The Year of the Threenager

The definition of threenager sass, right here

Pre-children, when my husband and I were still in our getting a solid 10+ hours of sleep phase, we wanted four kids, minimum. Preferably five. We even had names picked out. Less than two and a half years into our marriage, we found out I was pregnant. We were ECSTATIC. On cloud nine. So in love. I had an easy pregnancy and childbirth experience, as far as carrying/birthing another human goes, so in our haze of fresh baby smell, we were still on our path to a basketball team.

Kate was a super easy baby. Nursed well. Mostly slept well. Ate whatever we put in front of her. No temper tantrums or terrible twos. Never really cried. So around 2.5, we were all like, “We should totally try to get pregnant when she’s 3/3.5. That will be PERFECT.”

And then our perfect little angel baby that never cried and slept well and ate all the good, healthy things turned into a raging she-beast diva threenager that only wanted a diet of fruit snacks and yogurt. But only Yoplait yogurt. And now our existence is the bane of hers. In the span of about one week, tops, she flipped a switch. Did a 180. We never know what’s going to set her off.

When she’s sweet, oh she’s sweet. Sugar sweet. The most loving little thing you’ve ever seen and we completely adore her. She’s probably the only person in the world that we would give our lives for. But when she’s mad? TAKE COVER. Just shut up and don’t make eye contact. Play opossum. Get some camo. Pray to a higher being that the floor opens up and swallows you. Because nothing can make you feel more inadequate as a human being than a threenager.

Two weeks ago, my husband was sitting next to her on the couch, just minding his own business. Playing Trivia Crack on his phone while she enjoyed a book and some Yoplait. When out of nowhere, Kate’s head spins around like she’s possessed by a beautiful blonde demon and she screams, “GET OUT OF MY FACE, DAD!!” It’s so bad lately, that my husband spent a weekend redoing a closet to get a break, and I took my turn by spending 90 minutes in a hot yoga class. Home renovations and 90 minutes of yoga in a tiny, 105 degree, 94% humidity room are better options than being screamed at by our threenager. We have officially hit a new low.

I can only assume this is early punishment from my parents for my teenage years. I can nearly feel the glee radiating through the phone lines when I call my mom and tell her that, for the fifth night in a row, Kate was up until the wee hours of the night screaming at us because we put her water in the blue cup with the red lid and she actually wanted it in the blue cup with the red lid (that is not a typo, folks). AND I’M TIRED, MOM. Come visit me. I need someone sane in my life.

There is no winning with a three-year-old. None. Because, while they can be straight up cruel, they are the only people in the entire world that can look adorable as they tell you how much you suck. And then they turn around two minutes later to say, “Mama. You tell Harry that you don’t wanna work no more cause I miss you.” Jeez, kid, tear my heart out why dontcha. Just when I think I should probably go take an entire month’s worth of birth control, she makes my uterus flutter with thoughts of more babies.

Just recently, we were actually thinking we should have another because she was so good while we were out of town, and we are nailing this parent thing. I think we even high-fived. And then 30 seconds later, she walks out of the bathroom. Naked. With a juice box. And angry sobbing because she had a booger and she wiped it away with a tissue. What was the problem, you ask? Her booger was gone. SHE WAS CRYING BECAUSE SHE WIPED HER SNOT AWAY AND NOW IT WAS GONE.

I hear that three is the teenage year of toddlers and that they mellow out a little at four. If this is wrong, no one tell me. I’d rather live in this semi-hopeful state that we’ll someday get to sleep 8+ hours again without a toddler farting like an old man in between us and randomly screaming, “GET OUT OF MY FACE.”

And I guess if four isn’t any better, then at the very least we should be numb to this by the time she’s an actual teenager.




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Samantha is a native of small-town Southern Indiana who loves exploring the Circle City with her husband and their daughters, Kate (October 2011) and Isla (December 2015). After finishing a degree in Professional Writing at Purdue, Sam made her way to the greater Indianapolis area where she learned to embrace the lack of hills and abundance of interstate. After an 8-year career in business development and marketing, she’s taken a step back from the corporate world to focus on her own business – GrayGirl Designs – where she designs invitations, stationary, and business materials and offers marketing services, graphic design, and résumé writing. When she’s not trying to balance family and her business, she enjoys (in no particular order): Jazzercize, yoga, crafting, horseback riding, way too much coffee, and hiking. Sam is also a melanoma survivor and a passionate advocate of skin cancer and sun safety education and awareness.


