My Innocent Baby Has Turned Into a Three-nager!by Amie MacKay
Where did my beautiful, sweet, innocent baby go? Little Miss H will be three in September, but we appear to have reached the “Threenager” stage early! If you think the terrible twos are bad, my god, be prepared for the multiple tantrums and mountain of attitude heading your way! I thought people were just over exaggerating when using the term ‘mini teenager’ but no they were not! What makes things 100 times worse is, she’s me!
Now I know a lot of you are probably sat there thinking, yeah right, it can’t be that bad, she’s not even three yet, she’s still learning but I also know that there will be those of you are like yes, I know exactly what you’re talking about and I’m so bloody glad I’m not the only one! Yup, I’m here! Fully entered the Threenager club! The club where your child makes you question your parenting skills, where you doubt every decision you’ve ever made, and you spend each day wondering if it really is just a phase or if you have screwed things up big time! If you’re not quite into the Threenager club yet and want to know what the hell I’m talking about…. keep reading, I’m away to give you a little insight into a normal day in our house….
7 am – “Morning baby, did you have a good sleep?” Now I know she hasn’t because she refused to go to sleep until half-past 10/11 pm AGAIN! even though she NEVER naps during the day but continues to fight her sleep way past bedtime and woke throughout the night for a cuddle etc. So, she’s grumpy, as am I because it was another midnight bedtime for me, followed by an alarm at half 5, and again at 6…. hubby fancied a lie in. Who needs sleep anyway? I get greeted her grumpy pouty face followed by “leave me alone” no bother sweetheart! Time for another cup of coffee! See I need fuel because I know today is gonna be one of THOSE days. You know the ones…Not long after will follow a tantrum because I’ve asked her to go to the bathroom before breakfast and she will inform me through her shouting and tears that she doesn’t need! That tantrum normally doesn’t last long but the next one isn’t far away because we need to decide what we’re having for breakfast! “Would you like, cereal, toast, yoghurt or fruit Heidi?”…..Hmmm “I’m just thinking of something mummy, some popcorn” “No you can’t have popcorn for breakfast” The tears start I’m not hungry for breakfast, my tummy’s hungry for popcorn….away she storms crying, “leave me alone, I’m being grumpy” Now when we first started with this “teenager” attitude, I’d follow her, try to calm her etc but I soon realised the tantrums got worse, so now I leave her to have her wee strop and I make her breakfast.
8 am - An hour into the day and we’ve already had two tantrums and so far, we’ve achieved making breakfast. Mum goals right there. “Heidi your breakfast is ready, and Paw Patrol is on”. She soon comes running through and we’re good. Time for me to grab a quick shower, throw on some clothes and get her clothes organised. At this time, I also plant the, shall we go and see Granny seed in hope that it won’t take an hour and half to get her dressed and get out the house!
9 am – “Put your coat on” I’ve only asked a million times but she’s adamant she can manage all by herself, to be fair she can, she’s just not cracked the zip yet. We manage to eventually leave the house and we’re on our way to grannies! Hooray!
9.15 – We’re in grannies, her coat and shoes are off and I have a hot coffee in my hands. Bliss. Thanks mum! Now going to Grannies house is great, there are different toys to play with, she’s got wee friends to play with (granny is a childminder) and she’s got granny, who is much more fun than mummy. She does tend to behave better at Grannies house the only problem we have is when it’s time to go home! If it’s a day to see Granny which was today, we normally go in the morning and stay until about 2.45. The tantrum that comes with leaving not just grannies house but anywhere just now is ridiculous. We have a screaming, kicking, furious girl on our hands. It is NOT fun. The tantrum normally lasts all the way home and I get an “I’m not talking to you, I’m being grumpy, I wanted to stay with granny” little girl. Now it kinda sucks to be the big bad guy, who has rules, who is trying to teach their child that she can’t always get her own way but I’m coming to terms with it.
