Drama, Drama, Drama

There are so many things about this stage with the girls that I absolutely love.  We feel more free to go and do things than any other time in the past three years, and we take advantage of that freedom.  Addison and Mackenzie are stinkin' hilarious, and the quality of our conversations is almost unbelievable.  I would not trade these days for anything that has been or is to come, as most of them are just magical.


I think we are also beginning to experience some of the attitudes and emotions that come with age three (even though we won't be there officially for another two months!).

I have heard many people say that the twos were so bad, but three is the age you really have to watch out for.  (In fact, my friend Mandy was lamenting this fact just the other night...)  Honestly, part of me thought how bad can it really be?  I have survived two newborns, two screaming and hungry infants, many sleepless nights, and two rounds of potty training.  Surely I can handle a bit of attitude, right?

I am quickly realizing that "a bit of attitude" might be a pretty major understatement, and that we just might have our hands more than full for the next, oh, EIGHTEEN years or so.  The drama in this house during the past week alone has wrecked me.  I am finding myself far too short-tempered, and I have done more yelling than is ever necessary.  And the thing is, my little darlings have an uncanny ability to completely and totally tune out my every word.  Their intentional obliviousness makes me furious, and I end up yelling for real, which hurts their feelings and leaves me feeling both mad and ashamed.

I told Jeremy today that I am so OVER his not being home at night, which is unfair to him, but is the absolute truth this week.  I know it wouldn't solve everything, but some nights I just need another adult to make me feel a little more sane.  I can only handle so many bouts of whining and fighting over every little thing.  And the unreasonable and never-ending demands...it would definitely be nice to have some help in answering and/or dissuading those.  Mostly, though, it would be nice to have Jeremy home because he is so much more patient with the girls than I am.  When he is around, I can step back when I need to and let him take charge while I cool off.  When it's just me, it is too easy to fall into the pattern of fuss/yell/guilt.

Though I really do hope that Jeremy's job will soon change in a way that will allow him to be home at night, I realize that the issue lies primarily with me.  Attitude and emotion are going to be part of parenting girls, at all stages.  I come from a family of strong-willed women, so I should expect nothing less from Addison & Mackenzie.  Really, I would not have it any other way, as I happen to think the strong-willed women in my life are nothing short of amazing.  I just have to find a better way of managing my own attitude and remember that I am the primary model for the girls' behavior.

At this age, when things are good, they are great, but when things are not so good, we all quickly turn into a royal mess.  I am going to try my best to make sure I am doing my part to minimize those less-than-great times.  When those difficult moments inevitably come around, I will try to react in a way that improves the situation, rather than increasing the tension of it.  I hope, as we ALL learn to manage our emotions a little better, this stage will stop feeling so daunting.  Because tonight, I am exhausted.

But these girls?  Oh so worth it.

Enjoying a beautiful afternoon

Is the attitude rearing its head at your house yet?  Any tips for managing it??  (In other words, should I just go ahead and take up drinking now?)


  1. Um, I think Rebecca's been gently hinting at this for all of us who still need to get there...

    Maybe she didn't want to scare us senseless :)

    But yes, the drama is increasing around our house, esp with The Girl!

  2. Is corporal punishment still frowned upon? Yes?

    Things have definitely been ramping up around here, I've been passing a good deal off on us being locked up with it being winter (that isn't very wintery this year). Personally, I've really ramped up time-out. There is no more dancing around the counting game. If I say three, game over. If the protest the normal time-out spot, I've instituted isolation! HA! They have to sit in the hall by themselves, out of the play room. So far it has been pretty effective. Maybe you could just be a little more strict?

    Although today I witnessed not my first, but my first AND second BRAWLS! Full on fighting! Where did they pick this gem up? How do I stop laughing to break them up?! It was a cat fight complete with hair pulling and I am very upset over that. I have no idea how to handle that!!

  3. As with the "Terrible Two's", I'm choosing not to acknowledge the idea of the "Terrible Three's". La-la-la...if I don't ever think about it, maybe my angels will remain just that.

    And then I have to laugh at myself. ;)

    I appreciate your honesty about dealing with your girls. I really had to have a talk with myself yesterday about maintaining my temper. It can be HARD when the challenges are so constant.

    I read 1-2-3 Magic not long ago. It's been really helpful for me to think about losing my temper in the context of an "adult temper tantrum". Reading that description in the book, something really clicked for me. I am trying to model behavior for my girls...not do something - even on a different level (since I am not generally tempted to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream...HA!) - that I DON'T want them to do.

    Ultimately, I'm trying to be consistent. While I would love to avoid timeouts as much as possible -- no fun for anyone! -- I know it's better to punish the crime and hope the girls learn from it...versus letting it slip and hoping they get distracted by something else.

    Sigh. It's not easy, for sure...but I appreciate knowing many of us are in similar boats. :)

    Hang in there, Mama!

  4. Oh yes, I do know about the sass. My girls are five and they are finding new ways to sass me up, down, and sideways. I'm finally realizing how to handle it. (or maybe they are just growing up and expanding their understanding of what I'm saying?)

    I have to make sure their manufactured fits don't get me too worked up. It's a trap I have been falling into lately, and I've been realizing I'm mad because THEY are mad... at something silly/ridiculous.

    I also pit them against each other. Never to be outdone by sister, I praise the one that isn't giving me lip, and usually the other one turns right around and says "what about me?!"

    They're also really into being polite. If I say they aren't being polite, it's like taking a toy away from them. I dunno, I guess it's just a learning curve to find what works with the personalities they have/the phases they are in.

    Good luck!

  5. Oh I am very familiar with the 3 year old drama...or almost 3.
    Ava's favorite saying is "Don't do that agaim"! That is meant towards me after I have spanked her or done something she disapproves of.
    I am the same way. My temper gets the best of me and I don't handle things the best.
    If you figure out a way to handle it let me know :)

  6. Haha...I just read Marcia's comment! YES LADIES...THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT!!

    1-2-3 Magic was very helpful for us.

    I also say, "I will not speak to you until you talk to me in your normal voice" about 18 million times a day. I will not be whined to, screamed at, or bossed around.

    Be consistent.

    Give yourself a break (i.e. naptime should be for NOTHING).

    When in doubt, open a book...it always works with the Crazies. Hang in there...it's freaking hard!


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