My first-born will be three in September. Despite every child having a unique personality, there are some things, that no matter the child, no matter the gender etc., are identical in every three-year-old.
Every toddler, around this age, suffers from TMAFS. You’ve never heard of TMAFS? It’s a very serious, very common phenomenon that every three–going on 13–year old, suffers from. It’s a disorder that strikes fear into every parent when he or she forgets to cut the crust off the sandwich, or colored the frog green instead of red. TMAFS–Toddler Moody as Fuck Syndrome.
It is the worst case of PMS–instead of lasting a week, once a month, it lasts 365 days.
It’s a game of constant highs and lows with toddlers. Mine goes back and forth, so quickly, I’m waiting for her head to start spinning around, one day, like the girl from The Exorcist.
I recorded the beginning of our day, yesterday, to keep track of our TMAFS. My
demon beautiful daughter woke at seven. I asked her if she wanted to change out of her pajamas, or leave them on until after breakfast. “Leave them on.” Ok, sure, that’s fine. Halfway down the steps, crying ensued. A mistake had been made. It was an earth-shattering one. Clothes must be changed AT ONCE. Ok, whatever, no big deal….moving on.
Breakfast began. Laughter could be heard down the street. She thought the way her baby sister ate was hilarious! She LOVES her baby sister! “HAHA Mama! Keelin so silly and cute!” Two minutes later….She’s hysterical and screaming that the baby’s waffle looks better than hers…and why are there eggs on her plate!?!?!? (she asked for them)–but why the hell did I put eggs on her plate when she wanted them!!!????
And on and on. The rest of the day continued like that. One minute we’re smiling like the damn kid who just won the ticket to the chocolate factory, and the next, we’re sitting in the corner, devising a hit list with a bright red crayon.
Here are five more reasons three-year-olds are from the same town called CRAZYVILLE:
They Have a Million Issues About Food- I could seriously go on for ten pages about food. One minute toddlers love pasta, then the next, they’re screaming that it’s penne they want, not angel hair. If the miniature food critic is not being picky about food, he/she’s being stubborn about only wanting to eat one thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have stopped looking up gourmet meal ideas. Why would I waste time finding new recipes when all my toddler wants to eat is mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Could someone seriously tell me what the hell is up with macaroni and cheese!? Is there some type of toddler crack in the cheese packet that I don’t know about!?
They Know All the Ways to Delay Sleep- My kid is a master at this. She has us trained, even if I like to think I have the upper hand.
“Ok, goodnight. *Kiss. “Love you!”
“Wait! I have to pee!”
“You just went five minutes ago!”
“I hafe to go agen!”
*Ugh!! If I don’t let her and she just pees in her bed, then what!? Of course, since she’s been recently potty trained, I need to encourage it…even if she’s lying. Three minutes later, we’re back in bed, she didn’t pee, and is now asking for different stuffed animals than the ones currently positioned on her bed. I toss her a new teddy bear, which appeases her, and as I try to shut the door as quickly as possible, while shouting, “Kloveyougotosleepgoodnight,” I hear, “Mama, I thirsty!”
Their Stubborn Independence Don’t get me wrong, I celebrate my kids’ milestones. I cheered when they could eat on their own– so I could enjoy my own meal. I celebrated when she was potty trained–so I had more money in my wallet. It always makes me smile when I hear, “I can do that myself!” Gaining independence means she’s growing and learning how to do things on her own…BUT, it can also be frustrating as fuck! When you’re trying to leave the house, and you’re already fifteen minutes late (as usual), it takes the patience of a Monk to not scream, Just let me do it! when she indignantly insists that she’ll zipper her own coat.
They Have Selective Hearing- “What did I just say??” This is a question asked in my house on a daily basis–usually every hour. Most toddlers let these topics go in one ear and out the other: *Throwing something at a younger sibling. *Requests to eat more of the veggies, not just the carbs on the plate. *Not running off, especially in parking lots. *Finding a stopping point with playing to go up for bed. HOWEVER, you mention the word cookie, park, or TV, and those tiny ears perk right up!
They’re Tornadoes- Wherever they go, destruction is left in their wake. You run around the living room, haphazardly throwing toys back in their containers…Five minutes later, you wonder why the hell you even bothered. I used to fight this battle, and stress over it all the time, but then decided to embrace the mess. I’ve gotten used to tripping over stuffed animals in the kitchen, blocks all over the floor, not knowing where the remote it, the toilet overflowing because of foreign objects being flushed down, and basically keeping my house looking like a padded room in an insane asylum. I no longer have nice, expensive objects lying around. I almost stopped at Pier One the other day and laughed so hard at my stupidity! No, my living room that once looked like a picture out of a Pottery Barn catalog, is now full of items from Big Lots and a coffee table from Walmart. “Oh, you just colored all over that cheap coffee table?? Whatev!”
I really do love this stage, more than the baby stage. They’re fun and interesting; however, if you also have an emotionally unstable toddler with TMAFS, you know how exhausting it can be!