The Three-nager

So we made it through babyhood, terrible two’s and about to graduate with the three-nager stage, it was dreadful, it was tormenting, it was fun. I heard from a friend who survived the trenches like us and has survived to tell the story, the best stages of parenthood is yet to come.
So the tormenting three’s huh.. a combination of a three years old energy and mentality but the attitude of teenagers 😊. 
Our son started of his three-nager stage by having little opinion from the start of it and has overgrown towards the end of it. We thought the behaviour is erratic but the fact of the matter is they merely express their opinions with a dash of irrationality and mixed temperament which they are yet to learn to achieve the perfect concoction. 
I remembered when L turned two a lot, even a bucket loads of information about terrible two’s, even warnings from grannies, mommies and bloggers. But where the hell is the unforeseeable predictions about three’s, it took us by surprise,  no one ever saw the tormenting three’s coming.
At 18 months we hear a surge of words that turns to verbal explosion, and at three’s? It’s not only a surge in length but a surge in why’s and a surge of bossiness.  It’s a surge of tormenting everything. But still the love prevails right?!
Common scene at home:
M: What do you want for breakfast? 
L: Toast with Jam please mommy, I want it cut like a triangle. 
M: WHY ARE YOU NOT EATING?!
L: hugggggggyyyyyyy,  hugggggggyyyyyyy,  hugggggggyyyyyyy..the shape is not right, uh uh uh, I want water please, uhm I want this I want that
M: (on the verge of shouting) eat now or il take it away.
Dealing with lots of tormenting situations at home made me well proofed for this. Sometimes I ignore the fact that he whines then he’ll eat it anyway, but I am not a perfect parent and I lose my rag sometimes.
I mean my son is very responsible, polite, outspoken (a little too much sometimes) and kind but he has his days too. There are days where he will absolutely cry for everything, have we been such naggy parents that we created a little diva, a little drama king, but hey these too shall pass.
The hardest part is, trying to negotiate  a deal but he would stop listening half way, is it a man thing? I mean selective hearing, my husband sure does that. Or why explaining things they would run, change the topic (he is getting better at it) or just pretend not to listen, but I think they do that selective hearing bit because they learn how to filter which things are beneficial and not beneficial to them. Or sometimes maybe I nag too much and just won’t leave him be. I think I should stop having that bad habit, it’s not healthy.
The best advice I was given by my mother few years ago was that rather than keeping on nagging at them we have to give them a little bit of liberty to decide what they actually want so there is an involvement and connection rather than just barking orders at them. So rather than saying here is your lunch now eat please, I would rather say, Please L what do you want to eat for lunch? We have chicken nuggets and cod fingers. It works out on most days but obviously everyday is different and everyday is interesting.
I made some investigations and found a really cool article from buzz feed. 
1. You live in constant fear of how to cut the shape of their sandwich or toast. Do they want triangles today, rectangles, squares? And when they do tell you, they change their mind right after you cut it.
2. They say things like (with hands firmly placed on hips), “I don’t want to clean up, I want to do what I want to do!”
3. You go through three or more wardrobe changes a day. Please just pick a already!
4. Your child goes boneless the second you remind them that a transition is coming, especially when they are asked to stop playing. By the way, when was this ability given to children? You know, lay limp and double your body weight so mom can’t move you. It’s a talent reminiscent of a possum playing dead…
5. They run away from you when it’s time to get dressed, or leave a play place, or do anything they deem unnecessary. In fact running away from you is their favorite activity.
6. To nap or not to nap, that is the question. A threenager’s answer will always be emphatically “NO!” Unless of course it’s time for school, and they crawl into bed because they’re “tired.”
7. They want three of everything because they are three.
8. At red lights they yell, “Go… GOOO!” Threenagers do not possess patience.
9. Speaking of the car, you have to leave 10 minutes earlier so they can buckle their own car seat by their “OWN SELF!”
10. You realize they’ll be a great trial lawyer one day when they’ve just negotiated their way out of a time-out.
When I saw that post I was laughing so hard in the kitchen that maybe at some point passers by thought I am a lunatic or I completely gone bonkers having to deal with two children, but yeah it’s because I can relate in every single one of them!
So mums we are not alone, take a deep breath, try to see the funny side and if all else fails I find going out is an absolute saviour to get rid of unwanted energy and attitude.

Panic Buyer

What’s the difference when shopping pre babies and shopping post babies? Good question, pre babies I like doing it, I find it relaxing having some me time, smelling some scented candles that you won’t bother to buy, going from aisle to aisle, relaxed. Post babies (toddler and a baby),I panic buy, every single time! I just want to get the hell out of the shop before one of the children explodes.

I dread it when I am booked for an appointment, or run an errand may it be to the shops or post office, the dreadful part is? Getting and waiting in the queue. Queues makes my life goddamn miserable, every single time! It’s a tried and tested way to work out how short your fuse is. It is dreadful because at this point the children will reach their melting point, which both the child and excuses (solid and liquid, excuses are liquid because it depends if you can sway them with the fluidity of the excuse or otherwise) exist in equilibrium. The higher the purity of your excuse the smaller the range for a melting point, such as finding a buffer to equalise the already imminent meltdown. Gosh meltdowns are dreadful especially when it happens around strangers, all eyes on you smirking or taking pity on you, adding up to the already escalating stress levels. 

There are days when I take them to the shop and they decide to behave provided you buy what they put in the basket or trolley (for L that is). They choose things you don’t even want to buy then you forget what you were intending to get. Anyway, shopping is so much stressful around children,  the shouting (aaaaaarrrhhh), they lie down on the floor (when they want something and you won’t allow it), they cry  (for everything), then the endless why’s  (for god knows the question) that makes your head explode. I was always good in sticking with the budget and shopping list, but now I panic, and I panic buy, let’s say in my list it says 1x  organic carrots any first bag of carrots I see I buy x 2. That is so me panic buying,  so now I learned my lesson I go shopping every Friday evening or Saturday morning once a week, alone and leave daddy to deal with the children and to save me from breaking the bank.

On some days I deliberately take L and let him decide which veg  or fruits he wants to eat, hand him his pretend credit card (a garden centre club card), let him pretend pay for it and that gives him an idea how everything works and sure when he gets home he is so keen to eat what he’s chosen. It works every time. 

Shopping shouldn’t be stressful but a baby and a toddler is a very bad combination you can take one or the other not both, it’s going to be a catastrophe. As soon as you get distracted by the baby’s crying before you know it the basket is filled with crap! And you are just doomed, because whatever is in there, they know when you take it out.

I tried different strategies when taking them shopping but this one is the winner, I make sure baby is sleeping (soundly) and the toddler, I let him choose whichever treat he wants (only one!) and he is only allowed to open or eat it with the following conditions, if he is well behaved until we finish shopping and if he eats and finishes his main meals for the day, then he not only behaves for the whole shopping duration but for the rest of the day, hahaha! Talking about being smart ha!

Anyway, shopping alone without the children feels like a holiday, quiet, chill and I can take my time (a little bit).  But now and again I don’t mind having somebody, rolling on the floor, makes the experience a little bit interesting.

Write soon 😘😘😘😘😘