So . . . Zoey turned 3 two days ago. Which means there are 363 days left until she turns 4. And I’m quite sure that if I don’t blog during this time that something bad, very bad, will happen. Because, in case you haven’t heard, the year of three-ness blows. I mean, I think it’s pretty much a given that on a daily basis my head will explode and I’ll want to scoop my ear drums out with a dull spoon. At this point, (yes, that’s right, just two days in) I’m pretty much over cohabitating with an irrational, emotional, manipulative, what’s the word? Oh yeah. WACK JOB.

Let me give you a brief and in no way complete outline of our morning today:
7:15 am: Zoey yells, “I WAKED UP!”
7:16 am: Zoey throws herself on the floor kicking and screaming because, and I quote, “You don’t have enough HANDS so I DON’T LIKE YOU.” Alas, alac, I was unable to carry Zoey, her sippy cup, 4 stuffed animals, 2 books and a blanket down the stairs all at the same time.
7:23 am: Zoey throws herself on the floor because I am eating cereal. “NO!” She wails, “I don’t want you to be hungry!”
7:45 am: After pouring Zoey 2 different bowls of cereal and getting the cereal to milk ratio right (after 3 tries), the cereal is dumped on the floor because (wait for it . . .) I didn’t give her the blue spoon.
7:46 am: Zoey is in timeout yelling, “I want to huuuuug you, Mommy!! I juuust want a huuuuuug!”
7:46:30 am: I consider taking up head banging as a new hobby
7:50 am: Zoey watches PBS kids so that I don’t cry before 8 am
8:00 am: Zoey screams while I wrestle her into clothes and shoes. After getting her in a pair of panties she yells, “I HAVE A WEDGIE!!! YOU GET IT OUT OF MY BUTT, MOMMY! YOU DO IT!”
8:01 am: I explain to Zoey that wedgie picking is not in my job description. The usual crying and throwing herself upon the floor ensues.
8: 30 am: Zoey sits on the potty, does her business and then yells, “MOMMY WIPE MY BUTT! NOW!” There is a brief conversation about using a nice voice, I wipe her butt and simultaneously wonder if Demetri would miss me if I moved to Seattle.
8:33 am: I lure Zoey into her car seat with the promise of a Starburst.
8:34 am: I back out of the driveway to cries of, “NOOOOOO! I don’t want to go where you want to go!”
8:47 am: We arrive at the YMCA. We enter with Zoey clinging to my leg, which I am dragging ungracefully, behind me. That’s right — I’M DRAGGING MY FRICKIN” LEG BEHIND ME like some kind of crazy-ass pirate with a peg leg. Except there’s A KID on my leg.
8:49 am: While limping down the hall to the childcare room Zoey changes tactics and takes hold of my pants and underwear. She pulls down with all her weight.
8:50 am: My white, cottage-cheese-like back-with-a-crack is exposed to those unlucky enough to be in the hallway.
8:52 am: I leave my child happily playing with Barbie in the care of the Y childcare workers. I realize I am not sad to be apart from her.
8:53 am: I am seized by guilt that I don’t want to be around my own child.
9:00 am: I begin spin class and worry that I am a bad mother for the entire hour. I think about asking the other mothers in the class about their 3 year-olds but then decide that they are all most certainly really good moms and none of them probably had their butts exposed in the hallway that morning. Plus, they all have really good hair so I don’t think I’m allowed to talk to them. So I just pedal and sweat pedal and sweat. I briefly wonder if I am perhaps too old to really “get” Lady Gaga.
10:12 am: I walk down the hall to retrieve my daughter and wonder who I will find: Sweet Zoey? Angry Zoey? There is an actual flutter of fear in my chest.
10:13 am: Zoey proudly presents me with the Mother’s Day card she made. I gush over it. And her. We touch noses. She pats me on the back. I think, “Ok. Ok. I can do this a little longer.”
10:15 am: We walk out into the sun holding hands.
10: 17 am: We drive to a friend’s house because, well, sometimes you just need to eat too much pizza and too many M&M’s with another mom who loves you and your kid. Even on your bad days.
Tell me your 3 year-old horror stories. Please.


10 thoughts on “3!

