People always talk about the “terrible twos.” There are tons of jokes out there about a kid’s second year. Heck even popular T.V. shows address the issue (see this Terrible Twos episode from the 90s family sitcom Dinosaurs)
But, I’ve gotta say, having lived through the twos and being in the threes for a solid two months now with my toddler, the twos have nothing on the threes.
Ten reasons why three is worse than two:
- Your kid can talk way more now and will not hesitate to tell you exactly what they want and when they want it. The problem is, they can’t always have it, and then they will REALLY let you know how upset they are with words, and screaming, and crying. For the past few mornings my toddler and I have been locked in a battle of wills.
Every morning, he gets the ice cream out of the freezer and declares that he wants some for breakfast. I tell him he can’t have it for breakfast, and we end up in a cycle of crying, screaming, kicking at me, and time outs for a good half hour.
- All. The. Feelings. And verbalized feelings too. Which sometimes is nice because they can tell you “I’m sad!” but also hard because there’s no quick fix for feeling sad. You just have to hug them and comfort them and let them be sad for a while. As a mom, that is super hard to do. It’s not easy to watch your kid feel sad. My kid recently freaked out on me because he asked for a slice of cheese, but when I gave it to him, it tore. After all, cheese is flimsy. He proceeded to cry because he wanted it as a square. Even though he still wanted cheese, he would not touch the slice because it wasn’t a square. He was so sad about this. I even offered to give him a new piece, but nope, he was so heartbroken over the other piece tearing. I just had to sit with him and console him over his torn piece of cheese. I feel like I might as well have had a funeral for that slice of Munster.
- They start repeating a lot of things. Not just what you say either, but the unfortunate mean things some older kids might say or do too. Then you have to try and make them understand that “just because little Timmy over there gets away with saying X,Y, or Z doesn’t mean you will child.”
- They are so stubborn. This goes right with #1 on my list. They know what they want and don’t want. So, say your kid isn’t potty trained and has decided they don’t want to sit on the potty or even try (not speaking from experience or anything here HA). No amount of bribing will make them do it. Trust me, I’ve tried.
- They are bigger. It’s science. I don’t know if you’ve been told, but as they get older, they also get bigger. Gone are the days of simply picking them up and carrying them out easily if they are crying or acting up. No. Now as 30 something pounders, they can easily become dead weight as they refuse to go. Awesome.
- They want to be more independent. This is nice, but also slightly annoying when you have to sit and watch them try and dress themselves for a good 20 minutes before they finally get it. Especially if you are just trying to get out the door and go somewhere. Sure they are getting more coordinated, but also, they aren’t coordinated enough yet. Everything takes twice as long.
- They figure out how to do things. Again, this can be nice, like when my kid goes to get his own snacks now. But also not great when he picks the wrong ones at the wrong time (see number 1 above about the ice cream).
My child has figured out how to use the T.V. remote. He knows how to turn it on and off, search for his favorite videos, and raise or lower the volume. He knows how to open doors, turn lights on and off, turn fans on and off, use Alexa, and take selfies on my phone. Do you know how many selfies I have of him right now? Also he has somehow figured out how to use the DVD player, and my record player. I’m constantly waiting for him to scratch my favorite record. Oh and my favorite is how he knows how to open the trunk door on my van. By the way, he only gets into the car through the trunk now because he likes it.
- They don’t stop talking. Yes, it’s cute, but this is also the stage where the constant “Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mama!” Starts. And they don’t let up until you acknowledge them. If my kid sees a train while riding in the car he will continuously say “mama look a train!” over and over and over again until I acknowledge that yes I too see the train.
- They understand the concept of going to the store now. Say we run out of blueberries, no worries. My son just says “it’s okay we can go to HEB and get some now.” That’s his answer for anything he wants. He showed me a picture of a train tunnel the other day and said “it’s at the store let’s go get it.” So as you can imagine, going to the store is much harder now because he wants everything!
- They remember things. You know how sometimes when kids are little you tell those little white lies to get them moving when they are going like molasses? Yeah. Before three it was easy to not have to follow through because they could easily become distracted or forget about those little promises. Not anymore. The whole, “maybe you can have a cookie before bed” routine is not easily forgotten anymore. They remember what you said about that cookie, and they will remind you that you said it. Bless your little heart if you try and not follow through with the seemingly empty promises you made. Bless.
Although threes have so far been rough, they are also pleasant in that I can have an actual conversation with my child now. It’s super fun to ask him about his day and he is able to really tell me and remember what he did. It helps me to know what stuck out as important to him.
It is also amazing to see his little personality bloom with his own opinions and priorities. He can articulate his favorite color, character, shape, food, and movie among other things.
He can also empathize with us a lot more. If I tell him I am tired, he understands what that means. He’s also finally understanding what it means to take turns or share, which makes playing a game a lot more fun. Plus a three year old imagination is fun to watch develop in a way that just wasn’t there at two. We can do more complex pretend play. If I tell him the floor is lava, he will agree that yes, it is indeed lava, and we need to hop around on pillows to save ourselves.
Yes, three is more rotten than two, but it’s also way better.
What do you think? Is two better or worse than three?