If The Twos are Terrible, What Are the Threes?

I thought I was headed for a much needed break as my daughter is rounding out the last few months of her "terrible twos."

And then, she took a turn for the worse. Time-out mean nothing. The little girl who would sob for two minutes then give hugs and kisses and apologies, is gone. She has been replaced by a defiant teenager-like nightmare who cares nothing if she has to stay on the kitchen rug for 15 minutes. She refuses to apologize, she refuses to discuss her behavior, and she has the most infuriating way of cocking her little head to the side as if to say that she is so completely bored with me. We've resorted to losing toy privileges which is working for now, knock on wood. But someone please tell me what happened!

Why wasn't I prepared for this by a cute title like "Terrible Twos." Why wasn't there a pamphlet at the pediatricians? Why doesn't the government send out postcards warning of this domestic security threat? Is it something parents don't want to talk about, can't talk about, because they are sure to quake in fear and start crying? It's like "The Age Who Must Not Be Named." Parents are afraid to mention if for fear that it might give it more power.

Well, the misinformation stops here! No longer will parents be caught of guard by this unnamed behemoth. I shall call it . . . I'm sorry. I can't. My trembling knees are causing my laptop to shake and I can't see the keyboard through the tears.

Is there any hope?

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