Terrifying Threenagers


Many moons ago I laughed when I first heard the term “Threenager”. No way can they be like teens was my thinking. They’re so cute and charming and cuddly and just adorable at that age, I thought. Then little Z hit almost 3 and a half and has become this boisterous emotional feisty little bundle of energy. Still not quite on true teen levels but blimey can he be stubborn. And sulky. And moody. I’m pretty sure he gets all that from his Dad to be fair. Definitely not me. Nope. No. Definitely.

In my careful observation of just the one Threenager (my own), I’ve found they’re an extension of the Twos but a stronger and sometimes more terrifying version. As cute and adorable as they are, they really do keep you on your toes sometimes with countless terrifying, heart in your mouth, moments thrown in. So much so that I can’t figure out why I’m not fully toned and slender from all the running about after him? How am I not burning 3 million calories a day? And why has no one released a workout video incorporating chasing their children about into it? That’s a millionaire idea in the making right there isn’t it?

Anyway. Here is what makes 3 year olds terrifying threenagers…

The way they will happily leap off everything.

It doesn’t matter what the height, depth, landing position. It starts in the Twos and just progresses from there. If anything they just gain more confidence in hurling themselves off everything. Little Z went through a phase of constantly trying to jump off the top step of our staircase. “Ready mummy???” . Oh my God noooo!! Suffice to say we watch him like a hawk still and stand about a centimetre behind him whenever he wants a visit to the loo.

How they will adapt to reach all things high up.

The other week we sat all comfy on the sofa and and watched as he dragged his toy garage to the bay window, used it as a stepping stool and perched himself onto the window sill. Next to the window that opens outwards, none of which he could previously reach. Uh oh. About a day later he tried to do the same with the fireplace and reached for the house keys. That garage is now “lost” for a bit. But the climbing is not stopping. We are chanting “get down from there” on a semi regular basis at the moment. Eek!

How they never look where they’re going

They can be right in front of you, in one massive field with no dangers in sight and will still somehow run into a tree, hedge, bush, anything at all. When we’re not shouting “get down from there”, we’re usually shouting “watch where you’re going” repeatedly. They don’t seem to care though and I think it really does hurt you more than them!

How opening the doors to public toilets becomes a really fun thing to do.

Whereas before Little Z would accompany you politely to the loos and simply look about the boring cubicle, he’s now decided to spice it up a bit and try to unlock the doors when it’s your turn. Do you know how terrifying it is is pee in a public place knowing there is a very high risk of it all becoming very very public very quickly?

Where home stuff becomes information fit for public consumption.

I’ve talked about this one before. Nothing said within the house is sacred anymore. Everything is repeated in public, usually where you don’t want it repeated, usually to the person you don’t want it repeated to. We’ve resort to talking in secret code. Except the other half is not very good at it and Little Z cracks it faster than a war time cryptanalyst who is probably making notes for his next public service news item.

When tantrums are the new secret weapon

We mostly, luckily, escaped the tantrum phase during the Twos. It’s caught up with us now though and Little Z isn’t afraid to use every trick in the tantrum book. Being somewhat new to tantrums in public we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with them. In the comfort of our own home we resort to stepping over him and leaving him to get over it. The real life outside is a different story though. Being presented with a particularly loud never ending wail and tantrum in a shop forces you to decide, within a nanosecond, whether you want to adopt the tough love stance or quickly shove the toy he wants into his arms, slam money on the counter and then run out with Threenager clamped under your armpit. Of course he will shut up instantly as soon as you’re out the door. Little monkey.

Of course they’ll crawl into your exhausted lap at the end of a tiresome day and charm you with those big beautiful eyes. It’s not so bad, is your thinking. He’s so lovely and cute, is your thinking.

It’s just a phase.


