Thursday, February 21, 2008

Most Aptly Named Book Ever

It's titled Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy. And I obviously need to read it again. It really 'splains a lot about the inner workings of the brain and emotional turmoil of a typical three year old.

Can you tell that Morgan has decided to hit the "Terrible Threes?" :o) About 6 weeks early.

It's an interesting phenomenon. My favorite part is how they wrestle with Mr. Reality and scream and rage in sheer anger and frustration because, you know, the door won't open in--it only opens out:

Child, screaming in rage: I want to push the door IIINNNNN!

Reasonable Mom: It won't go in.

Child: WHY?!?!?!?

Calm, Emotionally Detached Mom: Because when the door was hung they put the hinges on this side of the door, so if we want to open it from this room, we have to pull it out.


Really Amazingly Wonderful Mom: silence

Child, thinking up a creative solution to her problem: Move the hinges to the other side of the door!

Mom Who Is Impressed Despite Herself: Sorry, honey, I really can't do that. Why don't you go to the room on the other side and then you can push the door in.

Suddenly Cooperative Child (Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!) goes to the other side of the door: Okay.

Mom Who Should Know Better relaxes for a moment and tries to think of what to make for dinner.


Mom Who Now Feels Stupid: What's the matter, honey?

Child: I want to pull the door OUT!!!!!!

Suddenly Very Tired Mom: But it doesn't pull out from that side. It pushes in. You wanted to push the door in, didn't you?

Child who feels justified and righteous: But not from THIS SIDE!!!!! AARRRRGGHHH!

Mom looks in the liquor cabinet.

Lather, rinse, and repeat a dozen times a day until child approaches 4th birthday.

(Actually, that was a lot of fun to write!)

Both children were absolutely delightful two year olds. When Ryan turned to the Dark Side, I was so sad and shocked. Now I realize that's just how it goes, and I don't take such things so personally. But the thing with subsequent kids is that while you are better prepared for these phases and developmental hurdles, you also remember how trying and exhausting they were when you were going through it with the first kid. I just want to skip to the end--but I know it can't be done.

At least she's cute. :o)


Monica said...

Hilarious. Love it. Need to link to my sister who has child turning three in a few months.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so do they have any suggestions on what to do with the "I don't know how" and the "I can't" when "knows how" and "can" are assured, such as lifting a forkful of food into their mouth after doing it for year(s)? or after months of getting their own pants on suddenly spew forth with "I don't know how" or "I can't"?

Finding a little "yes" helps, but not as much as it used to.


Rational Jenn said...

Monica--yes, do that for your sister, especially if this is her first child and he/she has been an "easy" two year old. I don't agree with some of the discipline suggestions in the book (time outs, etc) but the development psychology stuff is right on. There's nothing I can do about it, but I feel better just understanding it. Because they turn. They turn evil. diabolical laughter!

Rootie--I'll check the book for advice of that nature! All I know is that technique sadly has not gone away for my almost 6 year old. Mostly with him I just reiterate my expectation and then go about my business, to the dulcet tones of major whining! Motherhood is tough sometimes! Thanks for stopping by!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Oh, me! I really enjoyed that from the vantage point of having a teenager. Yep, it can get worse. When they recover from the Dark Side of being three, you still have Hormonal Hell looming ahead. With boys, it appears to milder than with girls, though.

Happy threes!

Rational Jenn said...

EHL--Ah yes, the teenage years of course loom ominously before us. I can't even imagine! And here these two oldest kids will be probably going through puberty at about the same time, since the eldest is a boy and the next is a girl.

For now I will enjoy these threes, and my own Hormonal Hell! And just think about it tomorrow, like Scarlett.