  1. You are a freaked idiot!!!!!!
    Letting your saucer talk to you both like that!!!!
    Think of the manipulative and deceitful lil brat your raising…making it harder for teachers to discipline her later on and the bad habits she’s learning about not respecting others and treating other people with such disrespect and disgrace. You are basically setting this child up to be a bully. In this day and age you wonder why there is so much bullying going on……well there you have it people specimen #1 child being rewarded and encouraged by her scared parents to show her lil cute butt who its boss!!!!…parents please do us all a favor in society and treason your child to live and respect each other and give them guidance when they do wrong. Also give them the opportunity to grow and learn good habits and honorable behaviors.

    • Lynda, I think you need to take a long, hard look at yourself and think about who is being the bully here. Calling someone a “freaking idiot” (which I assume is what you were actually going for) is in no way helpful or supportive. Voicing your opinion is one thing, but tearing someone down and name-calling because you disagree with their parenting methods is disrespectful and the complete opposite of what we want to teach our children.

    • Thank you SO much for this comment! I was having a day filled with self-doubt and a lack of purpose, but stumbling onto your post has made me feel so much better. First of all, the fact that someone with your intelligence level can actually do anything which enables you to access the Internet makes me realize that I’m nowhere near the bottom of the proverbial septic barrel. Hell, in comparison, I might even be swimming in fine wine. But enough of the silly metaphors…please allow me fulfill the sense of purpose you have given me in the form of teaching an obviously failing individual how to insult someone without making so many writing mistakes that you end up as the joke…

      As intelligently and as briefly as possible, in order, here are your areas of required edits:

      1. “Freaked” should be “freaking”
      2. “saucer”…. no clue how to help with this one
      3. “That!!!!” Should be “that????”
      4. “Lil” use “little” because she’s not a gangsta rapper…yet
      5. “Your” should be “you’re”
      6. “raising…” change to “raising,”
      7. “Later on and” add comma to make it “later on, and”
      8. The whole previously mentioned sentence is awkward and could afford to be rewritten.
      9. On second thought, after finding eight issues in what should have been about three sentences, I’m just going to have to charge you for any further advice. When I started , I thought this was going to be funny, but I was wrong. this was so poorly written that I started to question my own literacy.

      Now, before you go and get somebody more intelligent than yourself to come on here and write a response for you, and blame your mistakes on voice-to-text, keep in mind that most of us are using voice to text, and even it can’t screw up that badly. Only a translation from Swahili could be that bad; in which case you probably didn’t understand the article well enough to justify a hateful retort. The people who write these articles are real people with real feelings; not to mention the fact that much of this was written in a joking manner, you sad, daft, little troll. Maybe someday you’ll get off line and meet a real person yourself so you can have a child, and you’ll actually know how off base your almost unintellgible ramblings were today.
      Smile. Jesus loves you…despite your shortcomings

    • Lynda – wow! That’s some serious rage and anger you’ve got going there. Take it back a couple of notches, sister. Have you met a three year old before? Clearly not. In case you need help spotting one, they are the small form of an adult, a ball full of emotion, clearly trying to figure the world out, and typically covered in some kind of unidentified sticky substance. What the author describes is VERY normal and your reaction is VERY abnormal. Take a deep breath and walk away.

      Samantha – the struggle is real. Keep up the great work.

      David – pure perfection. Seriously.

    • Lynda…. Are you a parent or teacher? I am both… And not just any teacher… I’m the teacher of this little darling Threenager! And Princess Kate is a lot of things- a bully is not one of them. She is sassy as the day is long yes, but she is also incredibly kind hearted! She is respectful to her friends and teachers and no more on her throne than the next three year old. If you are a parent, and you think or have been told that your child is perfect… Someone is lying to you- probably due to your own flaws, because trying to talk to parents that live in denial are a waste of an educators time to deal with!

  2. David – preach. Couldn’t agree more with you. Unbelievable the amount of power seem to think they have behind a keyboard.

  3. Wow! Those are some really harsh words written by Lynda. It’s ashame that some people need to be so nasty and mean on these blogs. It’s easy to hide behind the anonynomity of the Internet and degrade people. And how awful to degrade her child too. I thought the article was great!

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