Don’t worry, I’m not surprised I HAVE a Threenager, I’m just surprised she is one. Anyone who knows me (or has read some of my earlier posts) will know that my eldest daughter and I have had a somewhat rocky past. Most of her rage-induced tantrum’s stem from clothing. She HATES anything restrictive, anything remotely warm, especially wearing closed shoes. She’s a summer child who would be quite happy to run barefoot in the dirt wearing a small vest, short tights, hair unbrushed with a bit of food in it … forever.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Disclaimer: When I first wrote this post, I didn’t even know that SPD was a thing. I now do and I try every day to make her life easier.
Last winter was the hardest most frustrating soul-destroying time ever! We fought every single day basically because I needed her to dress warmly, and she didn’t want to.
At the time of writing this, she turned 5 years old during winter last year. She knew what she wanted and what she didn’t want. She was definitely too old and big to wrestle, bribe, or even reason with when she was in a rage.
Now she is five and a half years old now. I am not saying it’s over, but the improvement in her behaviour in the last six months has been amazing. Don’t get me wrong, we had a small relapse this Monday morning just gone, but by Tuesday it was over!
Prior to this, reality, she exhibited all the classic manifestations associated with ‘terrible twos’. Also the ‘threenagers’, ‘f*cking fours’, so to be fair to me I’m due a break. Apparently 7 and 8 Years old is the next hurdle, so maybe I’m off the hook with her until then. (Please pray for me?)
Whilst all this was going on, my youngest was my ‘good child’. She wore what I wanted her to, got dressed on time, ate her food, listened, slept, napped, breezed through potty training. Everything you needed when you’re dealing with ‘the other one’.
And then last month came around … OMG!
Maybe she was just late to the party, or maybe the universe decided to simply swap one for the other.
The last month has been filled with rage, anger, frustration. Whilst I am used to this behaviour from my eldest, I NEVER expected it to come from my youngest. She was meant to be the angel, the well-behaved child, the sweet one. She’s the one who remembers her manners, the one who can crawl up on anyone’s lap and give them the most heartfelt cuddle. Dare I say it, THE GOOD ONE!
It’s like I’ve been blindsided … I never saw it coming.
My girls are also completely different so I am not prepared for this. I can’t use the same tactics or reasoning as I did before. They won’t work.
Here are a few of her recent behaviour traits:
- Every request is screamed at me like I’m thick, or deaf … I don’t think she has decided which one yet.
- She refuses, point-blank refuses, to tidy up when I ask her to.
- She will NOT get out of the bath when I ask her to. No way! She will sit in there until she is good and ready to get out. I don’t have the energy to forcibly remove her either because the resulting tantrum is not worth it!
- She won’t eat anything I give her the way I give it to her. I always f*ck it up somehow – see my post earlier in the week. If you didn’t know, NEVER let the different food groups touch each other. EVER!
- Every outfit I pick out for her is wrong. I don’t think I’m going to even try anymore.
This morning when I dropped them at school, I parked the car and let each child out their own door. God forbid they have to get out the same door – then I would have chosen a side of the car and loved that child more! I then helped them to cross the road to the school gate, not wanting them to be run over, obvs! I hadn’t even taken two steps over the threshold and she swung around and shouted “I can go by myself! Don’t come!”.
It felt like she’s slapped me! Even the teacher manning the gate was shocked! What the actual f*ck?! Who is this person I birthed?
What a little brat!
She’s lucky she’s cute, although the memories of those days are starting to blur and be taken over by the more recent ones. If you can imagine it, it’s probably happening!
I know there are many parents out there who know what a threenager is like, who can totally relate to what I’m saying now. I’m just in a little bit of shock and it’s taking me a bit longer to accept that she is a threenager. In case you’re wondering if it’s just girl moms who have to deal with this irrationality, it’s not! My friend Helen knows exactly what it’s like to have to survive the toddler and threenager tantrums we all have to try to survive!
I must have been an awful child. Once again, I’m sorry mom. Please forgive me and lift the curse? If you can’t, can you please come and visit for the next 6 months? All expenses paid!
Until then, I may have to drink ALL the wine!
The good news, silver lining, whatever you want to call it, is that I am not the only one. The world is full of irrational threenagers, who think they rule the world (okay, okay, they actually do!) supported by tired parents, at their wits end, sitting there thinking, what the f*ck happened to the cute little baby who loved me so much they would watch me poop and scream when I went out of eye-shot!
I don’t know … maybe I will wake up 3 years from now and this will all be replaced by a new phase and the threenager phase will be completely forgotten about. Maybe not. Stay strong out there – threenagers about!