When My Kids Annoy Me

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Bean is entering a new phase. I think this must be the three-year-old behavior people warned me about. These days, Bean is like a PMS-ing tiny warlord hyped up on steroids. He’s emotional, moody, demanding, bossy, and very rambunctious. My sweet, shy, quiet little two-year-old has become a little turd.

I say it with love, but it’s true.

The biggest change in him would have to be his roughness. I remember a few months ago we were at a birthday party for a little boy in Bean’s class who was turning three. There were other three-year-old boys there and I remember watching them push and shove and literally roll around on the ground playing in the dirt. Meanwhile, Bean was hanging out over on the sides, kind of close to me, just watching and checking things out. I remember thinking, “Thank goodness Bean isn’t a rough boy.”

Oh, boy.

It’s like all the rough and tumble that comes with being a boy just suddenly came surging through Bean in the past two weeks. He’s rough and pushy now. He kicks things and jumps on things and throws things and takes things from Gracie. I don’t think he’s intentionally being mean, but it’s like he can’t control it. He reminds me of the Hulk.

All these changes are driving me crazy! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Michael, is that how we play nicely?” over the past two weeks? Bean hasn’t sat in time out in months, but lately I feel like he’s been in time out more than he’s been out of it! To a certain extent I’m trying to let him ride through this phase. I know this is just part of being three and being a boy, so I try not to stay on him ALL THE TIME. But at the same time, there are rules in our house that we do not break. We share toys, we don’t push or kick, we treat our toys nicely. And no matter what phase my kids are in, those rules have to be followed. Which is usually how Bean ends up in time out…

The difference between the two’s and three’s from what I can tell is that at two, they are still learning how to control their emotions. You get random outbursts and meltdowns because they are learning how to use those emotions and actions, so they can’t really control them yet. And then they learn how to control them, so they like to practice using them – like, a LOT. Two was tough, but the actions (no matter how frustrating) made sense in some way.

But this three-year-old thing? From what I can tell, now it’s not about learning to control those emotions and actions, it is knowing what’s right and wrong and deliberately choosing the wrong, just to try and cross the line. I’m sure that psychologically he’s learning about boundaries and limitations right now and that these little acts of defiance are to test our limits, so I’m glad that Chris and I are holding firm about what rules we have in our house. But GEEEEZZZZ! This is going to be tough!

Last night Bean was particularly challenging. He wasn’t being very nice to Gracie and I ended up sending him to bed early because of his behavior. This morning wasn’t much better as Bean pitched a total temper tantrum about not having a THIRD bowl of cereal because we were running late for school. By the time we got to daycare, I have to admit that I was ready to drop him off. I had told him that he could have breakfast at daycare since he didn’t get to finish his bowl of cereal at home, so I took him into the cafeteria to eat after we’d dropped off Gracie. Normally, if Bean eats breakfast there, I just drop him off and he sits at a little table, eats his breakfast, and then the cafeteria girls take him to his classroom when he’s done. But this morning when I went to drop him off, he took my hand and looked up at me with those big blue eyes of his daddy’s and said, “Mommy, will you sit with me?”

I was so late for work already. So, so, so late. But it was so nice to see my sweet boy shine through for just a minute and so I sat down with him and we ate breakfast together right there in the middle of the daycare cafeteria. There was the normal rush of morning drop off going on around us, but Bean ate his waffle and talked to me like we were the only people in the room, and soon I felt like we were. It only took him about 10 minutes to eat his waffle, and then I walked him to his classroom before I left. And I smiled all the way to school.

Three is going to be rough. I can already tell. But three might also be very surprising on random Tuesday mornings, and that part I’m really looking forward to.

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23 Thoughts to “When My Kids Annoy Me”

  1. I’ve heard that the 3’s are worse than the terrible 2’s so I don’t think this is abnormal. This does worry me, though, because my 15 month old is already doing that crap and it’s still waaaaaay early in my mind. Sweet merciful cupcakes, I really hope this is it. Good luck!

  2. We’re not up to two yet, but I love seeing what might be coming next through you and Bean! I keep your good perspective in the back of my mind 🙂

  3. Ahh….3. It is an age of boundary pushing to be sure but it’s also the age where they become so much more aware of the world around them and start to develop a lot of their own personality. I have to say though, that even though my kiddos are older, there are STILL mornings where I drop them off at school and think “whew. Thank goodness they are at school” and then I immediately feel guilty for being glad they are out of my face. It’s not a great feeling but it’s a real one.

  4. Meghan

    When our first turned 3, my husband and I congratulated ourselves for having made it through the “Terrible 2’s” without many tantrums, problems, etc. We were so sure that the problem was with other kids’ parents! Then our sweet 2 year old turned into a wall-hitting, multiple-times-a-day tantrum-throwing, screaming, devil and we saw how very wrong we were 🙂 Three was WAAAAY harder than 2……it’s all about defiance, power struggles, tests of will (for everyone)!

  5. Dawn

    I am totally with you on melting with the sweetness that peeks through all the hormones and jekyl-n-hyde behaviors that we are getting these days. Espeially when the sweetness is USUALLY directed at Daddy when it comes through. When it is aimed at me, I could bend over backwards more than usual for Claudia.

