3 Year Olds.
1 is fun. Toddler is exploring, watching, imitating, loving and sweet.
2 is a bit more challenging. Child is growing, testing, learning, following, loving and sweet.
3 is a freaking roller-coaster that I didn't want to board.
This roller-coaster has it's ups...
We're playing together, reading or coloring.
We're talking or singing or dancing.
He's being obedient, cooperative and helpful.
Then it has it's downs...
Whining. (Did he forget how to just talk?)
Kicking and screaming.
Laying face down on the floor.
OMG... where is my sweet yet challenging 2 year old?!
He's only been 3 for a month and a half! I'm afraid to see what the rest of this year has in store!
The other day, I was on a Mommy&Marco date when he began acting up at the restaurant. "Ewww, I don't liiiiiiiiiike it". And hiding under the table.
I start getting upset. This is not the way I envisioned our date to play out. So I begin to discipline. "Marco, if you don't get into your seat right now, we're gonna have a problem". Then the counting. "Don't make me say 3... 1... 2..." and he sat. Whew.
Then a lady who was watching me actually COMPLIMENTED me on my disciplining methods. Here I felt like I was grasping at straws, doing anything within my power not to rain down fury on my son in public, and someone was impressed by my madness!
So what did I learn from that?
3 is going to be a challenge. Even bigger than 2. 2 is just prep work for 3.
And as the primary disciplining parent, I have to bring my A game ALL THE TIME.
Consistency is key.
He may have his roller-coaster of emotions... half the time he doesn't even know why he's melting down... he seems like a hormonal teenaged girl! But I have to remain the same.
I can't climb on that roller-coaster with him.
The rules are the rules ALL THE TIME.
If I count to 3, then I HAVE to follow through... every single time.
It's exhausting, but if I want my son to see 4, it must be done. For both our sakes!