A family's story

Terrifying Threes

God help me, as Cole turns three in 3 weeks. His three-year-old antics started a long time ago, and if I make it through this next 12 month-or-so period, I am likely going to be fully gray.

I remember that three was rough with Jake. He tested us and got sassy. He had a few more tantrums. He tested boundaries. He wanted his way–always. Cole is like that, times 10.

My sweet, cherubic third-born son has gone from angelic to impish. He pushes, pushes, pushes. He writes on walls and the furniture. He won’t share. He has tantrums. These tantrums aren’t like Tate’s were….these are the “I-didn’t-get-my-way, so-you’ll-pay” variety.

Cole’s hair is in desperate need of a cut. He is days away from Hubz going all buzz-cut on him. I have had to walk out of hair cut places twice, now, with nothing to show but some sweat and tears after trying to get Cole to sit for a haircut. I think some of it is sensory, so we “practice”, but then his stubbornness kicks in, and tantrums begin.

Yesterday we went to the library. Each of the boys got to choose a DVD. Cole had to have 2. Of course. Then we went to the book section. I started to choose books for each of my boys. Tate and Jake helped choose a few books, and then they got to play a game on the computers. Cole made a beeline for the play area–as there were some new trucks.

Before I knew it, the Incredi-Cole Hulk took over. He ran, screaming, from a boy who also wanted to play, lugging a bin of toys as big as he was, with him. When I sat him down, and asked him to share, he kicked me. I told him he lost his privilege of playing, so he ran, screaming, and hid.

I picked him up, slung him over my shoulder, and we headed out. Tate and Jake checked out our books and movies, while I took Cole outside. Cole screamed for 5 more minutes before he realized that I was ignoring him. He lost that round. He sniffled quietly in the backseat until we got home.

Hubz is trying to help me out. He took Cole to the store with him last night, and encouraged me to go for a walk, by myself. I did, but I can’t help but get entwined in the spiral of Cole’s naughtiness, my frustration, and my anticipation of another day frought with battles. I need to get out of this “place”…I know I won’t do anyone any favors “here”.

As a start, I need to change my attitude. I have to be patient. I know it’s a phase, even if it is a crummy one. Today I promise myself to take it one thing at a time…and to breathe. It’s a start.

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Comments on: "Terrifying Threes" (4)

  1. For what it’s worth, it sounds like Tate and Jake did awesome at the library! I’m sorry about how difficult it’s been lately. I know the frustrations of that defiance. I’m experiencing something similar right now but it’s with the six year old! Sometimes, it’s just hard. It must be why God makes them so darn adorable- to get us through the difficult parts! ((hugs))

  2. I’ve heard the term “three-nager” used to describe them at this age… defiant, lazy, and totally self-centered. Who knew, huh?

    I guess at least we have the “wonder years” yet to look forward to!

    • *snort* Love the “three-nager”. Absolutely perfect!!! Totally borrowing that one! Yes, the wonder years are heading our way, aren’t they???

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