In the throes of three.

Folks, I have a confession: the Peach is TESTING ME.

Everybody talked about the terrible twos–but for me it is the threes. My sweet, perfect little two year old has been replaced with a little person who has a mind of her own and wants things HER WAY. I think I might get that popular book,  Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy–if not for the title alone.

Another freaky thing going on with the Peach is that her moods turn so quickly that I swear I’m about to get whiplash.

Sometimes, the smallest thing will unhinge her.

And no, I didn’t give her any wine. Even when she said, please.

Speaking of please, I miss it so.  It used to be her favorite word. So happy that when she used it, she would be rewarded with what she wanted most of the time. But recently she has turned into a demanding little lady.  The perfect manners that I crammed into her little brain at 18 months are often replaced with demands. For example:

“Mama, I want some water!”

“Can you say that in a nicer way?”

“MayIpleasehaveaglassofwater, MAMA.”

That conversation happens about a half dozen times a day. I remember reading an interview with Helena Bonham Carter, who said she based her character, the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland movie, on her three year old daughter.  I remember being appalled at the time. Now I feel Helena and I could have a good old time chatting about it over a nice cocktail.

The Peach constantly let’s us know that she is a BIG GIRL. And that big girls can do a lot of things.  Like drive cars, cross the street by themselves, stay up late, and apparently eat a lot of cupcakes. Every day.

But she’s still my little girlie, holding onto my leg when she meets someone new.  A bit shy, but soon giggly and sweet.

She is more contemplative now that she’s three–enjoying some activities alone, like painting or sitting and reading books for a half hour or so.

The Peach cherishes her friends. She loves laughing and giggling and playing with them for hours on end.  She truly loves her little friends. And loves us too. Her heart is big and you feel her uncensored love and concern for people other than herself. She is happiest holding someone’s hand. I especially enjoy it when I’m the other hand.

Three is a the funny age. I think the Peach is going through some mental as well as physical growth spurt.  All this new stuff is just brewing in her and she can’t process it other than in the most basic of emotions.  It’s tough being a kid.  All I know is that it will probably pass. And too soon.  I’m sure in a few years, I’ll be reminiscing about this time and missing it so.

How was your kiddo at three? And tips, tricks, reminisces to share?

20 thoughts on “In the throes of three.

  1. Ingrid was the same way! She just turned four on Saturday so I’m hoping things calm a bit! I always assumed it had to do with getting a baby brother and starting school but I guess it’s just her growing. The Peach is so adorable with her long hair and bangs 🙂 hope you guys can manage this phase gracefully. I’m afraid I probably was not that good at it. I’m a yeller if I don’t watch it…

  2. Oh I can soooo relate! My daugther turned 3 in March. It was h – e – double hockey sticks for a while and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I read this book and have been following their techniques – truly things have turned around. I’m able to calm her down fairly quickly without getting to the tantrum point and she is staying calmer all the way around. I highly recommend this book! Also – just had to say my daughter also wants everything her way and wants to be a big girl but she won’t give up her diapers! Giving us quite the run for our money in the potty department. I need that glass of wine!

    1. I agree about using some of the techniques from this book! They helped me with my almost three year old and lowered my stress level SO much. I don’t follow the love and logic stuff to a tee but there are LOTS of great ideas in this book!

  3. Peachie’s got six months on Eliza and I’m already noticing these Cambrian language leaps–full sentences, every time, repeating my words carefully so she remembers, ordering around her sister in full sentences (“Gilli, don’t go up the stairs!”). But I’m especially treasuring the ability to order HER around. I can say things like “throw that away” and “bring me your plate” and “Can you hand me Gillian’s diaper?” and she DOES it. It’s like magic.

    But the mood swings… holy! And the screaming just doesn’t get any quieter with bigger lungs, does it?

  4. this is pretty much what Leo is going through right now, except he is only 2. i wonder if this is supposed to last until…well, i don’t even know if there is an expiration date on that kind of behavior? he is still very sweet and tender and cute but man, he wants to do everything like a big boy allll by himself (if i want to help, i get a big NO MAMA, LEO DO IT) and even though i think it’s pretty awesome that he wants his independance, the way he expresses himself is kinda rude sometimes. i guess we have to remind ourselves how little they are in this big world… and that they are just trying to fit in!

