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The Threenager Strikes Back



I learned a new word recently. “Threenager.” It’s a funny (if you aren’t trying to raise one), eerily accurate word to describe a three-year-old who suddenly possesses all of the nasty mood swings, stubborn, know-it-all attitude, and volatile temper of a full-fledged teen member of the entitlement generation. We completely skipped the terrible twos, so Ellie morphing into a threenager two months shy of her third birthday caught me off-guard. I don’t want to bash my best buddy in the world by giving too much detail into the crazy behavior that has been happening in our house in the past week. Incidents that might be hilarious had they happened to someone else, or if I didn’t feel like I was losing my mind on a daily basis. So, let’s just say the piece-de-resistance of last week was the deadly mix of sleep regression and excessive separation anxiety. Mike picked an outstanding week to be in Japan for business. (You owe me a huge date night, Mr.) It was definitely dig-deep time, trying to recognize Gold Stars this week. After more sleep-deprived nights than I can count, my mom, who was staying with us while Mike was away, found a magic solution: Mike’s old Teddy Ruxpin. Mike had recently taken the broken, 30-year-old toy completely apart and put it back together again in working condition. (I know…he’s pretty amazing like that.) For the past two days, with Teddy singing her lullabies, Eloise hasn’t fought me about going down for naps or at bedtime. She hasn’t called me in a million times for a million different reasons. She’s slept through the night.  Amen, Alleluia, God Bless Teddy Ruxpin! Because, as they say, “Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.”

Gold-Stars-2* “Come dream with me tonight!” Teddy’s lullabies are magic. But now I’m wishing we had bought a modern version of the toy that was less creepy, more reliable, didn’t suck the life out of four monster batteries on a weekly basis, and didn’t rely on cassette tapes. I had to explain “rewinding” to Eloise…and it didn’t go over well.

*Mom’s helping hand. I can’t thank you enough for putting up with all of the temper tantrums this week. Mine and Ellie’s.

*Welcome home, Mike! I’m not kidding about that date night.

*Making friends. We were at the playground the other night when a little girl came over to Eloise and said, “Would you be my friend?” Ellie said OK, and they proceeded to have the most adorable little conversation and play together for the rest of the time we were there. It was the first time she’s ever played with another kid that way. I learned a few things about my daughter, watching her through teary eyes. (I’m not kidding. I choked up. It was incredibly sweet.) She uses hand gestures…a lot. She’s not a push-over. She laughs when she’s nervous. She’s got Mike’s talent for immediately forgetting people’s names. She’s picked up the phrase, “I know, but…” from me. She knows how old she is. She thinks our house is called “Chicago.” (As in “I live in Chicago.”) She’ll forget she’s climbing something and jump/fall to the ground if her new friend calls to her and wants to play with chalk. (Oops.) She’ll abruptly stop playing with chalk if she wants a snack. She isn’t willing to share her Teddy Grams.  It’s not possible for me to love this little human being more.

Mom - June 5, 2015 - 2:16 pm

I went through this “special time” with you and your sister, Jenny, and lived to talk about it. So hang in there, Honey. Some day, you will be telling Eloise all about this when she is going through the same thing with her kiddos. It is a right of passage. I love being a part of your lives, and I hope I can always be of some help 🙂