Don’t let that sweet face and perfectly posed little girl fool you. Moments like that are few and far between and I may or may not have had to BEG her to stay still enough for me to get 5 decent shots out of probably the 30 or so pictures I took. It’s just just the picture-taking that’s ticking this little girl off though, it’s basically everything. Something as simple as refusing to give her a popsicle at 9am or not letting her have a “car cart” at the grocery store can lead to the craziest meltdown of all time.
To those of you who told me that 3 is one hundred and ten times worse than 2: Y O U WERE R I G H T! Two ain’t got nothing on three. I either want to rewind and go back to my sweet little two year old or super-duper fast forward to four. In the meantime, this is what I’m despising about the age 3:
1. I’ve got spit on: I used to get spit-up on. Now, I get spit on. Last week while screaming that she wasn’t ready for bed she looked me dead in the eye and spit in my face. I didn’t even know what to do. I didn’t even know how to react. I was just taken aback. My sweet little girl just spit on me? Obviously that had to be a mistake. She didn’t mean to. She was probably just blowing raspberries like she always does whens he gets upset and it turned into a little shower. I convinced myself that was it. …Until she spit in my face a second time. That’s when I knew she was serious. She definitely knew what she was doing and she definitely wanted me to react. Instead of yelling, I just looked her right in the eye and said “You do not spit on mommy. Now let’s get on the potty before bed.” And that was that. Her mood completely shift and it ended up being a somewhat easy bedtime.
2. Public temper tantrums: I feel like I’ve done it all by now. I’ve put Alea in a time-out at Target, I’ve left a cart and just plopped her in the car to go home, I’ve struggled to hold her while she’s kicking and screaming and carrying on, I’ve given her a stern talking to in the middle of the grocery store, you name it. I’d say the time-out at Target did the most good and she learned pretty fast that I wasn’t messing around. But seriously! It’s got to be the most embarrassing thing in the world to have your child throwing a temper tantrum in public while passers-by gawk and stare with disapproving eyes. They act like they’ve never had a child throw a fit in public. And I hate that they don’t see the sweet little girl that Alea usually is.
3. No more naps: Sometimes I wonder if this is the biggest problem, as most of her tantrums occur towards the end of the day. Naps were hit or miss for a while before Alea turned three. She would nap at daycare for sure, but whether or not she would nap for me varied from day to day. We try and do “quiet time” now, but that doesn’t take care of the afternoon & evening crankies we run into. I honestly have zero idea what to do about this. I can’t force her to sleep. The only upside? After the before bedtime struggle, she falls asleep in about 10 seconds flat. It’s very bittersweet.
I don’t usually welcome parenting advice. Quite honestly it drives me crazy when people offer it up like I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. But right now? I really feel like I don’t know what the heck I’m doing! I’m desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures. I might even get on my knees and beg you for advice. How did you get through age 3 with your kiddo(s)? How did you make it out alive? And if you made it out alive, did you make it out with your sanity, too?