Three is the angriest number.
I remember once feeling superior that my lovely little human never went through the “terrible twos” and giving myself a pat on the back for (so-far) raising an even tempered, happy little girl. “Oh, I bet that one’s a firecracker!” I’d hear countless times at the grocery store from people observing Ivy’s red hair. And I’d proudly, no, smugly respond, “No, she’s a pretty happy go lucky kid.”
My child turned 3 1/2 and some sort of miniature demon has taken control of her to the point that I now look fondly back at potty training as a sort of utopia.
Now, I’m not saying animated movies are, in fact, documentaries based on true events, but if someone were to tell me my child was injected with night howlers by Assistant Mayor Bellwether in Zootopia, I may not question it.
I mean, she hisses at us sometimes.
When she gets really pissed off, she calls me by my first name instead of Mommy. Let me just say, if you think the effect of calling your children by their full name gets attention, imagine having your three-year-old say to you (in the most dismissive way ever), “Ok, JEN. You don’t have to yell. I’m right here.”
And the tantrums. My God, the tantrums.
Here are just a few reasons for her full on fits in the last week:
- I picked out her plate for breakfast.
- I cut her waffles the wrong way.
- I sang.
- I said “Good morning.”
- I wore my hair up.
- I made eye contact.
I’d like to follow the above with somewhat of a disclaimer, because sometimes I do say, “Good morning!” and she responds happily. But I haven’t yet figured out the rhythm of her mood swings, so every morning is a complete crap shoot and reminiscent of Sally Field in Sybil.*
(Ugh. The majority of you are too young to even get that Sybil reference.)
Anyway, it’s not just the randomness of Ivy’s moods that are shocking to me these days, it’s also the completely condescending way she executes her responses.
She matter-of-factly claims one of the following every time I ask her to do something she doesn’t want to do: 1) temporary paralysis; 2) utter starvation; and/or 3) hiccups (which, for some reason, she thinks is an illness).
She told me last week that picking up her toys was boring and too serious.
I recently asked her several times to please pick her crayons up off the floor, because our dog keeps trying to eat them. After giving her my ‘last warning’ voice, she put down the toy she was playing with, gave an exasperated sigh, put her hand up, in my direction, and shouted, “JUST GO ON YOUR COMPUTER AND WORK. I’M HANDLING IT!”
***This is the part of the post where some people are shaking their heads and saying to themselves, “Uh uh. No way would my kid talk to me like that. That child needs discipline.***
***And this is the part of the post where I respond to the above parents and say, “Screeeewwww you.”***
Three and a half has proven to be my kryptonite in parenting, to date. I had thought it was the first three days of potty training.
I was gravely mistaken.
I like to tell myself that this phase is teaching me patience and discipline in motherhood. But in reality, it’s only teaching me patience and discipline in alcohol rationing.
Because if this keeps up, we’re gonna need a bigger bottle.