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Four is the new Three

When Meghan was a newborn, a seasoned mom forewarned me. Age two is challenging, age three is a nightmare, age four is a miracle.

Oh golly, she was so right.

At age two, Meghan wanted to be independent. At age three, Meghan learned to argue with me. At age four, Meghan was an angel. Mostly.

(Actually, the day after her 4th birthday, she was in the middle of a 3 year old fit when I said, “Oh, nononono. You didn’t get the memo. You are FOUR.” Then about 2 months after her 4th birthday, she woke up one morning and was literally a different child.)

Then there was Griffin. Two was challenging. Three was a nightmare. Four was a nightmare. Five was a nightmare. And yes, six was a nightmare. By the time he turned seven, he got over it. Mostly. Those were some looooong years.

And now we have Nathan, who has been cute and cuddly and sweet and funny since the day he was born.

Two was a breeze. Three was a delight.

Four has been awful. Truly, truly awful.

Mostly.

Nathan doesn’t listen. He doesn’t obey. He whines. He argues. He is in his own little Nathan World. And we’re having potty issues. I am so over potty issues.

It is not pleasant. It is not fun.

I think I have a little more tolerance for Nathan’s insufferable behavior than Michael does because Nathan is my baby. I have always enjoyed him, even when he was a newborn, and I think we feed off of each other. He acts all adorable, I enjoy him, which makes him act even more adorable.

But there are days – like yesterday – when no one really wants to be around Nathan.

(During dinner, he was whining and crying and throwing a big ol’ fit, and I decided I could either jump off a cliff or grab my camera. While my shutter was snapping and Nathan was screaming and Michael was laughing, Meghan raised her voice over all the noise and asked, “Blog entry?”)

At least by the third child, I know that this will not last forever. Everything is a phase. And I certainly have more patience and I am so much more laid back than I was with the first two. That’s why I have said many times, “Everyone should have a third child!” You know what you’re doing, you have confidence in your parenting, and quite frankly, you know that the things and issues that had you so worked up with the first child don’t really matter. Most days, you are too tired to care. You know that you don’t have to be perfect and they will still be OK, so you sit back and simply enjoy your third child and delight in all he does.

Until he starts wetting his pants again and throwing fits that make you want to find the nearest cliff and jump off.

Oh sweet mercy, it is so hard.

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4 thoughts on “Four is the new Three

  1. Smiling at the photos and groaning for you all at the same time. Love the title of the post. We just hit three – times two – and one little person is relatively easy while one little red-headed person (not mentioning any names) is a little more challenging. But you’re right … you have a lot more perspective when you’ve already done it and you know it’s fleeting (some moments are more fleeting than others).

  2. Oh dear! This scares me, Jennifer!I hope and pray that Grace is like Meghan and turns into an angel again on her 4th b-day!!!!! And what was the deal with Sunday with both Nathan and Grace? Was it a full moon? Matt and I were ready to pull our hair out! Grace was Miss Drama and Miss Tantrum all day! Not fun!Ugh….4 better be better than 3…please, God, please!

  3. I did that with Roo’s most recent fit, but he stopped once he realized I was going to post it. He stopped wailing and started smiling and laughing. Kids. Sheesh.

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