Thursday, March 27, 2008

Triple Threat

"Yep, the sky is blue."

[whine] "But I don't waaaaant it blue .... "

"Honey, I can't change the color of the sky."

[whine] "But I don't waaaaant it blue .... "

Repeat until you lose your mind.

Actually, this is just an example, but you can darn near insert any topic in place of the color of the sky and the result is about the same. Welcome to world of the three-year-old. You see, when you thought that whole terrible two thing was behind you, well, they lied. Threes are worse. They just defy explanation and logic, and maybe that's why nobody has bothered to let me in on this secret — except other parents.

Threes. There's drama, emotion, whining, rebellion. It's like a preview of the teenage years to come, all packaged into the small body of your sweet child. Only more randomly ignited and no chance of winning.

Given this, I've decided to log some of my fairly successful strategies in order to help others dealing with this phenomenon.

  1. Accept that you are powerless. The tantrum, like all other natural disasters, will blow over. And be replaced by another in about five minutes.
  2. Break into a spontaneous and stupid song and dance routine in the midst of the tantrum build up. It won't solve the problem, but it might buy you 30 second of levity. Or, your spouse will have you committed. Bonus vacation!
  3. Try to limit the choices offered to your child to two at a time. Your child, will, of course always opt for a third — an unobtainable — option.
  4. Logic need not apply. Face it, logic is not even on the table.
  5. "Look! A school bus!"
  6. Take your child to the park first thing in the morning to run laps, ride a tricycle, play in the park and kick a ball around. After a couple hours, you will both need a nap.
  7. Give in. It will buy you about an hour of peace. And you will pay for that hour the rest of your natural born life.
  8. There is safety in numbers. Invite others over for a play date. Let the three-year-olds drive each other nuts for a while. It's not any more relaxing, just more of a spectator sport.
  9. Don't turn on the TV. Ever. Once its been turned on, you can never get rid of it.
  10. Put yourself in time out. A five-minute one.


MamaBird said...

Ohhhh, great capturing of three, like the list. And, um, four? Well, brace yourself. ;)

Vicki said...

Just wait until 16. You'll be longing for 3.

Rachel said...

I'm totally with you. In fact, Jess has thrown some stonkers so bad lately that the next door neighbor (whom I saw on the street today) asked me what is going on. I don't know what her problem is, though; she's got two older kids of her own. She's got to have seen these before.

Janet said...

As the mother of a 20-year-old, I say three is definitely the worst. Yes, the teens are hard, but not like three.

JHS said...

Thanks for contributing this post to this week's Carnival of Family Life, hosted at Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul! The Carnival will be live on March 31, 2008, so make sure you stop by and check out all of the other wonderful posts included in this week's edition!