The Terrible Twos Ain’t Got Nothin’ on The Tortuous Threes

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (4)

IMG_1756.JPGEveryone will tell you to prepare for the Terrible Twos, but I’m here to tell you that 3-year-olds are so much worse. At least in the Gilmore house. With both of my daughters, their third year caused me the most grief. But my youngest has really turned my world upside down. I’m having to see my hairstylist every three weeks to cover all the damn grays I have now, and I can tell you what she did to cause each and every one. That big one right in front–I got that one the time she decided to bite into the glow stick she received in a goody bag, getting a mouth full of neon liquid. The little one that pokes straight up at my part–I got that one when she decided to climb and jump, knocking her front tooth loose. It’s just another sign I can add to my list of things that make me old.

Listen, I love that cute little spitfire–I do. But she’s lucky she is so cute and loving. Those attributes are her saving grace–a survival mechanism. It’s just that since she turned three, she exhausts me. Everything is a battle. I want to put her hair in pigtails, she wants it down. I choose a dress, she chooses a skirt. I do the unthinkable and forget to let her pour her yogurt drink into her cup, and she freaks out and wants an entire new yogurt drink to start all over.

Being a teacher, I took all the child development classes that explain why children behave the way they do. I’ve read all the parenting books on how to speak to children so they listen. I currently teach preschool and use my best teacher voice with the kids and it always works. But there is something about dealing with a three-year-old (my three-year-old) that I can’t manage to do right.

The thing is, my daughter is very passionate. When she smiles, her entire face brightens up. When she laughs, her entire body convulses in chuckles. When she hugs you, she squeezes you full of love. But when she is angry, watch the &$%# out.
She doesn’t turn four until next summer in June. I am trying to be strong until then….I just pray I make it out alive.


  1. POSTED BY EOMama  |  August 31, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    Oh Mama, do I ever hear ya! My twins were a nightmare at age 3. And also age 4. Age 5, however? Dreamy.

  2. POSTED BY jcb  |  September 01, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

    I think the word you’re looking for in the headline is “torturous.” “Tortuous” means to take many twists and turns. Although that too could apply.

  3. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  September 01, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

    While it is also torturous, I meant to use tortuous, as in tricky to handle, not straightforward.

  4. POSTED BY Lela  |  September 01, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

    I am having the same experience in my home. “Spirited” that is the key term we use to describe our 3 year old. Oh my, she just wears us out. LOL

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