Everyone always talks about the terrible twos but no one warns you that three is way, way harder. At least it was in our house. Shorty’s third year was trying and that is putting it mildly. There were tantrums, back talk, defiance, bad manners, biting, hitting, not listening, stubbornness, yelling, feet dragging, throwing, testing of limits, and ATTITUDE. Some days I wasn’t sure I was going to survive the threes. Some days I felt like someone should have taken my right to mother away and other days I thought maybe I should have Shorty evaluated because surely his behavior couldn’t have been normal.
Shorty turned four on August 8th, and I swear so far it’s like a new kid has come to live with us. (It’s also been like a new mommy came to live here.) He has been so much easier to deal with and be around. Today he cleaned up his toys without being told. Last night he asked me to please take him to bed, admittedly it was very, very late and his little body was exhausted but still he ASKED to go to bed! He’s been mostly listening, extremely cuddly and affectionate. His manners have been better. There is almost no yelling (well not the bad kind, just the fun over-exhuberant kind). I’m once again enjoying my time with him. Seriously, what a difference from the many months in which I felt like the worst mother EVER because I couldn’t handle my own kid and didn’t always like being around him and his attitude.
It’s not just his attitude that has grown for the better. He’s growing in so many other ways too. My child is trying to read. He recognizes some words – I mean he actually asked me what the new store in one of the shopping centers was that had the word ‘book’ on its sign. (Imagine my shock when I turned to where he was pointing to find a new Bargain ‘Book’ Warehouse.) He’s starting to write letters. The other night he was asking me how to spell the names of the Transformers so he could write them on his paper. He’s doing basic addition. He counts to like 70. And he’s started explaining to me the definition of words he knows. He tells stories (as well as some tall tales that I’ve caught him in). I’m constantly blown away by how much he knows (and so are his teachers and yes, I guess I am bragging a little bit here. Forgive me but I’m really proud of him).
It’s still very early in the fourth year so I’m hoping I’m not jinxing things with this post but folks, if this is what four is like then bring it on!