Many parents say that girls are harder at two and boys are more volatile at three. Some say boys evict the “Terrible Twos” with the “Histrionic Threes”. We’ve seen that over the last two months as our formerly happy-go-lucky and compliant Jack defies instructions by running away, crying, inching forward like a turtle, or throwing himself on the floor no matter what we ask him to do. Please go to the potty so you don’t have an accident on errands? Fascists! He can’t go to the grocery store in his underpants? Outrage! His baby sister is wearing the same color bib as him? Oh cruel fate! Alas! Alack! Woe! *cue Greek chorus*


Sometimes it is just an outburst of a very little boy still learning self-control. Other times, well… While on vacation a week ago Jack started shrieking angrily in the back row of the minivan. It was painfully loud and Baby Josie let out a plaintive wail. Jack immediately stopped screaming and corrected her for her interuption in a perfectly normal voice “No, [Josie]! I want to scream.” Helpless victim of his emotions, my foot. We are, incidentally, seeing some progress with Kendra’s Bean Jar approach.


That being said, Jack’s also blossoming as a person with new thoughts, words, and abilities unfolding every day. He’s an endless source of creative play, always takes care of his sisters, and loves to help. He begs to vacuum, runs to fetch and carry if our hands are full with a baby, will pick up sticks or rake leaves all day, and especially loves unpacking the groceries with us. We must have once said something like “thanks, little man” when he helped us unload because now every time he carries in groceries, puts them on the counter, and flattens the bags for us he struts around with his chest puffed out announcing “I’m a yittle man! I’m a yittle man!” Thankfully, between the wild developmental swings of defiance three year olds can be awfully sweet. Josie thinks so, at least when Jack’s not shrieking like a banshee…




3 thoughts on “Threenager

  1. oh Sarah. 3 is just the worst, no? but those moments of sweetness do shine thru and give you a preview of 4. which is VERY nice, i promise. well at least at our house lol. also my kids LOVE helping with groceries too, cracks me up!

    • Glad to know four is better! I used to see your posts when your big boys were each three and wonder what could be so bad. Two was rough and I still wondered how three could possibly get harder. Now I know…

      • yea see and our two isn’t so bad. i mean you had TWO twos so there is always that part lol but yea, they click into threenager mode and it just.. their brains. like … they’re on the fritz or something, i dont know. its…. i dont know, original sin at its finest :-p

        the upside tho to being on my 3rd 3 is that i can just keep reminding myself it too shall pass. it shall PASS DARN IT!

        with john i legit thought he was broken. brian was deployed and he was 3 together and i thought i broke him. like i consulted a counselor broken. she was like, yea no he’s three. whew. lol

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