Friday, September 10, 2010

Lessons from 3

Pk has been three for a week now. Already, I have learned some rather painful lessons. My friends had all warned me that three is much harder than two and that has certainly been what we have seen so far. Here's my ten lessons from the week.

1. Three year olds are trying to assert their independence. I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "You can't do that" this week when I told her that a consequence was going to be imposed.

2. A mind can be changed 8 times in less than one minute. Keep with the programme, mommy!

3. Defiance can take so many forms. If I wasn't at the receiving end, I would admire the creativity.

4. The worst behaviour is always reserved for the person who does the most to take care of the three year old and the more you try, the worse it gets.

5. Moving on and totally ignoring the whining and crying from the back seat of the vehicle is the best strategy when driving.

6. Other people will think your child is being cute.

7. If you want it to happen, don't ask. Just start doing it yourself and act like you don't care and that YOU want to do it.

8. A child who was previously good at sharing can become an absolute tyrant.

9. The worse you are feeling, the worse the behaviour will be.

10. The most important lesson - I now understand so much better why God is shown as a parent.

God's grace never really meant anything to me until I had a child. Thursday was the worst day this week and right in the middle of the nasty, defiant and aggravating behaviour, it came to me - this is what God feels like. I don't think that I had much left - I felt like I wanted nothing more than to give her a good smack and to lock her in her room for the entire day and just totally ignore her and in truth, I had the power to do it, too. Despite that, I didn't hurt her or wound her the way she was wounding me. Instead, I took a deep breath, prayed a bit, walked away and loved her as fiercely as ever. It saddened me and frustrated me but it did nothing to diminish my love for her. I would still die for her if it came to that.

Thank you God for loving me when I am acting like a three year old.


  1. I hear you! Sometimes I am the worst kind of 3 year old. And lately, my daugher changes her mind all the time... and she's not quite 2!

    Isn't it fun!?

  2. Yes, three will try the very limits of your patience and make you find new strategies out of pure desperation and avoiding the ones you know you can't use. Remember that a closed door can be your best friend, and that they can understand consequences well enough now to start losing things they like. This is when we inserted five minutes of sports on TV into the bedtime routine explicitly so we could take it away!

  3. Oh, Pk is lucky to have anything left these days. Bath toys are taken routinely for drinking bath water, the toy she HIT Baby Bean with when I was nursing him yesterday went into the garbage (she didn't mean it but man, was I angry) and the biggest tantrum was over my taking the umbrella away. I know these are battles that have to happen and it will pass but the sheer strength and disdain in her attitude take my breath away ("you CAN'T do that, mummy!" - "oh, yes I can!" being a constant script here these days).
    I love it that sports t.v. was such a draw :-).