An Ode to Three

three of heartsI don’t remember the ‘threenage’ years all that clearly with JJ although I was plunged into the newborn juggle at that point and I’m pretty sure there were some testing times! Just lately I have had the pleasure pain of a full re-introduction to just what the age of three can bring to the unsuspecting parent. One minute you’re minding your own business, going about the old routine, the clothes, the breakfast cereal, the inevitable choice of Cbeebies brain freeze, when bam! Out of the blue, displeasure, defiance and downright dissention rear their ugly heads.

No longer will new clothes be greeted with delight, only the holey old joggers will do. Unless your cereal resembles a crocodile’s foot it is, essentially, fit only for the worms. If I say ‘milkshake’, I mean ‘milkshake’ – back away with your flipping smoothie!

As a result of this trying new phase I’ve dedicated this little verse to everyone who finds themself a little taken aback that its not, after all, all about the ‘terrible twos’:

Three… is the magic number?
It’s a form of torture,
A walk of shame to a place called ‘Time Out’
An hour of ‘witching’ to endure
before blessed slumber

Three – it deserves a warning,
It takes on defiance
This odd figure – a child no longer a baby
Still angelic first thing in the morning

Three – independence is looming
Understanding and reason
lurk tantalisingly round the corner
but meanwhile a strop is brewing

Β Three – it’s a bittersweet pill
laced with cheeky joy
But unconditional love, sleepy cuddles and
winsome artlessness
counteract this battle of wills.

27 thoughts on “An Ode to Three

    • Mmm, the gremlin does sound like a feisty little one! I’ve seen those pictures of her face down in a supermarket πŸ™‚ EJ is giving it full on defiance and really, really naughty, hitting really hard too. It’s quite different from a two year old tantrum but having said that I can still bribe him to behave if I come up with the right combination of threats/promises! πŸ™‚

    • It’s such a transitional phase isn’t it? I guess they are really wanting to push the boundaries all the time (EJ often tells me he’s not a baby and that he’s growing up and has started to argue that he’s not three any more when he blatantly is!) but at the same time they still can’t quite articulate their desires or they are desperate for control over their immediate situation because we are in control of everything else they do. It’s definitely the beginning of the end of the ‘cute’ bit though – sob!

  1. Oh you poor thing. I can just see you with your head in your hands. **hugs** I missed the three-nager with my two girls in the middle (and I thought that maybe it was because they were girls because I vividly remember my oldest boy being a nightmare at 3) but you’re so on to something…it was drowned out by newborns!! Oh my, now i’m terrified of what’s to come. My youngest is a boy and at 18 months he’s already proven to be “difficult.” I have to do 3 one more time still! Also i’m just out of patience. Is it bad so say I live for bed time and wine? πŸ˜‰

  2. Ooo cheeky little 3. Seb was a right hand full until he was 5 to be honest. Although when he started pre-school he really calmed down a bit. Great poem….stay calm and ride the waves because…it will pass. xx

    • Oh yes, I clearly remember asking one of my colleagues at work (who’s son is a couple of years older than JJ) at just what age he became manageable (I’m pretty sure JJ was three at the time I asked!). Five definitely is a time of calm after the storm but then again I’m coming to the realisation that six is also a transitional phase which can have challenges all of it’s own too! I’m still clinging to Caitlin Moran’s ‘truth’ that essentially aged 9-11 is the only ‘good’ bit! πŸ™‚

  3. Little man finally came out of the threenager phase a couple of months ago (well into 4!) except when he is tired. Or if Daddy unexpectedly picks him up from pre school with his scooter. I mean why would he like that!?!

    • I can’t imagine Little man belting everyone the way EJ does! He can be such a little bruiser! I do understand the whole scooter saga though – I think the end of the school day is a time of irrational meltdown. JJ used to be livid if I ever picked him up on foot – he insisted on being driven everywhere, like the Queen…

  4. Love the poem πŸ™‚ And yes, it is such a trying age. We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel as the wee girl is growing out of the worst of it, but still has her moments. It’s the having to start again that drives me nuts, if I help in any way, the entire process (whether shoes, breakfast, hair… you name it) has to start again. Gah!!
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