  1. Anonymous

    >Oh, Jos, I so love this post. Because it is so real and captures perfectly how it is to live with a strong-willed child. My now 21-year old was “that child” in our family. He was a fussy baby, and would not nurse after about 3 months. He refused to nurse, and won that battle – at the age of 3 months!!!! That should have been a sign. He was a late walker. Meaning, he simply refused to walk. He wanted to be carried everywhere. The doctors were no help. Their advice just ended up making me feel like a totally inept mother. The summer between ages 3 and 4, he decided he was a cat. 24 hours a day – when we went to visit friends, he would have to crawl on all fours up to their door and then would meow when they said “hi.” We went to the beach that summer and he spent the entire week having to crawl on all fours from our condo down to the ocean – it took forever, but I allowed it because I knew if I tried to make him walk, or if I picked him up and carried him, our day would be ruined. It was also during this period of his life that he decided his life was ruled by the color green. He would only eat green food, eat out of green bowls, wear green clothes, collect green Easter eggs….. well, you get the picture. I did not like my child during this period of his life. I journaled, talked to supportive friends, tried to make jokes about it, and cried in private when the guilt overtook me. I cried a lot if I remember correctly. He has never been an “easy” child, and is still marching to his own drummer in a lot of ways, but it was those first few years that really brought me to my knees. Kids just have a way of doing that. Zo-zo is SO lucky to have you, and you are doing a fantastic job of mothering her. You are teaching her all the things she needs to know in order to grow up and succeed in life – when you wipe her butt, you are teaching her that she can ask for help. When you let her choose her cereal (even if it takes 3 times to get it right)you are teaching her that she has the right to ask for what she really wants. And when you respond with love to a picture she just drew for you, even though an hour earlier you were both angry, you are teaching her that it’s okay to start your day over at any point. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s day. I hope you feel loved, and supported by your friends near and far, and I hope you know how lucky I think Zo-Zo is to have you as her mother! ~ Jules

  2. Joslyne

    >Jules! Thanks you so much for this comment. Not only do you say nice things about me (blush, blush!) and supportive things in general but I SO APPRECIATE that you have not forgotten how hard it can be. It’s comments like this that help get me through. THANKS!

  3. Niki

    >The only way I can get my 3-year-old to actually grace us with her presence at the breakfast table is to turn on some brightly-colored show with shrieking high-pitched voices. I just don’t understand how someone with 0% body fat can always be “not hungry, Mommy!” She REFUSES to use a potty, but then gets really angry with me when I change her diaper. I’m going to need to seek professional help to potty train this child. I just know it.Her little brother has never once been able to play with a toy for more that 2.5 seconds without Charlotte snatching it from him and thrusting a clearly less-desirable toy at him as a consolation prize.I have to tell her a “mystery story with clues about me” before every single nap and bedtime for months now. I just do not have that kind of creativity with story-telling. If my story is lacking, I have to start over and retell it or suffer the tantrum consequences. All I want her to do is GO TO SLEEP. Is that asking so much?That being said, I must say she has me well-trained. I know what foods to avoid giving her, how to dress her in front of a blaring television to avoid a wrestling match, exactly which bribes work best to lure her into the car to go to school, and the strategic use of books to soothe the savage beast at bedtime. Every bathtime is a complex series of mind tricks to keep her from injuring the entire family when we dare drain the bathtub and ask her to exit the premises.And yet her sweetness and creativity usually eclipse these dark moments and make me forget how I nearly duct-taped her mouth shut this morning. Oh how I wish I could have been the mom with whom you ingested copious amounts of pizza and M&Ms. I adore your little goofball so much! Happy early Mother’s Day to one of the best mommies I know!!

  4. Joslyne

    >Thanks for commenting Niki! Just so you know, I learned a lot of my best mothering tricks and skills from YOU. One question: What the heck is a “mystery story with clues about me”? 😉

  5. anne

    >Yay! Yippee!! YAY! Yiiiiiiiippppeeeeeeee! I am SO excited you are blogging again. And feel only slightly guilty that the inciting factor for this is periods of misery in your life. Because obviously your blog makes my life funnier, happier, better. And, in the spirit of thinking like a 3 year old, I would say that clearly my happiness is the only thing that counts 🙂

  6. Alicia King

    >I like to think it was MY tantrumming that brought you back to blogging, what with all my, “Pleeeeeaaassssseeeee write something Joslyne, P-P-PLLLLEEEAAAASSSSEEE!!” I can offer you this- while my kids were certainly every bit as challenging as anyone else’s, the memories of frustration have mellowed considerably with time. I can still, however, remember a few tales best told over a drink in person. After all, my kids read your blog:)SO glad you’re back. Seriously. Very, very glad.

  7. Joslyne

    >Anne, I’m glad you’re so excited . . . but remember that you *are* coming to visit in a few weeks. So when I say that Oh-I-just-need-to -run-out-to-the-store-for-a-sec-would-you-mind-watching-Zoey be very very careful. 😉

  8. paris martinez

    ha ha, okay so my 3 year old isn’t as opinionated as yours but she is very specific about dressing herself and that is always a 30 minute fight. she doesn’t get that she can not wear her cinderella costume from TWO years ago to day care. she wants to wear her twinkle toes shoes (hot pink) with every outfit. she wants nothing but apple slices (room temperature) and a zip lock bag of cheerios for breakfast every single morning. trust me, 3 is that magical age where you as a mom learn patience and the art of NOT neck breaking


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