Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Terrible Twos? It's the Threes You Need to Watch Out For

I'd actually forgotten how tumultuous the tail end of two could be.

But now that I'm living it again with Bo, it's coming back to me. Sweet P. wasn't always so sweet - and I was pretty horrible myself once my buttons were pushed past a certain point.

Am pretty horrible.

I do my darndest to keep my cool for as long as I can hold out through the whining and the ear splitting demands and then the inconsolable screaming but too often end up arguing with a small human who in that moment is more like ET under the influence.

Me and Crichton know what's up.
And then of course I feel awful because good grief, my little guy has been on this earth for less than three years and here I am expecting him to know when it's okay to shout poop and to refrain from pushing other small humans and to understand that, no, you can't have a bowl of crackers after I've brushed your teeth.

If you think about it, that's a lot to deal with when half a lifetime ago you were non-verbal and it wasn't that long ago that people carried you everywhere because your legs didn't work.

Is it any wonder Bo is sometimes one step behind?

That's how I describe what's happening when he suddenly starts wanting the thing that was previously available. Like I said, hey, buddy, put on your shoes because it's time to go, and when he says no, I say okay then you can get in the car without shoes but we need to get in the car asap. That's when he realizes he really did want to put on his shoes and oh my God life without shoes in the car is just not worth living!

See that arm pulled back? He's ready to strike

In the not so distant past Bo has gone into hyper rage because I would not let him stay in the car by himself on a 90 degree day.

Because I wouldn't put his diaper on him while he was standing up. Because I put the wrong shirt on him and then after changing him into the shirt he said he wanted, he realized the shirt he just took off was actually the one he wanted. Because he can't eat a popsicle in the living room. Because he can't have fruit snacks for breakfast. Because he doesn't want to brush his teeth and then he does and then he doesn't and then he does.

Lao Tzu said, "He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened." My little mister clearly needs to practice the latter, but his mama needs to practice the former.

I know better; he doesn't. 

I am big; he is little.

And I have been on this crazy planet for ten times longer than he has, which means I should know better. Is it hard to keep my cool when there's a 'threenager' in the house? Yes. But I have to keep trying and then when I lose my cool yet again, I get to apologize, say a prayer, and try some more.

The so-called terrible twos have nothing on the transition from two to three. Truth be told, two is all sweet helpfulness and wide-eyed wonder. It's three you have to worry about - and I'd totally forgotten.

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