  5. I’ve heard other parents say the same thing… celebrate passing two with their hair still attached to their head, thinking to themselves, “that wasn’t so bad”… until their child turns three… and you’re pulling your hair out and cursing all the people that made two out to be the miserable age. My boy is 18 months, so I have no advice for you… but I will certainly be keeping in mind that a good 2 year old does not equal a good 3 year old 😉 I’ve save my patience for the third year. Your Peach is adorable and I like that you highlighted the good with the bad, because it’s always going to be a push and pull. Best of luck and keep us all tuned to what works in the difficult times ;)… even if the answer is just more wine!!

  6. This sounds a lot like us. I don’t know if age helps or boy vs girl but we have a two year old, Miss P going on 15 telling me the things she can do, which is pretty much everything. And then a now 4 year old who’s sure he can do everything dad can do too. Double trouble over here and I’ve had to mention a few times we ” you can’t do that” which makes me feel like I’m putting them down about things but it all is for their best interest at part. I’m not to sure when it get better but if you find out I’m all ears. Oh and we have the “I can cut with a huge knife” or better yet “dad says I can use the garage saw” thing over here too 😉

    1. “dad says I can use the garage saw” — classic! It’s hard, because I want to keep my kid as unafraid of new stuff as possible without giving her wine (another classic), but there’s no way I’m letting her cross the street without holding my hand, for example. Although maybe I should soon – she’s 4 and a half. Yikes. And yes, I see the teenager gleaming out of Molly’s eyes. Good thing she’s so cute.

  7. This was so much fun to read. No, let me change that to : fun to look at. That little girl of yours is simply breathtakingly beautiful! I think you answered yourself really well, by pointing out all the things you love about your girlie!.When she gets to be pre-school age and Kindergarten you will enjoy her so much. Its a wonderful age coming your way. We are in the middle of Wolfies and we just love his personality at age 8! Many years of fun are ahead of you, until: the dreaded pre- teen years! haha

  8. there were times i thought truman was possessed (he used to hit me!), looking back now i see that he was just 3. this may not be at all helpful, but 5? 5 has been magic. not that we don’t have our days, because we do but 3-5 (i know, i’m sorry!) was a CHALLENNNNNGE. harry’s turning 3 soon so god help us all. i saw this sign on pinterest recently that said “remember, your child is not giving you a hard time, he is having a hard time” and it seriously changed my life. whenever i need to keep my cool i try and remember this, especially with harry lately. all that being said. that peach? dollface. doll. face. and can i just say that any parent (or god forbid non-parent) who judges a kid or a mom in any situation can just bite me? i always look at the gawkers and think “yeah, because i am SURE you’re just a JOY to be around at ALL TIMES yourself.” thank you.

  9. Were in the same boat here. Mine just turned 3 in March. Mood swings galore! One minute we are best friends, the next minute she’s screaming and in tears. Level 0-100 in a blink of an eye. There’s no in-between right now. I really like Lishy’s quote above. It makes sense and I try to remember this when things are difficult. My one strategy that seems to help, is the louder she gets, the quieter I get. I wait it out before trying to impart any wisdom on her. 3 is challenging, but also such a amazing time!

  10. Jeebers. We are right there with you. My wee one is 2 1/2. I do think it’s a growth spurt thing too. She’s been extra fidgety and can’t sit still worth a darn. And wouldn’t you know that she’s also recently become obsessed with the Disney princesses (much to my dismay). If her level of entitlement goes any higher, I’m calling another family meeting…!!! Hang in there, mama. 😉

  11. yep. we had a terrible 3s. and you know, its still kind of going on for us… we find diffusing the situation when they’re on that knife edge between roaring and giggling REALLY helps. but big big emotions and small people = a tough journey.

  12. I don’t have any little ones yet but my nephew is three and going through the same thing. My brother and his wife seem like people who haven’t slept in a thousand years. My nephew has mood swings galore and I think that they’re just hoping that they’ll still like him by the time that it’s all done. : )

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