‘Threenagers’ – Fact or Fiction?

Guest blog by Sarah Turner, The Unmumsy Mum.

You’ve heard the rumours and you’re afraid. Very afraid. Your otherwise pleasant (ahem) toddler is going to turn into an angry, tantruming beast on the eve of their third birthday. Sure, you’ve lived through the ‘terrible twos’ so already know that your child is part cherub, part Tasmanian Devil, but still. The forecast for three looks bleak. ‘Cloudy with a chance of tornado’ for the whole year.

Other parents must be exaggerating though, right? Or perhaps you’re only hearing the horror stories?

Well, having just lived through an entire threenage year for the second time (with one more to go in a couple of years, yes we had three, yes we do have a telly in our house), I’m going to give it to you straight. The best and worst bits about having a three-year-old. Three of each, naturally.

The Best Bits

1. They’ve not quite grown out of being cute yet.

Not saying that cuteness stops at four (though it does, a tiny bit) just that at three they’re still sandwiched between toddler and ‘big boy/ girl.’ They think they’re really grown up and will come at you with surprising levels of sass but I challenge anyone not to laugh when a small person puts a hand on a hip, wags a finger and says, ‘N-O, SMELLS NO.’ Or asks for a ham sandwich with ‘melonnaise’ in it.

2. They see the wonder in everything.
Conkers, fireworks, traffic lights, clicky pens (the last one might just be my children who bloody love pens you have to click ‘on’). Kids are generally great at reminding us to see the magic in the everyday but that wide-eyed wonder does start to dwindle a little bit at four when they head off to school and are more impressed by someone flossing or doing ‘The Hype.’

3. They don’t care what people think.
Granted, this doesn’t come without its problems but wouldn’t it be nice if we could all adopt a DGAF attitude every so often? We spend so much of our adult lives feeling self-conscious and fearing judgement, perhaps we should all be a little bit more threenager. Possibly without eating bogies as a snack and stripping naked in Tesco.


The Worst Bits

1. They can-but-can’t do things.

They insist they’re grown up independent beings but in reality, still need help with pretty much everything. This presents an obvious dilemma. They want to walk all the way to town but actually are too tired to walk all the way to town. They want to use the scissors themselves but need your help with the scissors and now they’re screaming because they can’t understand why are you touching their scissors?!

2. They’re heavy
Not in a fat-shaming way, I just mean they’re quite heavy to pick up and remove from the park when they’re on the floor sobbing because the grass is too grassy.

3. They still don’t know what you’re trying to do
I.e. love them and stop them from getting run over. To a three-year-old, this is big time fun-ruining and they will make sure you know about it. Don’t worry though, they soon turn four and then they know absolutely everything.

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