Three is HARD

Someone should’ve warned me just how difficult a three-year-old can be. I’ve always heard about the “terrible twos,” perhaps I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses, but in our house, 2 didn’t seem all that terrible. Sure there were tantrums, the whole potty-training bit, and general neediness, but that was nothing compared to 3. When did this adorable, intelligent, energetic baby become such a demanding, constantly negotiating, very opinionated child? One minute he’s strangling his baby brother and the next he’s saying, “I love you mama” in an aren’t-I-so-sweet-and-innocent voice.

This morning was especially hard. Dadda had to be at a powerlifting meet by 6:30, which meant everyone was awake extra early–like 5:45 AM. (In my honest, accurate opinion, if the sun is not up, then I shouldn’t be either.) Curious George was not the babysitter I hoped for, so anything more than 10 minutes for shower, make-up, etc. was out of the question for this momma. Both boys needed to be held and cuddled, and it’s times like this that I wonder why God didn’t give parents more arms.  Sadly, when both are crying and having meltdowns, I tend to have less patience (and since it was 6:15 AM on a Friday, I had zero patience) with my three year old. I know I should be more understanding….he was INSISTENT on wearing his basketball pants. (Again, I needed a warning that my 3 year old boy would have such strong opinions about his wardrobe.) Unfortunately, someone is behind on laundry and the basketball pants aren’t clean which caused an even bigger melt down, and it was all down hill from there. After lots of tears, the forceful putting on of pants, we loaded up and headed to school. I felt a wave of relief when I dropped the boys off, followed by immediate guilt.

Sure, three is hard. But three is also very entertaining, imaginative, inquisitive, and just plain fun. I love his constant questions, his playful imagination, his need for social interaction and the great outdoors. I love that he wants to read books over and over and play “school.” I love how he {sometimes} want to play with his younger brother (this of course is short-lived because the next minute he’s pushing or choking him).  I’m certain every age will be hard, but I don’t want to waste the time I’m given with them. I don’t want to react in anger or not have any patience just because it’s still dark outside on a Friday morning. My boys are not inconveniences. They are precious gifts. I can only pray that God’s grace will be sufficient, that His power and strength will be evident in  my NUMEROUS weaknesses.

On another note, I’ve discovered that I tend to accompany apologies with food…like, “I’m sorry this morning is rough. Want to grab a donut before school?” Pretty sure my boys will be in therapy someday for emotional eating…

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