Threenager. A term I had never heard of until we were about half way through his 3rd year. It was a simple silly word that made me feel somewhat better about the way my son was behaving. It gave me a reminder that I was not alone – if someone else had coined the phrase threenager, someone else had gone through the same thing. In case you live under a rock..
But then he turned four back in January and much to my surprise (sarcasm) the threenager-ness didn’t disappear. But he’s not three anymore, he’s four, he should be better. HA. Ugh. This morning he threw a freakin’ tantrum because he was in a shirt he didn’t want to wear and he didn’t want me to see him in. Yes, you heard correctly, he was in a shirt, he didn’t want to wear, that he had put on. AND, he was losing it because he didn’t want me to see him in it. Once I was able to calm him down and tell him all he had to do was go into his closet and get a new shirt and change, he immediately calmed down. Because of a shirt. A t-shirt.
What comes next?
So what is he now? Just four? How am I supposed to have comfort that some other parent out there has had to deal with the same misbehaving, losing their shit over the simplest thing, randomly crying, tantrum throwing four year old!? Just kidding. I see it at Target, the playground, the table next to us at Fuddruckers on Monday because it’s kid’s night.
I’ve become so in-tuned, I don’t even have to see the child acting out anymore. I can see it on the mom or dad, the way they praise for good behavior in hopes that the praise will stick with the child. It’s in the rushed meals so that they can get in and out while everything is calm before all hell breaks loose. It can even be seen in the way another mom looks at me when my son starts freaking out, it’s all in the eyes. The “I’ve been there girl. Hang In there” is such a common unspoken look.
Don’t get me wrong, the memes and little fancy typography quotes are fun. And the constant reassurance that you are not the only one who has been there. All these things are a nice pat on the back reminder that you are not completely failing as a parent. You haven’t broken them. But remember to be aware of the unwritten and maybe not as obvious reminders that are out there, every day around you. You are not alone.