Are You Living With A Threenager?


A person 3 years old possessing the attitude and demeanor of a teenager

Forget the terrible twos, this threenager business is no joke!  Sometime between her third birthday and now, my daughter transformed from my sweet little angel to a Jekyll and Hyde type. You never know what you are going to get. One minute we’re having a dance party and the next all hell breaks loose! My little girl becomes sarcastic, defiant and loud, VERY loud! (Seriously, who are you and what did you do with my sweet baby?!)

Everyone always talks about the terrible twos and how tough that stage is. But not many talk about the Threenager stage. And let me tell you, I was not prepared for this! Up until this point we have had little to no problems with our oldest daughter. She was a pretty good listener (I mean what toddler listens 100% of the time), easy going and very sweet. Now days she has bouts of crazy mixed with a terrible attitude. At times her random bursts of erratic behavior can be extremely hilarious and cute. For the most part I want to lock myself in my room with a glass of wine, OK a bottle, and wait for the wrath of the threenager to be over.

Thankfully not all 3 year olds are threenagers. Parents often tell me about only one of their children acting in this manner or none at all. If you are part of the crowd who has gone through the third year unscathed consider yourself lucky. For the rest of you, here are 9 signs that you too have a threenager running a muck in your house.

1) They run away from you when it’s time to get dressed or at the grocery store (“But Mom, I just wanted to get some more vegetables.” Yeah right!) or when it’s time to leave anywhere fun. They think running away is hysterical, let me tell you something, it’s not! By the way, when did you become the next Olympic gold medalist for short distance running? Hey, at least I’m getting extra bouts of cardio throughout the day.

2) They become EXTREMELY sassy! “No!”, “That’s mine!”, “Give me that!”, “Hey, stop it!”.  I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but I am the Queen of Sass. And by the way you’re only THREE so chill out!

3) They have zero patience. “I want it, I want it, I want it!” (Well that’s not going to get it to you any faster).  They yell “GOOOOO” when stopped a red light. They moan and groan when waiting for their food to be made. When I don’t do something fast enough my daughter yells “Mommmm…this is taking 100 years!”.

4) You have to give yourself an extra hour (or two) when getting ready to go anywhere because they have to do everything by themselves. They are also on their own time schedule…a snail’s pace! So do you plan on getting dressed anytime soon or are you just going to continue to watch yourself dance in the mirror?

5) They are very opinionated! My daughter pretty much has formed an opinion about everything and she has no problem letting you know her thoughts, good or bad. We were getting ready to go out to dinner one night and I dressed her in a super cute outfit. (Maybe that was my mistake…dressing her) She took one look in the mirror and said “I look terrible!” and proceeded to get undressed. My mouth just about dropped to the floor.

6) Car rides are always a crap shoot. You never know what you are going to get with a threenager in tow. Some car rides are great and we enjoying singing songs and playing eye spy and others are a nightmare! If she’s in threenager mode then you can bet there will be yelling of some sort. “Are we here?”, “I’m stuck!”, “I can’t see my body!”… Also, she now requests specific songs and tells me whether or not I’m allowed to sing along. (You do realize this is my car and I’m the one driving, right?)

7) They pretty much do what they want. Despite telling my daughter several times that couches are for sitting not climbing, the minute I turn my back what does she do? Climb on the darn couch! Little turkey!

8) They try to discipline you! If I do something that’s not to my daughters liking she will tell me, “you are not being nice, go on time out!” or “you don’t get any treats”. It’s hard to keep a straight face when she sternly tries to discipline me.

9) They are loud, VERY loud! (Did I already mention that?) My threenager will scream at the top of her lungs for no reason at all. Then her little sister thinks it’s a game and chimes in. The neighbors must think these kids are being terrorized. And the decimals they hit can be heard in space. Pass the Tylenol please!

Luckily, threenagers are not always little monsters. But when they are, watch out! Life’s tough when you’re knee deep in attitude spewing out of your toddlers mouth. I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass! And I’m beyond thankful for that!

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