  6. april_in_tx

    And just wait – 4 IS THE BEST!!

  7. Casey

    3’s are way worse than 2’s. . . Even with girls!! They have a whole new set of skills and a greater understanding of these skills but they don’t quite have the maturity to handle everything yet. My oldest has calmed down a lot since hitting 4 if that gives you any hope. Maybe I’m just trying to get myself ready to do it again since my second daughter will be 3 soon. At least I have a nice cushion between her and the one in the womb 😉 3 is hard!!! Hang in there!!!

  8. I have no experience other than once being a three year old turd, but this too shall pass.

  9. Staci

    Its just so unique at every age, isn’t it? My son, now six, would go from total sweetheart to total hellian in seconds if something didn’t go his way. He doesn’t have a sibling so it may have been slightly easier in that regard but like you pointed out, you cherish those moments when they are sweet and loving so you have something to cling to when they become turd-like. Have fun! P.S. Those times of turd-dom also seem to be those that a major growth/learning spurt are taking place so he might be in the process of becoming pure genius all while you’re being tortured. Hurrah!

  10. Three is EXHAUSTING but so hilarious! At three they start to sound a little more like mini-grownups and it’s just so so funny to hear what they say!

  11. I started to read this post to my husband and when I got to ” Bean is like a PMS-ing tiny warlord hyped up on steroids” he couldn’t stop laughing and said to me, “that’s what (our son) is exactly like!” I think you gained a reader. Our son turns three in July, but there is something changing in him lately. I thought it was just me, but I think you have explained it perfectly, he’s really testing the limits. He knows the rules in our house but he chooses to break them to test us. It’s very frustrating and then there are those sweet moments where he says to me, “I’m sorry mommy” or he lets me cuddle with him. We are in the same boat!!! Thank you for letting us know, yet again, that we are not going crazy! 🙂

  12. Oh boy…I don’t look forward to this!

  13. Yes, i remember the 3s – fun times! My little boy is now 4.5 and im just starting to really enjoy him again. 3-4 was a tough time. Im hoping 5 is the magic age!

  14. I raised 4 kids, 3 of which were boys. I could handle any 2 year-old tantrum with cool aplomb. But that whiny, physical 3 year-old thing….whoo doggie!

  15. Three year olds are why I don’t have a fourth child!

  16. Sara M

    I am with you on the 3’s! My oldest son is 4.5 and doesn’t seem to be slowing down on the rough behavior and testing his limits. My second son is Bean’s age and while he’s been rough for a while (b/c of his brother) he is sooo testing my patience with all the NO talk. I too have sent them to bed early, but then have huge guilt about not spending time with them since I pick them up from daycare about 5:30. Lovely. This parenting stuff is hard!

  17. Ann G-B

    My son will be 3 in June. Each morning he wakes up and I ask him are you a cranky boy or a happy boy? We are 3 for 3 – “I am a cranky boy!” this week.

  18. My sister-in-law warned me about the fours. Duh duh dunnn! Regardless, you are raising one sweet boy, and you are one good mama 🙂

  19. Kat

    I feel like every year brings on new challenges and new amazing discoveries. Considering that I’ve been watching you guys parent on this blog (yeah…that totally qualifies me to make the comment I am about to make) I think that he will be a-ok and will learn to adjust. You guys are amazing and as is he.

  20. Carolyn

    Not a mom yet, but as a big sister to 6 brothers and 2 sisters I can say this is partially age, and ALOT boy! I think girls go more drama at 3 and boys start trying to be men the best they can in a 3 year old form. Haha. I highly recommend “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. It is a book about men by a Christian author, and he actually talks about how to understand little boys and all the craziness that goes along with them :). Like I said, I’m not a mom so I need to probably keep my opinions to myself until that day comes, haha, but in my experience boys will be boys and with boundaries and guidance the rough and tumble rowdiness can be pretty fun.

  21. Carlene

    I work at a daycare, and yeah, the three year old room is the toughest because of all the roughhousing and pushing limits. One of my co-workers came up with a “by myself tent”. She set up a tent, complete with pillows and blankets, in the corner of the classroom and told the kids that the classroom was no place for hitting, kicking, name calling, or jumping. BUT…if they felt like they needed to do those things, they could do it in the “By Myself Tent”. Only one child is allowed in there at anytime, and there’s a picture of a monster inside, and if you want to say a bad word (poop, butt, stupid head, fartface, etc), they can whisper it to the monster. The kids have actually been using it! When we see a child starting getting rambunctious, we ask if he needs to go to the tent. Or, alternatively, we turn on music (Puntamayo’s World Playground, Caribbean Playground, and Latin Playground are favorites) and have then dance their sillies away.

  22. I always playing outside and riding bikes.
    Chalk was always great too

  23. Oh man, we have totally JUST hit the exact.same.phase. Brayden has been a holy terror lately, and I am just trying SO HARD to keep my cool. Glad to know I am not alone, and I hope I get some moments like you did!

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