3.30 pm – Tantrum has finally finished! Time for another coffee. “Heidi, would you like a snack?” “.No, I can get my own snack all by myself”. Ok then. “Mum, Mum, MUMMY! I need another snack” That’s pretty much how the rest of the afternoon goes, of course, there are more tantrums because I say no to the limit of snacks before dinner. Bad mum! Heidi currently is also tired, and this is when the fighting sleep begins! It’s about this time I also try to get some work done but it’s also the time that she wants to play and because I feel like a bloody awful mum for the number of tantrums she’s had, and the number of times I’ve raised my voice and just about lost every ounce of patience, guess who wins. Heidi. So away to play we go. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but there reaches a point in the day that I start to clock watch, and this is the time that I start clock-watching because in about an hour Daddy will be home! Yay! That means I can share the tantrums, lock myself away for 5 minutes to remind myself that I’m not actually a bad mum, I’m doing the best I can, it’s just a phase, well I bloody hope it is and it’s now a reasonable time in the day to pour a gin. Thank god!
5.20 pm – He’s HOME! “Daddy”! He can tell when it’s been one of those days. He takes over. In our house, we share the tasks like dinner etc, one of us will work on dinner the other will entertain Heidi and deal with the tidy up your bedroom tantrum and do the tidying up of said bedroom with her.
6 pm – Dinner time. It’s nearly bedtime. Thank god. I’m knackered and sore. Being a fibro sufferer even the days we’ve not done much can be physically and mentally draining and normally at this time of the day my body is suffering. This is also one of the reasons me and my hubby share the dinner/bedtime routine. Now we’ve been lucky with Heidi when it comes to food, she’s not fussy in the slightest and will eat anything but there’s the odd night that she decides she’s not hungry and doesn’t want to eat.
6.45 – Bath time. It was daddy’s turn for bath time, Heidi loves the bath, the issue is getting her out. Tonight, was a two-person job, bit of teamwork needed, a good cop bad cop situation. It was the only way we were getting her out the bath, those teeth brushed and her in her jammies.
7.40 – Bedtime. Time for a story or five but not before we’ve gotten up for another pee, gotten some water and given daddy another kiss. It’s 8 pm before I’ve even opened the bloody books. Books done. She isn’t “I’m not tired mummy” “Well it’s bedtime sweetheart, so close your eyes” Can’t finish the day without one more tantrum, can we! “I want daddy” Daddy takes over repeats what I’ve done and she’s back up. Nothing can be mistaken for those little feet making a run from bedtime….” mummy I need a cuddle” “Well darling, mummy needs to get some work done and would quite like some sleep herself!” We switch, AGAIN. Hubby mouths to me he’s away to walk the dog.
It’s now 9.15, love island has started, she’s still wide awake, I’m ready to fall asleep and she isn’t. The tears are flowing again because she’s realised daddy has gone out without her and because she’s absolutely shattered. She cuddles in and eventually falls asleep. It’s just after 10. Earlier than last night though, improvement! I look down at her and all I see is my innocent little girl. Today was filled with tantrums, tomorrow will probably be too.
10.15 – Hubby is home, “She finally went to sleep then?” “About 5 minutes ago! Work can wait until tomorrow. I need my bed and when I finally get into bed, do you know what I think about? If I’m doing it all wrong, if it’s supposed to be this tiring, if she’s supposed to be this strong-willed so young. The lot. I prepare myself for another day like today to deal with tomorrow but as I check her monitor and see her sleeping little face, I remind myself that we’ve both made it through the day, she has had tantrums but she’s also had fun and played. Turns out that the bad days aren’t so bad. It just feels like it at the time.
For those who haven’t reached the Threenager stage yet, I might complain about how bad the days are or how difficult she’s been but at the end of every day, I remind myself how lucky I am to be a mum. It’s not put me off having another one either, although I’m not gonna lie there have been days that I’ve said no way are we having more!
My tips for getting through this?... Coffee, Alcohol, an understanding partner and a Granny. I’d be lost without my mum.
I reckon we’ll make it through the Threenager stage, and I’ll see you all for the Forceful Fours!
It can only get better, right?