Thriving at Three

Having children has been the biggest accomplishment in my life. I am sure that most parents feel the same way. I look at both of my boys and feel and overwhelming sense of joy, pride, and love. It can be all-consuming in that moment, my god. I’m actually smiling writing this thinking how much I love these boys.

My three-year old has to be the most handsome little guy I have ever laid eyes on. He’s incredibly smart, has an amazing memory, is inquisitive, caring, loving, funny, loves to color and draw circles, and knows all too well how to navigate YouTube kids. I absolutely take one look at him and think yup, he’s thriving at three.

You know what else he is thriving at? He is testing the limits all day long, every day, about everything possible, and it is starting to drive me nuts. Yup, my three-year old is thriving at driving me nuts.

This is the same old love story. You have all heard it a million times. “If you think terrible two’s are bad, just wait until three.” Yup. Fact. Hate to jump on the negative train here and sound like I’m bashing my kid, but three is fucking hard.

I start every day with a positive attitude, just hoping we will have a good day where I don’t think to myself, “I would love to just walk out the front door for the day alone, and not look back.” There are great points through the day, where I am engulfed in his company and laughter, and flat-out having a ball. But those other times, oh the majority of my day in those “other times.”

I swear it’s like someone tells him every morning when he wakes up, you should whine all day long, about everything. And if you don’t get the response you want, you should definitely whine some more. You should also say “mama” and “mommy” about 1,000 times too, and when she responds, just say “mama” again, with no other thoughts to follow.

This person must also tell him to cry; cry at every single bump, boo boo, scratch, bumped head, sand on the hands or clothes at the beach (yup, that happened this morning), food left on the face, water spilled, crayon upside down in the box, ‘bear blanket’ in a forgotten place, and the list goes on. Do you get my point yet?

Please tell me I am not alone? I know you are out there, frustrated moms of toddlers who love their children more than anything in this world, but that sometimes cannot take another moment with them. I love my boy, he is amazing and frustrating all at the same time. I know this too shall pass, and I am thankful I can enjoy the really good moments among the really shitty ones.

Photograph by Wilder Zandonella


3 thoughts on “Thriving at Three

  1. I have twin 3-year olds. My husband and I are having a REALLY rough time of it…they absolutely amplify each other. And on one hand, yay I have developmentally appropriate children, but on the other hand? We are losing our minds over here…


  2. Oh heck yeah! It does get better though, I promise. My teenager is fun and funny and frustrating in all new ways. But she does not whine, nor does she cry because the beach is Sandy. Also she makes her own sandwiches, avoiding g the whole triangle vs square issue.


  3. Oh thank God I am not alone. My daughter is only 10 months old, but every time I leave the room or put her down she screams at the top of her lungs. I try to put myself in her situation imagining she must be scared and there are a lot of changes going on to get used to (teething, getting ready to walk), but it still doesn’t always help me from going crazy when I can’t even go use the bathroom. All week I look forward to spending time with her on the weekend, and come Sunday I’m just excited to go back to work. I love her with all my heart, and she’s an amazing, happy kid most of the time, but lately we’ve been spending most of our days in that “other time” as well. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the terrible twos and threes, but it truly helps to know that I’m not alone. Hang in there.


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