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.