Credits: Carolyn Dietrich/ Shutter-stock

Threenagers are Terrifying. Look out for these warning signs.

by | November 28, 2018

The terrible two’s can be tough to deal with. Learning the meaning of the word ‘no’ and fighting for independence, two-year-olds can be a handful, but they are an absolute delight compared to threenagers! Here are some warning signs that a three year old is about to invade your home.

Credits: Carolyn Dietrich/ Shutter-stock

Move over terrible twos, threenagers have arrived!

1. ‘Me no tired!’

If you have a threenager at home, you will hear this phrase, a bazillion times a day. ‘Me no tired!’ You will hear this at bedtime and when they are so tired that her eyes are rolling and they’re falling face first into a bowl of cheerios.

2. You’ll forever have the wrong color sippy cup!

“I’m thirsty” says your threenager, so you give them a sippy cup of whatever is the favorite drink of the moment (this changes daily, so be aware). A meltdown ensues!! What have you done? You’ve given them the green cup instead of the blue. There’s nothing more important to a threenager than drinking out of the “right” colored sippy cup. It’s too late to change it now, it will be wrong and the damage is done. Behold the tantrum of all tantrums, you’re just going to have to ride this one out.

3. “Why?”

No matter what you say to a threenager, their response will always be the same. ‘Why?’ As hard as you try to answer your three-year-old, be warned that you’ll end up saying, ‘just because’ out of sheer frustration at the volume of “whys” that are hammered at you.

4. ‘I do it by my own self’

This is the mantra of all threenagers across the globe. As a brutal need for independence takes over, be aware that you’re going to have to give yourselves more time to get things done. Basically you’ll need and extra half an hour to watch them put their shoes on the wrong feet, or put their coats on backwards.


5. The seven times a day outfit change

It used to be so easy, you’d pick out a cute outfit for your kid and they’d happily wear it all day (barring spills and diaper blowouts). Now it’s a struggle, not only getting them to wear what you’ve picked out, but now you’re watching in horror as they pull stuff out of the dresser because blue is their favorite color now, or they don’t like Dora any more so they just NEED their Elsa t-shirt. Watch your laundry pile grow threefold.

6. ‘We have to go’ unleashes the beast.

Saying “we have to go” will unleash a beast-like tantrum, the likes that you’ve never seen before, thrashing, screaming and head-banging. It won’t matter whether you’re at the playground or the laundromat, three year olds HATE to leave. You can try the five minute warning or set the duck timer on your phone but it probably won’t help, I’ll pray for you!

7. ‘Mommy? Where are you?’

Threenagers won’t let you out of their sights for even a second.You will never be able to pee in peace again. Every time you leave the room even if it’s just for a millisecond to go to the bathroom wails of “Mommy, where are you?” will follow you down the hallway. Be prepared for little fingers to appear under the door.

8. Eating out SUCKS

Just once you’d like to go out to eat so you don’t have to cook or clean up. Forget it, it’s just not worth it. They won’t want to sit in a highchair and you’ll end up having to chase them around a restaurant. Or they’ll throw a giant wobbly because “these aren’t the fries I like” and one of you will have to go sit in the car with said threenager, because you simply cannot bare the disapproving looks from fellow diners. Make life easier on yourself, order take-out!

Just remember, this too shall pass…


Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]



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