She's a delayed, special needs kid. So I was thinking I was in the clear on the whole 'age three' thing. I assumed, quite wrongly, that when she got close to 3 she wouldn't turn into a complete shithead like my other kids did at age three.
My oldest two kids are thirteen months apart. My oldest introduced me to age three, and when I survived that year I thought it was a fluke that she was such a horror. I thought 'okay, so terrible twos are for most kids, mine just happened to have them at age 3'.
And then a month after she turned 4, and became the most amazing person ever, my son turned three.
Then commenced another year of absolute horror.
Because age 3? Three makes two look like rainbows and effing unicorns. Three makes the memories of infancy and sleepless nights a dream to look back upon. OH THE DAYS when my child could actually be comforted by my arms around him. When distraction worked.
Two year olds are distractable. Yes, then have some serious tantrums, but they're DISTRACTABLE.
A three year old?
THREE YEAR OLDS ARE NOT EASILY DISTRACTED.
Nope. A three year old likes to wrap that tantrum around herself and wallow in it awhile. Three year olds remember shit. They KNOW why they're screaming, and they're going to let you and everyone in a five-mile radius know it. They're no longer entranced by "ooooh, SHINY!". When a three year old is unhappy, they're committed to letting you know it.
Livie, my almost-three-year-old, is a super delayed kid. She doesn't yet walk, although she can finally climb stairs and cruise along the furniture. Although she can sign a little, and has a couple of words, because of her age she's considered nonverbal. So I really, really thought that she wasn't going to be a typical three year old.
This morning? She laid herself on the floor and screamed at the top of her lungs for 20 straight minutes because I wouldn't let her go upstairs with the big kids. Occasionally, she'd stop and watch Blues Clues for 10 seconds, but then she'd resume wailing. She's got it down too, rolling around, flailing her body, and generally letting everyone know how miserable she is.
It's not about lack of structure or discipline here, either, because I'm a pretty tough parent. My kids are generally really well-behaved kids. I can take them anywhere.
Liv being delayed doesn't mean she gets special allowances for assholery. I take into account her needs, of course, but she still has limits and boundaries that I set for her.
Those boundaries, though? Yeah. Three year olds don't give a shit about boundaries. Rules. Structure. Discipline.
Basically, if they could write decently? Three year olds would rule the world. Because dictators everywhere would give into their concessions just to make them STOP FREAKING OUT.