It’s that time of year again where I’ve started to plan my daughter’s fourth birthday party. Scratch that; I’d actually started planning it the day after her third birthday party, but that’s just semantics. Regardless, as she approaches four years old, I can’t help but feel more than ready to put three behind us. Three Years Old was quite a challenge for us all. You got to follow along through my blog posts as I documented the ups and downs from week to week. Somehow I’ve made it 10.5 months into age three without any gray hair, which I’ll take as a solid victory because let me tell you, I should probably be stark white like my grandmother right now if the Three Year Old stress showed itself in my hair color. Either that or I should be bald from tearing my hair out. Small miracles.

I hadn’t realized that we’d made a shift in our lives until a Facebook friend with an early-three-year-old posted about how shockingly wild her child was. And it struck me, as I was typing out some words of commiseration for her, that I was no longer writing from within the trenches, but as someone who had survived and clawed my way to the other side.

Something happens around three and a half that makes living with your preschooler bearable once again. I didn’t recognize this shift as it happened, because the change was subtle; a quiet balance that found its way back into our lives. Slowly, there were fewer (hourly) battles, far less screaming, much more patience. It took a lot of work, but we managed to do that work together; and I think, now, finally, we’re actually doing pretty great.

The end of March is upon us. What is that they say about March? In like I lion? Yeah, that’s how I could describe the beginning of our entire year at age three in our house. Out like a lamb – well, I’m realizing that’s pretty characteristic of our transition to age four.

As long as our lamb-like balance isn’t some cruel April Fool’s joke, I’ll relish in the groove we’ve found for the next 1.5 months…until, that is, the F#$king Fours kick in.