If you've seen me in Target, the grocery store, basically anywhere in public lately with my three year old most likely he was lying on the floor. Face down, kicking his legs, and I was most likely at a safe distance, pretending to walk away and "leave him" there. Maybe we made eye contact and you silently commiserated with me and gave me an "I've been there" look, maybe you looked at me like "Hey lady, maybe pick your child up off of the Home Depot floor, huh?", either way, I have a threenager and pretty much anywhere we go involves this super fun battle of wills. First, let's deal with the nap thing. Remember NAPS?!?! Weren't those so awesome! You could plan out calling a friend, getting work done, catching up on Vanderpump Rules, whatever floated your boat because that naptime was your oasis and you were the captain. No longer. Act like your threenager when they flush the potty and say bye bye as that goes down the tubes because the transition to no more napping is happening. The worst part about it is that you foolishly think that no nap means early bedtime. HAHAHAHAHAHA no. It does not.
Remember when you couldn't wait for your baby to say their first word? Now that they are three they say all of the words they know all the time without stopping constantly and most of those words are Paw Patrol and Can You Put on Paw Patrol?
Food? What food? If you don't have the right type of granola bar at exactly the right moment when the sun is at the right point in the sky and the planets have aligned for food consumption then they will go on a threenager hunger strike that will leave you wondering how they can even survive on chocolate milk alone.
Speed is a major factor. Hand holding, not so much, so get those hammies stretched and ready for some threenager sprinting, usually riiiiiiight on the borderline of getting close to the street so you must break from a conversation in a panic to retrieve your child, or chase them around the house with a jacket so you can make the doctor's appointment in time.
Clothing options become extremely limited, if you are lucky they will keep the clothing on after using the potty (not the case in my house). If I was cool with it my threenager would only dress in Thomas the Tank Engine clothing and Mickey Mouse underwear, but no, not THOSE Mickey Mouse underwear, the one pair where Mickey is on a scooter. THAT PAIR. THAT PAIR NOW!!!!!!
You have an opportunity to work on your patience though, as you wait for them to buckle their carseat belt (NO I DO IT) while refusing absolutely zero help getting into the carseat, finding the buckles, closing the buckles, making sure the buckles are on right, oh wait now this one buckle is twisted ever so slightly and we can't have that so let's start all over again while I get out of my carseat and whine on the floor of the car about the buckle getting twisted.
Get used to seeing one show, even one episode all the time. Every time. In our house there is a "Spongebob Golf" episode that our threenager loves where Spongebob plays mini golf with the starfish dude (yes I know his name is Patrick I've seen it eleventy billion times) and it MUST BE THAT EPISODE or back to the drawing board we go. Such is the case as well with going to bed. There's a routine, and you must follow that routine if you are hoping to get some shuteye. We have a complex system of starlight turtles, a sound machine that must be on the right melody, a "Blast Off" sequence that is performed with three different stuffed animals, and a thorough de-wrinkling of all blankets before sleep can perhaps take place in the next hour or so. Don't look at me like that, you know you do it too.
The thing is, being a parent to a threenager is difficult but also so fleeting. They will only be this super duper cute and small while also being able to talk and dance and pick out crazy outfits for so long. They are the perfect mix of tiny and funny, and when the sweetness comes through and those little arms go around your neck all of the threenager craziness is forgiven. Until dinner time, because you had better get that hot dog cut properly or you are screwed. Good luck mamas! xoxo