Who run the worlds? Toddler run worlds?

Well at least in our house it is the toddler who rules the world. Emma is fast approaching her 3rd birthday and I think those of you with 3 year olds (or who have survived 3 year olds) will know that 3 is a lot more challenging that 2. Three was when Kiara tested everything I knew (and everything my parents knew) about being a parent. Fortunately having been through this 3 times already, I know that it shall pass. 

Let me share a regular afternoon in our world at the moment.

I fetch Emma and Jack at around 16h00. By then I have work done for the day, dinner is cooked, Cameron is at swimming, Kiara is at dancing (on her dance days). So it is me and them.Toddler runs the world|HarassedMom

We get into the car. Emma starts crying/screaming/whining. 

I mustn’t buckle her in, I must buckle her in, she wants to sit on Jacks spot, she wants to go back to school, she wants to go home, she doesn’t want to eat dinner but is hungry, she doesn’t want to tell me how her day was. Pick one of these, or two on bad days.

So we head home, Emma crying, Jack and I talking about his day. She changes the reason for her crying during the trip.

The following incident really did happen, it may disturb sensitive readers.

I park the car and call Kiara to help with the groceries. Emma is still crying but refuses to get out of the car so she is standing over the back seat looking at us take groceries out of the boot. Jack carries the cokes inside for me.

I leave her in the car while I unpack but then hear a SCREAM, so I think she has fallen into the boot (we have a bus so its a bit of a drop into the boot.). Nope she is fine, sitting in the boot screaming for no apparent reason. 

I can not leave her in the boot, so try to grab her to carry her inside. She wiggles out of my hand and starts running away from me screaming.

*pause* we live in a complex which means my neighbours and I are very close to one another and EVERYONE IS HOME.Toddler runs the world|HarassedMom

Eventually Kiara and I herd her inside and close the door while she writhes around on the floor. We all ignore her until she goes into the kitchen, grabs a full 2l coke zero bottle and starts hitting Jack with it. Chaos erupts as I try to get the coke from her, Jack is crying, she is screaming and throwing whatever she can find around. Eventually Kiara and Jack retreat to higher ground and lock themselves in Kiara’s room.

This obviously sends Emma over the edge (no she wasn’t already there, she was almost there) so there is more crying, some banging on the door and lots of noise. Eventually I get her to calm down, lie on the couch with her tea and watch her show.

Meanwhile Kiara, Jack and I are sitting in a puddle of stress, trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

This is not an isolated incident, this child has stamina, she has determination and she has a set of lungs like NO OTHER!Toddler runs the world|HarassedMom

I know this latest set of tantrums is triggered by the back to school routine. She is tired and over stimulated and I am trying to make the adaption a little easier for her but holy hell you guys this is not heaps of fun. By bedtime we are all exhausted and then generally we have fights at bedtime to end the day.

Just like her sister she responds to very little – we have done star charts, smacking, time outs, distraction, ignoring, shouting like crazy people. It has all been done, it has all failed. Let me tell you, you start to question every single thing you have read about being a parent when your toddler looks you in the eye and says  “I will not listen to you”.

I know it is about testing her boundaries, learning what she can and can’t do, trying to make sense of the world around her and I know about the dangers of breaking her spirit. Some days we remain calm and handle it pretty well but there are days we are tired, we are over stimulated and shout too loud, get too angry and it all ends up in a bit of a mess. Isn’t that parenting though? Some days we can Pinterest our lives but other days we just want to press ctrl-alt-del.

We will get through this, I know that but for now our toddler run the worlds! (And the rest of us seek comfort in chocolate).

Are you dealing with a 3 year old? How is it going? 

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12 Responses

  1. OMG I thought it was just us!
    Alexander has been driving us mad – we must be experiencing at least three tantrums and five screaming matches a day. He’s also been waking up three times a night shouting for Mom and when that doesnt work, he yells for Dad. Bath time is impossible, dinner time is even worse and don;t get me started on getting dressed in the mornings 🙁

    We’ve tried time outs, ignoring, shouting and talking…. none of it works….. please tell me this phase will pass soon? We’re nearing the end of our tethers

  2. Damn that sounds like a nightmare, I wouldn’t know what to do after trying smacking, time outs etc etc, geez amazing how we’re such little shits when we’re small hey. I don’t have kids, can’t relate but see them having tantrums in shops, ewwwww 😛 so obviously I don’t have any advice but sounds like you’ve tried everything. Maybe just ignore her, don’t look at her or talk to her, and when she’s calm and wants affection tell her no because she was a brat earlier….

    Anyways, you’re a pro, and kids grow up quickly, it’ll soon be over, hope these are words of encouragement 😉

  3. Big hugs, you have my sympathies. I also have some bad days sometimes. I think you are right is the back to school thing. Just remember she feels safe to let out all her emotions with you, that’s a good thing 🙂
    Heather recently posted…My word for 2017: GentleMy Profile

  4. We had one too. Her preschool principle suggested, that even though she was clearly not ready for school, we send her. As they had had her for two years and it was clearly some other educator’s job to be terrorized. She could identify weakness a mile away
    She went to school and by grade three had the reading age of twelve at the age of eight (she started school at five turning six). Even though she remained feisty she learnt to adapt to her environment and has become a productive member of society. She did however go forth and multiplied.


  5. Wish I could say my tantrums had ended. My 5 year old has started Grade R this year. At the moment really battling with the transistion its a fight to go to school. Not interested in greeting his teacher and really seems to be suffering with these MAJOR anger issues. Im hoping that it will pass soon because I have no idea on how to deal with it right now.

  6. Hahaaaaaa! I remember those days with Megan. She was the most difficult of them all and her tantrum phase lasted until she was at least 5… I’m happy to say that it did pass, though. And I don’t miss it one bit!
    MeeA recently posted…DoorsMy Profile

  7. I remember a few spectacular tantrums from Nicola at that age, and then I met Scott…hahaha! He took it to a whole new level!

    We too, tried everything. Eventually we discovered that water was his off button. Either a nice warm bath or a glass full in the face (only happened once when it looked like he might actually explode if we didn’t shock him out of his tirade).

    He seems to have mellowed quite a bit from 3 to 4, although he has now taken a page from his sister’s book and just cries and whines and fakes being sick to get out of school all the time.

    I sort of miss the rage episodes in comparison.
    Louisa recently posted…Happy birthday Nicola!My Profile

  8. Every. Single. Day. They are two halves of a whole our twin daughters. We also try (and fail) everything depending on the day. That “murdering me” screaming has resulted in people in our complex phoning us or coming out of their homes to check that she is ok. We mostly aren’t even in the same room as her when she is screaming and we run to make sure she hasn’t hurt herself, and there she is, sitting on the floor just screaming. The exhaustion is real. At least we have each other *sob*

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