When your child finally starts nudging the age of 3 and you’ve weathered the absolute horror that is the Terrible Twos, you expect – nay demand – a change.
You’ve suffered a whole year of screaming tantrums (oft times in public).
You’ve just about kept your head above water with the ‘I will absolutely NOT sit in that car seat and I’m going to turn myself into the most rigid child ever if you try’.<
You’ve weathered potty training, toy sabotage, fascination with toilets (but never to actually use them for the purpose they are intended) and food being used as target practice.
You’ve been drawn on, climbed on, shouted at, punched, bullied and manipulated.
You’ve sat in a corner and cried, you’ve blamed yourself, you’ve blamed your other half, you’ve despaired that you are the worst parent ever.<
And you await that birthday number 3 with the dull ache of expectation.
Pleeeeeaaaase let it be over soon, you’re secretly praying as you sit and watch the gentle rise and fall of your angelic child’s little chest as they slumber, a moment tinged with the guilt that you actually quite prefer them when they are sleeping.
Because it feels like it’s the only peace you ever get.
I too was that mummy. I prayed that the number 3 held magical qualities that would transform my little wild child into something more, well palatable.
It didn’t happen.
Here is what we swapped the Terrible Twos for. Not so many tantrums, it is true. But is it any better? You decide.
1. My sofa/bed/back are her own personal trampolines. If I say “please don’t jump on the furniture” she looks at me like I’ve just said “please don’t breathe.”
2. If it is switched off, it must be switched on. If it is switched on, it must be switched off. And then on again. And then off. And then on again.
3. Everything ends up in the bin. Expensive mobile phone? Go looking among the potato peelings and egg shells. Or under the bed. Basically anything that is interesting or shiny will go under my bed or in my Dora backpack. Like mummy’s wedding ring or the car keys.
4. Paper is too small a medium for my art. What’s bigger than paper? Hmm, this wall here . . .
5. I am 3. I know fashion. If I want to wear my party dress over my pyjamas with my wellies and my Harry Potter dressing up glasses there is nothing you can do or say that will make me change. If you make me change I will put my swimming costume on with my rain mac.
6. I don’t have time to wipe my bottom/flush the toilet/wash my hands. However, I will always sweetly tell you I have wiped my bottom/flushed the toilet/washed my hands.
7. Walking in the room to find she’s climbed on top of a beanbag which is balancing on top of a kitchen chair and she’s standing there precariously on one foot while reaching for my mobile phone (which she is obviously planning to put in the bin).
8. Everyone and everything is “an idiot”.
9. The first sightings of a roll of the eyes and a big fat ‘oh for heaven’s sake’ sigh.<
10. That voice she uses in the playground? The one that can cut glass and make your ears bleed? Best used first thing in the morning to wake mummy. Works every time.