She’ll be four in February so I thought I’d better get this posted while she’s still, technically, a Threenager!
For those of you who don’t know what this is….a threenager is a three year old who has the energy level of a preschooler, with the attitude of a teenager. As you can see from many of the expressions in the above collage, Twix has mastered covering a variety of teenage attitudes. This covers a range which includes, but is not limited to, sweet, sassy and obstinance.
Things we enjoy while in the presence of a threenager are answering incessant “why” questions…..and I do mean in.cess.ant. The most fun time to do this is in the car…especially while I’m driving in traffic. She can arrive in the morning wearing a combination of spring, summer and winter clothing. Individualism runs deep in a threenager. And I know Mama has let her select her outfit because she has other things to do rather than fight with a threenager over wardrobe choices.
With the attention span of a gnat, she flits from activity to activity to activity to activity……….covering at least 10 activities all before lunchtime! Some days it’s all I can do to keep up with her until nap time…that coveted two-hour time span when I don’t have to respond to minute-by-minute questions and commentary!
And the tantrums have risen to epic proportions. It could be because she was told she cannot eat candy before noon…regardless of how adept she thinks she is at negotiating a compromise. And who would have thought choosing sock color could be so stressful? Or that my selection of the Rapunzel cup over the Arial cup might end life as we know it. And, heaven forbid I pour apple juice in it instead of grape juice. In fact, while I’m writing this, we’re having a power struggle…complete with a full-blown whinefest…over being hungry despite the fact she’s had breakfast and a snacks already…and it’s barely 10:00am.
But, I’ve discovered over the decades of raising children that meeting rage with rage simply doesn’t solve anything in the long run. Continually raising the decibel level of my voice when responding to chaos isn’t good for anyone…especially me. That’s not to say Twix is not disciplined when her insistence and rage is inappropriate. Establishing boundaries for a threenager are essential….or that threenager just might grow into something toxic you really don’t want to deal with in a few years.
So, I carefully choose which mountains to die on with my battles. I embrace this time, knowing time is an illusion and fleeting, and she will not be young forever. I’ll look at her when she’s falling asleep for her nap and see a beautiful child without flaws. I will encourage her to celebrate her curiosity, sense of wonder and accomplishments. I will try to nurture her spirit as well as her mind.
And then we’ll send her to preschool!