Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 3 Year-Old Teenager - by Lauren

I once wrote a post on my blog about how toddlers were very similar to drunk college kids.  They pee the bed, love you one moment and then hate you the next, and can trash a room in less than five minutes; I found the similarities to be amazing.  As EJ approaches three, I am now amazed at how similar he is to a sullen teenager.  Moody, smart-mouthed, defiant; I feel like we skipped right to 16.

Like most stages during this parenting journey, I am once again caught off-guard and unprepared. My sweet natured child was quickly replaced with a cranky, overly dramatic teenager and I didn’t get the memo soon enough.

“What Mom??”

“Mom, go away! Go over there!”

“I said no!”

“I am going to my room!” (Door shuts in our faces)

The theme to most of my posts is “I am not totally sure of what I am doing here”. And believe me this stage is no exception.  He was smart at two but they get scary smart at three.  Scary.  I even sense fear in Mike. We now say no, take a step back and hold our collective breath for the dramatic reaction.  It also doesn’t help that Mike and I find almost everything amusing and fight most of the time to keep from laughing. Sometimes I think he must be practicing for an audition.  He is clearly up for the role of “angry, unreasonable, but very short, teenager #1.”

I will say this stage has forced us to take a harder look at discipline.  Up until now, we have had days or moments but no real “issues”. With three it seems like the whole year may be an issue.  I posted on Facebook about approaching three and one mother replied that she had to get more flexible with her parenting.  I thought that was great advice.  Pick your battles; go with the flow a little better.  Unfortunately for me, the word flexible has never been used to describe me.  You will never hear a family member or friend say, “Boy that Lauren is such a flexible person.” So this is bad news for me all around.

I am once again confronted with facing my weaknesses head on in an effort to become a better parent.  I am beginning to realize that parenting is more about how we react as parents and less about how they act as kids. I cannot say that I have always been perfect with my reactions but I can say that I have seen vast improvement with myself as a parent and as a person.  Being challenged daily with handling situations better, communicating better and always reacting positively has made me feel like I have grown more in the past two and half years than I have in the previous thirty.

And so I look to three as yet another challenge and one I feel very up to. Maybe it is the fact that my child now finally sleeps in his own bed and through the night (see my post on co-sleeping for a good example of what not to do) or maybe it is just pure naïve stupidity, but I think we will all get through this year, however long it may feel, unscathed.  Wish us luck…

Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom.  She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious almost 3-year old boy!  She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep.


  1. I do wish you, luck, Lauren! Crazy how we are going through the same things!!!