Troublesome threes

2:07 PM

I have decided that I will gladly take the terrible twos over the troublesome threes any day. While the tantrums of the terrible twos can be long and frustrating and there can even include some throwing and such it doesn't hold a candle to being three.

The problem with the three year old, I have decided, is that you KNOW that they understand you, you KNOW that they know better and you KNOW that have the time they are doing things just to get on your last nerve.

What you don't know is how exactly to get them to stop doing what they are doing. When is it not just being an energetic three year old and when does it really deserve some disciplining. And when they do requite the dreaded disciplining how do you get it through their head that they should be LEARNING from all this?

Firecracker has lived up to hr name lately. I am not sure exactly what her deal is but she seems to have not only gotten more energy, but has also decided to disobey and be rather hyperactive. She has also reverted back to be more orally curious like a baby would. She licks things she shouldn't like the top of the potty or the brick wall of a building, she places things her her mouth like her tiny Dora doll, the shampoo bottle or even the marble she found (that one got me concerned as the VERY last thing I want to do is go find a marble in her stomach at the ER!).As a germ freak all of this absolutely drives me crazy! In fact, my first reaction for each of them is to scream in horror "NO!" which usually sends her into a whirlwind of crying. That or a dramatic crumple to the floor, even if we are on the street. And with all the dog poo that is never picked up here that also sends my mind wondering what the heck kind of disease she could have on her clothes....

Half of the "problem" isn't actually a problem but a clash of personalities. She is very Spanish and very much like her father: loud, hyper, energetic, fun, silly, loves to make people laugh and gets wound up the more they laugh. And while it is really fun to be around people like that it is not so easy to raise one. Especially when I am rather the opposite personality. I like to have fun, but there is a point in which I need quiet in order to regroup. With my Spanish family I usually have to take a nap, go read a book or take a walk to regroup and be quiet for a moment. My uncle says we just burn our energy faster than others or perhaps our tanks are smaller, who knows?

With Firecracker I am trying to learn to not get upset when she is literally running in circle around me or pulling on me to trying to swing from my arm when we need to walk home. I try to not be in a hurry just so that she has more time to be silly, but that doesn't always work. She procrastinates until the last moment, then pitches a fit saying she can't put her shoes on or that I put her coat in the wrong spot. Or simply refuses to answer or come when I call. Or she will eat with her fingers, then wipe her hands on her dress or the wall or on me, etc. Or she will simply be out of control energetic.

I am trying not to yell and instead understand. I am finding ways to not say "no" but to turn the sentence around to being more positive. I am trying and trying and trying. But the next moth of July scares me. Principe just started a new position and basically won't be around. There are even two weekends already where he will have to go into the office and not be home. He gets home now after they are in bed and leaves when they wake up. So I am alone.

The only thing I can keep saying is: this too shall pass. Because it has to be a phase, right?

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