The Big 3. No, not The Big 3-0, but The Big 3. My pediatrician warned me that while parents typically worry about the “Terrible Twos” they actually need to be on guard for what she calls the “Terrorist Threes”. Well, let me tell you that we are a little over a month into Eliana being officially 3-years old and I’ve coined my own term for it: the “Tyrannical Threes”. This is not to say that my sweet little lady couldn’t easily flip the switch and turn into a crazy person in an instant when she was the tender age of 2, but the problem now is that she is waaaay savvier, smarter, more opinionated and somehow louder. (Which is utterly shocking, because she’s been loud from the moment she came out and was nicknamed “The Opera Singer” during her time in the PICU.) Oh, boy!
So, how am I dealing with this lovely behavior that can, at times, come completely out of nowhere? Like all parents, I have my moments when I’m better at dealing with tyrannical toddler tantrums than other times.
Here’s my working list of how to not scream right along with my tantrumming toddler:
1. Breathe. I take many deep breaths and remind myself that I’m the grown up. I literally repeat that to myself in my head. As many times as necessary.
2. Silence. I also remind myself that acting like a grown up means that I don’t always need to have the last word. That one is pretty hard sometimes.
3. Time outs. For both of us, when necessary. I close myself in my room for a few deep breaths when I feel I’m on the verge of exploding. Even though she’s pounding on the door like crazy, I try to block it out while I close my eyes and breathe so I can regain my composure.
4. Tickle Torture. Seriously. Sometimes the best way to end the madness is to pin her down and tickle it out. Her utterly awful screaming stops and we both end up laughing in the end.
5. Sing. I learned this trick during my days as a preschool teacher. For whatever reason, if you start singing, be it a song they know such as “The Wheels on the Bus” or a tuneful version of your directions, little people listen. And I personally feel a little less stressed when I channel my inner rock star and bust out in a song. Do I feel pretty silly if we happen to be in public? You betcha! But does it keep me from losing it on my temporarily insane child? Yes. And that is all that matters in those moments.
6. Say ridiculous things. Sometimes I have to dig down way deep to be able to hold it together long enough to say something totally off the wall like, “I just can’t wait to get home and cook some cockroaches and frogs for lunch!” Gross, but it works to distract us both just enough to perhaps move past a moment of super high stress.
7. Drink. Finally, sometimes at the end of a particularly trying day the best resort is…sangria!
Yep, sangria! So, because many of us out there spend our days with crazy little people or have to encounter them immediately upon coming home from a long day’s work, here’s a recipe strictly for the 21 and over crowd in the home: Super Simple Sangria.
You’re welcome. 😉
- Super Simple Sangria
- Serves 2-4 adults
- -1 bottle red wine such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon
- -1½ cups orange juice or juice of 2 oranges
- -2 apples or pears (or 1 of each) cut into ½-inch chunks
- -Optional mix-ins: 1 orange, lemon or lime, sliced into thick slices
Add all ingredients to a large pitcher.
Stir and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the flavors meld together.
Serve over ice if desired.