The Terrible Three’s

This year, my youngest son, Ethan, turned three.  Little did I know that his birthday would mark the beginning of the near total destruction of my home at his little hands.  Never, in my wildest dreams, could I ever have imagined that such a little person could cause so much destruction in such little time.  It has really made me wonder whether the “terrible two’s” were even that terrible at all compared to being three years old.

The carnage began shortly after his third birthday when I came home to find my new Sealy Posturepedic mattress adorned with artwork that was clearly done using one of my favorite red lipsticks.  As if he didn’t express himself enough, there were matching hieroglyphics on the wall in my bedroom in the same shade as the artwork on my mattress.  I cannot even begin to tell you how angry and frustrated I was that he had vandalized the house in such a way.  He definitely spent quite a bit of time in “time out” that evening.

As a result of that little fiasco, I banned markers and paints and proceeded to keep better guard of my makeup should he feel artistically inspired once again.  That did not work at all.  I’m not sure how he does it but he always manages to find something to write with and my house is his canvas.  I currently have drawings on the mirror in my room done with crayon and dinosaur pictures drawn on the front of his white dresser.  Also, he took my business stamper and stamped all over my glass coffee table in the livingroom.

It is not that he is not being supervised, if anything, we watch him like hawks because we know how he is.  The problem is that he is so sneaky that he manages to do these things in the split second that it takes one of us to answer the phone or go to the bathroom.  Recently, I even discovered that all the pieces are missing to my 25th Anniversary Scrabble Edition.  I have only found one solitary tile letter from the game so it is quite possible that the rest of the letter tiles have been flushed down the toilet, thrown out in the garbage, or hidden inside some toy of his.

I don’t understand where he gets this from at all.  My older son has never been destructive and I never had to worry that he was going to write on the walls or damage things.  We teach both of our boys to be appreciative of what they have and to take good care of their things.  Unfortunately, this message seems to have been lost on my little one.  He has absolutely no boundaries and no respect for other people’s things, no matter how much I try to teach him.  This behavior, coupled with the fact that he is extremely stubborn and defiant, makes for interesting parenting moments.  The most recent one included him telling me that he is not a little kid and that I shouldn’t call him a little kid.  I immediately asked him what I should call him if he wasn’t a little kid to which he promptly responded, “I am a man.”  HELP!

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  1. Your little one looks so cute and full of energy! I found it funny after reading the first few lines. After reading your full post, I can now realize the parenting stress that you are going through. Once in a while, this can be considered as typical kids naughtiness, but if this becomes routine to the extent that parents have to be continuously on their toes to avoid any further 'destruction' then I think it is time to take advice from professionals.

  2. My friend I went from laughing to sympathising in seconds! The struggles of a working mum who tries to juggle everything with style and grace…his activites scream attention to me…and I bet he has heaps already! but is looking maybe for a different kind as he grows older…on a lighter note the blog looks FANTASTIC!!! I am soooo jealous – beautiful looking, awards too – mannn!! You are blessed girl – revell in the glory 🙂

  3. Hi, Meam. Believe it or not, I think a lot of this is my fault. You see, Ethan has very bad asthma and has been hospitalized with it many times. As a result, I have spoiled him quite a bit and babied him even more. This might be a combination of wanting to continue being the center of attention and of being overindulged.

  4. Mandy, you are the best! I totally agree with you, Ethan wants more attention. I feel like I give both of my sons as much attention as they need. However, with work and everything, it is not so easy sometimes. Thank you so much for the blog compliments. It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted the blog to look and I think I finally got it. I have always thought your blog looked fantastic too.

  5. I agree with Meam and Mandy totally.
    I too initially found the whole incident bit funny, but when I put myself in your shoes,I can't help but sympathize with you.

    I recall my childhood mischief when I used to write ( read vandalize) our tall dresser mirror using mum's favorite lipsticks while she would be at work. If you see it from a kids point of view ( the way I saw it when I was Etan's age)it's plain fun.I was inspired by the color books to give my art and coloring ability a new dimension. But my coloring passion was limited to the mirrors.
    Trying to keep all possible tools kids can use out of reach can be pretty demanding with infinite things to take care of.

    Relax dear, all we can do is wait and enjoy the situation.Hoping the 'terrible threes' shall pass soon, giving way to 'fabulous fours' when Ethan will start going to kindergarten.

  6. Chatterbox, you definitely make me think about this from a totally different perspective. You are right, in Ethan's eyes he is just relishing in every opportunity to express himself. I am going to try to be more supportive of his passion for art while at the same time find a happy medium to preserve my home. I do enjoy him terribly, he is just such a little rascal.

  7. Sometime I amazed at the things my 2 year old does. Often I mistakenly blame my 6 year old because I just can't believe a toddler can be so destructive. I look forward to nap time!

  8. Ohmoma, I totally agree with you! It really is hard to believe that such a little person can do so much damage in such little time. Sometimes, nap time does sound like music to my ears. Lol

  9. I hope I don't ever have to deal w/ the terrible three's because my 18 month old has already started the terrible two's early. He's been wild since my husband has been home recovering from surgery. I'm starting to think it's because he no longer has my full attention. My husband is a trucker so he is usually only home on the weekends.

    Since he's been home my kid has regressed or something.. he's gone back to all the habits I had managed to stop and created some new ones I don't like! Like one by one removing everything out of the refrigerator. Instead of taking his diaper off and trying to throw it away he now throws them at you. No more sleeping through the night or even in his own bed! And he tears the whole house up from top to bottom in just a few minutes and when you try to stop him he stomps up and down and throws himself to the floor.

    After my husband goes back to work and it's quiet around here again and our routine is not disrupted by a man sleeping until noon and staying up until 4am ..I'm never going to think "I wish he was home a little more" LOL

    I feel for you. I can't imagine dealing with two. I'd say I feel bad that you have to work too but sometimes I think work would be a nice break, where you actually get to talk to other adults.. and theres no re-runs of Noggin programs constantly playing. Good luck! Hope this stage passes.

  10. Uh oh, Monica. It sounds like you have your hands full too with your little one. My older one regressed in his potty training when I bought my little one home from the hospital. I had to start the process all over again. In my opinion, it definitely had to do with him feeling like he wasn't getting enough attention.

    Having two is definitely a challenge with work and all. However, you are right, it is nice to go to work sometimes and just be a regular person who has the opportunity to talk to other adults. If I had to stay home and hear cartoons all day, I would probably lose my mind. This is why I think both working Moms and SAHMs have a tough job.

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