Stepping outside one recent, sunny morning, I saw a kingfisher sitting on a power line and decided to point it out to my son, who is almost three. I was mid-sentence about how kingfishers are “one of mummy’s favourite birds” when he interrupted with “No mummy, that’s a duck. It goes quack” and then sauntered off like he’s Stephen freaking Hawking.
Once upon a time this kid took everything I said as gospel and was totally wowed by all the stuff I knew. In mere months, he’s started arguing with me, showing off his stroppy new attitude and conspiring to get his sister into trouble. So what has happened to my sweet baby boy? He’s on the fast track to being a threenager!
As Kidspot so brilliantly puts it, “the biggest difference between toddlers aged two and three, is that a three-year-old can start to realise the power they have and articulate themselves much better.” And an article from plussizebirth.com uses words like manipulative, conspiring and sassy to describe the same phase. That’s my boy!
Have you got a threenager in your house? Here are some situations we’ve experienced lately which highlight how Henry has moved on from the Terrible Twos. Introducing…
1. Argumentative Boy
Pulling up to some lights, I spy an SPCA billboard featuring a cartoon cat with tiger stripes. I point it out to the kids, expecting a gleeful response from Henry but instead I get a surly: “That’s not a cat. That’s a tiger”. I give up the argument after I realise sweet pea isn’t going to back down and then as we continue driving I hear him have the last word as he quietly but clearly says: “NOT a cat” as if I’m the dumbest person on the planet.
2. Persistent Boy
We are ready to leave the house when all hell breaks loose because Henry wants to wear Batman shoes. Never mind that he doesn’t have any Batman shoes, he keeps asking for them over and over as if his life depends on them. This is a kid who has never cared about what he wears in the past and normally wouldn’t stand his ground over something so silly, so I’m a bit shocked. Eventually I manage to remind him that, in this house, I am Batman and he is Robin.
3. Conniving Boy
He thinks I’m elsewhere when he demonstrates to his sister how to draw on the wooden floors with crayons. As soon as she copies him, he leaps up to yell: “Muuuuum, Annie’s drawing on the floor” only to get a hell of a shock when he realises I’m standing right there. So sneaky!
4. Unfriendly Boy
I’ve lost count off how many times he’s yelled: “I am not your friend” at us, but I was still shocked the other day when I put him in time out and he emerged yelling: “You made me berry angry! I am not your friend!” I was speechless.
Of course, there are still so many moments when he blows me away with how clever, cute and sweet he can be, and I love the little madman madly, but I see that we have a challenging year ahead. That’s parenting for you – just as you’ve ticked off the Terrible Twos you get slammed with a Threenager! This too shall pass, right?
Want to know more about how to spot a Threenager? These notes from real mums are quite amusing and accurate!