Think you’ve got another decade until the strops of the teenage years start? Wrong!
I thought the terrible twos were hard enough but my toddler has started to up her game these last couple of weeks and is now in threenager mode.
I think it’s pretty unfair, considering she started her terrible twos phase at 18 months and is currently still more than four months away from turning three.
So I’m feeling pretty hard done by as a mum. I told my daughter I quit the other morning, but she thought I said Twix and hasn’t stopped asking for one since. And she isn’t being polite about it!
Having seen this phase gradually arriving over the last few weeks, I can spot the threenager signs pretty well. So, is your toddler reaching their threenager phase? Let’s find out:
1. Everything you do/say/think is wrong
You’re shouted at for making the wrong kind of Lego sculpture or cutting the toast soldiers in the wrong way.
Tantrums are thrown for you having the audacity to put on the wrong episode of Paw Patrol and heaven forbid you tell them they can’t wear sandals in winter.
2. They have an answer for everything
It doesn’t matter if you have logic on your side. Your toddler has the unshakeable belief that all she believes is correct.
It’s great they have so much confidence, but arguing with a toddler is a total brain drain.
When you should just stop engaging in the conversation you stupidly keep going.
My toddler is convinced that because she likes doing something, she should always get it. When I explain why we can’t go to the park right now, she simply argues back that she wants to go.
If I tell her she can’t watch TV, she walks over and switches it on herself before telling me the green light is on and green means go.
3. They are annoyingly picky
It’s so easy dressing a baby. They have no choice in what you put them in.
Even a young toddler will not express much care over your clothing choice for them, but a threenager has a LOT of opinions on fashion.
Mine just wants to wear Peppa clothes, even though she has just two Peppa tops. They’re all she the wants to wear. Anything else is just not good enough.
If I wrestle her into the clothes anyway, she takes them off herself five minutes later.
4. They question you over every decision
Why!? No, seriously. Why?
Why have I taught my daughter this word? Can we please ban it from the English language. I hear this word at least 50 million times a day.
It’s thrown at me over everything. Why are we eating this? Why can’t I watch that? Why aren’t we meeting so-and-so?
5. They hate everything you cook for them
All of a sudden your once-popular family meals are being rejected after a couple of bites.
Now they know pudding is on it’s way, it’s all they can think about.
They also expect cake for breakfast. I’ve waited 30 years to get away with that, she’s not taking that privilege from me!
6. They refuse to answer questions
I just want to know how nursery was. What the best thing she did today was. But no, she just pretends that I’m invisible.
I try to engage her in conversation sometimes and it’s just not happening. I know she can hear me because when I randomly bring up ice cream she’s leaping to her feet and saying she wants some.
Of course she’s a total chatter box when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone else.
7. They veer from one crazy emotion to the next
One minute there is hysterical laughter and mischief. The next they’re telling you off as if you’ve totally ruined their life for asking them to put socks on.
8. Nap strikes and bedtime battles
We’re no stranger to these, but the bedtime battle has kicked up a notch from tedious to total mindf**k territory.
Now you’re having to explain to your toddler that monsters don’t exist, that dinosaurs are only in books now and that she definitely cannot watch more Peppa now.
There are also impressive delaying tactics being deployed, such as asking questions about every single picture in their bedtime story book and wanting a drink of water, forcing you to run downstairs to fetch it.
The nap is dead. Taken from us way too soon. In memorium, we ask that you send wine instead of flowers.
9. They have road rage
You’re now not only dealing with the stresses of driving your most precious possessions safely, but also being yelled at by the most annoying backseat driver ever.
Every time you have to stop for a red light or roundabout, the screaming starts. “Why have we stopped? Go, go, goooooo!”
You dream of the days when the car used to send them to sleep within a matter of minutes.
10. They won’t do anything you tell them. At. All.
You’re trying to look after them. Keep their bum clean, keep their clothes dry and keep them warm. But they don’t care about these sensible points.
They just care that it’s hilarious to run in the opposite direction when you ask them to fetch their coat.
They won’t leave when you ask them to, they won’t stop climbing on furniture when you ask them to and they won’t stop doing mean things to their sibling.
Then there’s that look, the knowing grin they throw your way when you’ve just told them “no”. They give you that slow, cheeky smile and then proceed to do it anyway.
Sometimes you can’t help but laugh. Sometimes you feel the need to grab a glass of wine, before realising it’s only 9am.
So, are any of these familiar? Let me know if you have experienced these and if you have any survival tips!