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.
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?)