The Joys of the Threenager

Everyone has heard the term “terrible two’s” to describe toddlers. New parents tend to dread that age because of this term and when it comes, it’s all, “Ok, this is challenging but I can handle it. I can do this!” But, then the child turns three.


With my kids, I felt like I was blindsided. My son is not a neurotypical child so each stage was a bit harder compared to other kids. When he was three I was convinced that no one in the world could possibly have it harder than I did. Then he finally turned four and actually started to calm down a tiny bit. The older he gets, the more easy going my son becomes. It’s still a struggle, but I started to think I was out of the woods on the hardest stage. I forgot one thing though.

It was my daughters turn to turn three. After surviving that stage with an autistic little boy, I figured my neurotypical little girl would be a breeze. At two, my princess was a strong, independent little thing. She loved everyone, loved being the center of attention and just oozed joy with every step she took. She stole hearts wherever we went and lived up to her nickname of Angel.

But now, move out of the way! Queen Elsa coming through! Half the time she is a dainty princess, and half the time she is a feisty superhero. She wrestles with her very sensitive and nonviolent brother(even gave him a black eye once. Check that one out.) She talks back to her daddy and I and doesn’t care about consequences. Nothing fazes her, and nothing scares her. She is loud, she is mighty, and she is driving me crazy! But the worst part… In public, she’s this perfect, sweet little thing. Every time I leave the house, people gush about how cute, how sweet, how polite she is. And I’m just standing there clenching my teeth, giving her the death stare as she bats her eyes at yet another admirer. I’m sure she finds it entertaining.


But one thing I think all sassy little threenagers have in common, is that once they’ve driven you to the edge and you are just about to jump into crazy town, they will turn you to mush. All of a sudden she will just yell, “Mommy!” and rush to me with arms outstretched, eager to give me big hugs, a kiss and sometimes even, “My mommy, I luv you so much.” When she can tell I’m upset, she will sit on my lap and give me hugs and kisses, grab my face and tell me she loves me. When the kids are fighting, they always apologize to each other and give hugs and kisses. It’s enough to melt the coldest of hearts.

Kids are the worst sometimes. But sometimes they’re also the best. It’s a damned good thing they’re cute.

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