortunately my youngest just turned 4 yesterday so I am on my downward battle with the retched threes. Thank the heavens!
    -Andrea