I started babysitting when I was 12 yrs old. I began working with children professionally nearly 10 years ago...everything from newborns to teens, only children in the foster care system to triplets I nannied. I have ALWAYS hated when kids turned three. It is my absolute LEAST favorite age. I know I'm supposed to love my child at every age for different reasons...different developmental milestones and all that...and I do love my three year old son. Sometimes, I just want to love him from a distance...does anyone know if there are boarding schools for three year olds?
Anyway, the main reason I've always struggled with three is that at two, they're still obedient because you are (angel's voices sing "AWWW") MOM...and all the glory and fear that comes with it. At four, you can use logic most of the time to explain this is the boundary and this is why it's a boundary in our home or family. But at three you're stuck...they're no longer awe-inspired by your mom-ness but they don't care to be mature enough to listen to the logical reasons behind the various rules.
So, here we are at three. During deployment. All I really want to do sometimes is ship my son to his father but since that would be wrong...illegal...unloving...unethical...horrible...not to mention, pretty expensive since the boy is too big to fit into a flat rate box...and yes, I do love him, I won't ship him to a war-torn nation.
But seriously, I have a three year old son who is struggling with the fact that his Daddy is still far away and now his Mommy is no longer available 24/7. He loves his sister and (THANK GOD) has not yet started to view her as an enemy. He's confused. He's angry. He's sad. He's frustrated....but he's limited on how well he can express all those feelings because... he's three.
So I guess we just keep going. I keep trying to give words to his emotions, empathize with his pain but most importantly make clear and maintain the boundaries our family has always had...deployment or not...new baby or not. Eventually, I keep reminding myself, he'll be able to acknowledge his emotions and control them better because eventually he'll be four...then five...six...it goes too fast to really spend a year wishing it would go faster.