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
Post Comment Love


  1. katie May 27, 2014 / 2:47 pm

    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
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  2. Jess @ Along Came Cherry May 27, 2014 / 4:42 pm

    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
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  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom) May 27, 2014 / 4:47 pm

    Oh, yes! Been there, twice now, waiting for it to all start happening again shortly… although the wee girl is already adept at the climbing thing in particular πŸ™‚
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…Make: lollipop stick fishMy Profile

  4. Sarah MumofThree World May 27, 2014 / 6:40 pm

    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!
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  5. Seychellesmama May 28, 2014 / 5:50 am

    Oh this is literally terrifying!!!!! My stomach lurched reading the bit about the window, I thought at 1 Arthur was a handful, clearly I haven’t seen anything yet haha!!!
    Seychellesmama recently posted…11 months oldMy Profile

  6. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) May 28, 2014 / 7:33 am

    I love this post, had never heard of the word Threenager before but knowing a couple of very feisty 3 year olds i can see it fits really well! We have all that to look forward to – joy! πŸ™‚ xx #mmwbh
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  7. Complicated Gorgeousness May 28, 2014 / 9:40 am

    That is so true. My seven year old has the glued up scars to prove it. Eek I have this stage yet to come – secretly can’t wait. Hold on to your hats xx #sharewithme
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  8. Char Paulsson May 28, 2014 / 9:53 am

    “Threenager” – I love that! Great post, really funny πŸ™‚
    My daughter tried to open the door of the loo the other day and she’s not even two yet…help!!
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  9. Lucinda Turner May 28, 2014 / 10:22 am

    I’ve not heard of threenagers before! My little man has just turned 11 months & I’ve already had an insight into tantrums!
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  10. WallyMummy May 28, 2014 / 10:56 am

    And I was hoping the terrible twos were the climax of toddler behaviour… Ahhhh! *cries a bit* lol x

  11. kid GL loves May 28, 2014 / 1:01 pm

    Lucas says – I can categorically state that this is NOT a phase. As we get older, things just get bigger and bigger. The Mother’s grey hairs are testament to this!!! he he #sharewithme
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  12. Shae May 28, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    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™‚

  13. Jude May 28, 2014 / 3:07 pm

    Threenagers. What a perfect way to describe them. I often think my three year old seems like a bundle of hormones and emotions that he doesn’t know how to handle.That explains it…Great post. #sharewithme
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  14. @katgrant30 aka Bumps and Grind May 28, 2014 / 3:32 pm

    Yikes, my little boy does a lot of this already and he’s only 18 months!! Argh. Well, I guess we wouldn’t have them any other way – little characters! πŸ™‚
    Love Bumps & Grind x
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  15. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) May 28, 2014 / 6:05 pm

    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
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  16. older mum in a muddle May 28, 2014 / 6:16 pm

    … 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

  17. Jenny May 28, 2014 / 7:26 pm

    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

  18. Laura K May 28, 2014 / 8:36 pm

    First of all love the term threenager! I’ve never heard of it before and it made me laugh! However, I must admit it terrified me. Hannah turns three next month and everyone keeps saying ‘oh the terrible twos are nearly over’. I will now reply ‘ah but I’m going to have a threenager’.

    Great post x
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  19. Mummy Hargreaves May 29, 2014 / 12:59 pm

    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
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  20. Honest Mum May 29, 2014 / 2:34 pm

    Urgh yes to all of the above, my 19 month old is quickly becoming a terrible twonager, and yes it continues until they are 4-thankfully eldest has chilled out a lot x
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  21. DANIELLE VEDMORE May 29, 2014 / 10:49 pm

    Lol loved this – Im sure it will get better πŸ™‚

  22. Tom Briggs May 30, 2014 / 8:40 am

    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!
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  23. Pinkoddy May 30, 2014 / 10:43 am

    Haha sounds fun. I only have one teenager but so far it’s the best years of their lives.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Homeless at SixteenMy Profile

  24. Lisa H May 30, 2014 / 4:15 pm

    I have a two year old and a three and a half year old so I know all this far too well!!! Loved the post, so funny and so true!! x
    Lisa H recently posted…M.E. Six Months Down the RoadMy Profile

  25. Super Busy Mum May 31, 2014 / 7:41 pm

    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

  26. Rachel - 3yearsandhome May 31, 2014 / 9:48 pm

    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.
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  27. mummymakescakes May 31, 2014 / 10:10 pm

    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

  28. Louisa May 31, 2014 / 11:47 pm

    I have a very strong willed threenager of my own and many, many new grey hairs to prove it! #pocolo
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  29. Franglaise Cooking June 3, 2014 / 7:23 pm

    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….
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