Super Busy Mum
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38 thoughts on “Terrifying Threenagers”

  1. It seems to be a very very long phase!!!
    Just worked my way through the list going yep, yep, yep, yep, yet.
    I find the selective hearing the worse, can’t hear a single thing you say until its something you don’t want them to hear!
    fab post Tas πŸ™‚ x
    katie recently posted…The hiding stuff you really need gameMy Profile

  2. I was SO unprepared for the threes! I am really struggling with Cherry at the moment, she’s such hard work!! Still having crazy tantrums when I say no, she will fly off the handle at anything and does the opposite of everything I sat. Plus like you said she can get anywhere and get to things I don’t want her too. At least when she was two she couldn’t open stair gates so I could go and hide in another room if I needed to! Let’s hope 4 is an easier age!! x
    Jess @ Along Came Cherry recently posted…Golfen in the WindMy Profile

  3. Love the image of him climbing on his garage and remember the fear of the toilet door! Looking back, I seem to think 3 was cute too. But I do remember how stubborn my eldest was when I followed parenting advice to not potty train until 3 because it would be easier. Yeah, right. He was too clever. He’d learned to be stubborn. I didn’t make that mistake again!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…β€˜Can I have Facebook?’My Profile

  4. Oh goodness I read posts like this and I start wondering if I really want children. Lol! Sounds like you have a handful there. But I am sure it is also amazing to watch him grow up πŸ™‚

  5. I am having flashbacks while reading this! Then I am nodding all the way through. Some of traits will be gone but some would stay. Tantrums will be less but how can they resist if this is their secret weapon. My son still needs to go where he is going while walking or biking too =P #MadMidWeekBlogHop
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Gestational DiabetesMy Profile

  6. … and welcome to the threes! I think the climbing thing is a real boy thing too although Little A isn’t averse to scaling the tops of the furniture, and she’ll find anything she can use as a climbing stool – it’s all very precarious! Great post. X

  7. I am petrified of threes!!! Twos are bad enough. Buba is getting very particular and because he sets his mind on one thing and one thing only and freaks out until that one thing he gets, it’s been a struggle. Climbing, throwing, screaming, rough housing, being dirty definitely all three boy stuff happening here. lol I hope 4s are easier although my best friend has one and she says its even harder because the attitude comes! lol Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. Love the photo in the washer. hahaha #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Share With Me ~ wk 17My Profile

  8. This made me chuckly, more so because my little boy turns 3 in June. He is most definitely at the ‘threenager’ point in his toddler years! I think we escaped the terrible twos quite lightly however this stage is, well lets just say, wow. I can absolutely agree with everything you say. First blog I have read of yours, but I am delighted to continue reading πŸ™‚ #sharewithme
    Mummy Hargreaves recently posted…Goodbye’s are never easyMy Profile

  9. I’m hoping it’s just a phase – it’s interminable and both of my sons (who are two and almost four respectively) are doing most of the things on your list! Hopefully, the older one will snap out of it before September when he starts school. I’m dreading the school gates if he doesn’t!
    Tom Briggs recently posted…TMI – The memeMy Profile

  10. Oh the dreaded threens! I can see this era blooming in the aura of Miss Belle. She can be stubborn, particular, fiesty, emotional and WOW she should get first prize for tantrum throwing! But yes it’s a phase, a very looooooooong phase, but a phase never the less. xx

  11. I think I have one of these on my hands right now. I ask him to do something and he just says no and carries on with whatever he’s doing. Or he laughs and then says no. I stand with my mouth open wondering what happened to my lovely cooperative boy. I hope he comes back when he’s four.
    Rachel – 3yearsandhome recently posted…Difrax BtoB breast pump reviewMy Profile

  12. lol about the public loo thing – it’s very true, I thing out 2 year old is precocious because she already does most of this, although she’s probably just copying her brother xx #pocolo

  13. I love this post – with a 7 year old I’d forgotten so much of this, however I’m now getting nervous about the 18 month old who’s already climbing on literally everything. Not sure I’m ready for the tantrums again yet though….
    Franglaise Cooking recently posted…RatatouilleMy Profile

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