At some point every day, without rhyme or reason, my son goes from his fun-loving tickle-monster self to some kind of multiple-personality villain, or as my husband likes to refer to it as: being a little prick.
Let’s see here… Defiance, rebellion, incessant whining. Taunting, scheming and little white lies. Random acts of violence, dramatic outbursts, and tears of despair. All around heavy mood swings and, my personal favorite, selective hearing. (But that’s maybe cause he’s a man…)
All of the emotions. All of the time. Apparently, THIS is the Threenager, and he’s hanging out for a while. (Tell me they get less annoying and not more? #askingforafriend)
We managed to inexplicably escape the “terrible two’s”, and emerge from his second year of life fairly unscathed. Yeah he was disagreeable, but we didn’t ever experience what is now a full on battle in the boardroom with Boss Baby and his daily negotiation strategy.
When did he get to be such a smart ass? And when the hell did he get so emotionally unstable? Also, WHEN DID HE PERFECT THE EYE ROLL? (It’s very real by the way). I’m thinking, he’s got no right to be a cranky asshole after a two hour nap, while being served an array of fruit and choosing a Netflix show. I’m the one running a Five Star over here; I should be the cranky asshole.
A few things I’ve recently heard from the mouth of my mini, who is clearly consumed by things that make the most use of our time:
– I’m annoying. You’re annoying.
– It’s not interesting this food.
– Ok you need to relax babe.
– I’m cutting you off.
– I want to go outside but I don’t want to get dirty.
– It’s not an option. Babe.
– I’m tired. Because my penis is tired.
– You’re a disaster.
– I’m gonna go naked. With my nipples.
– I cannnnn’t. I just can’t.
– I don’t like rainbows.
– I have water. You have wine.
– THAT’S ALL I WILL SAY.
– I’m holding my penissssss.
– I have a plan. You have to listen to my plan.
– This park is too messy for me.
– I’m mad. I am NOT happy.
– Don’t look at me!!
– I’m not gonna stay in bed. I’m telling you.
– I’m gonna kick you. You’re bad Mama.
– I’m upset.
– I don’t want to go anywhere.
– I’m gonna hold your hand so you can focus.
– Can you just snuggle me today?
– I don’t want to talk. It’s a bad mood.
– Nobody touch me.
– I love you.
My responses typically fall along the lines of:
– Ok buddy.
– Sounds good.
– Go to your room right now and cry about it there. YOU DO NOT SMASH SOMEONE IN THE FACE WITH A TRANSFORMER!
– You can dive into a swimming pool but act like I’m torturing you when we rinse your shampoo? Relax.
– I am NOT happy right now by the way.
– Ok don’t eat then. Not my problem.
– Go cry about it in your room. Again.
– Aw, I love you dude… come. Let’s snuggle.
SO – what to do when you’re in a threenager-induced shit storm of an irrationality? (Besides drowning in some kind of digestif and smoking your medicine dry)? I TRY to remember, it’ll end one day and although I’ll be relieved he’s not breaking my balls as much any more, I’ll ironically miss it too. I’ll miss little him.
This is at least what I like to tell myself so I don’t fly off the handle and get more wrinkles on my forehead. These skin care products are getting expensive AF.
So what to do when you are suddenly living with Mr Mood? I’ve decided to let him navigate all the crazy feels he’s having, and teach some kind of a decent response.. that’s pretty much all I can do. It also helps to know this is just another phase – just like every one before it, and every one after it.
I’ve also chosen not to take it personally, and therefore every encounter is taken with a grain of salt – which helps. But just to be clear, I’m sure as hell not standing by and doing nothing. Better believe there’s always a moment where you gotta lay down the law, I just gotta get better at the whole consequences thing. I’m working on it.
If you’re going through this same deal, just remember: It’s not personal. It’s Threenager business.
And if you are in the same boat and about 3+ years in, you’re likely pretty skilled at holding your tongue and not letting bullshit things get to you, but in case you have no patience, I say to you: internalize the storm brewing inside you because if you totally lose your shit, it’ll only give the little spawn something to copy later. Read: It’ll undoubtedly bite you in the ass.
I say to you – remain calm. There’s no point in flying off the handle, it’s counterproductive and will just throw the little assholes into a bigger spin. If you need to, by all means raise your voice and be firm, but when you lose control (ie: an actual vein pops when you yell), it works in no-ones favour. Especially your poor vein who doesn’t need that kind of drama.
I’ll also say – Don’t bother with empty threats, they see right through that shit and are ridiculing you in their minds before you even get to the punch line. Have follow through and hold them accountable to the consequences, otherwise you may as well lay out like a doormat while someone stomps on your face and laughs.
Most importantly, take your Threenager with a grain of salt. Don’t let it get to you and ruin your day.
If your kid is having an epic meltdown because you served his popcorn the wrong way, just explain to him (while trying really really hard not to mock him by laughing) how ridiculous that actually is and move the hell on. Don’t let him rope you into a 20 minute whine fest about fucking popcorn. WALK AWAY sister, walk away.
If you can’t see the humour in your kid acting like a total jackass or saying things that are blatantly inappropriate, you’re not gonna survive. They’re just trying their darnest to be badass, but they don’t scare us. We laugh in the face of fear! MUAHAHAHAHA. *pass the Amaro*
Above all though, remember and repeat to yourself: I AM THE BOSS. If you don’t take on this role, guess who’s gonna be running this shit show?
YOU ARE THE BOSS.
YOU MAKE THE RULES.
YOU ORDER AND PAY FOR THE UBER EATS.
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