Thursday, February 13, 2014

Three-year-olds are Assholes

I have two children. Before I had kids, everyone warned me about the terrible twos. Watch out, when your kid turns two they become wild and uncontrollable. All they say is "no" to everything and good luck, because that year is going to suck big time.

Well, I am here to tell you that "everyone" was wrong. Two-year-olds are challenging, but they are no where near as hard to deal with as three-year-olds.

I can tell you (from experience) having now dealt with two three-year-olds in my house, that they are undeniably the hardest humans on the face of the planet to negotiate with. The reason is, they don't give a fuck!

My daughter is three. No matter what I tell her to do she does not fucking care. For example, I could tell her to put her pants on. She will insist that she is absolutely not (under any circumstances) wearing those pants because they are blue. "I want pink pants!" She will shout. I explain to her that there are no clean pink pants. I open the drawers and show her that they do not contain pink pants. She doesn't fucking care. She still wants the pink pants that do not exist.

This morning, she got out of bed, took a cup from the kitchen, one of those expensive Preserve recycled cups and threw it in the toilet. I gritted my teeth and explained to her that she wasn't to do that again. She just smiled. So I put her in time out sheepishly.

And it's not just her, Ari acted the same way at three. He was oppositional, didn't care what I told him to do, he wanted to do the opposite. In fact, I blocked out a lot of his defiant behavior because I think I was traumatized by how I had absolutely no control over him.

I thought, maybe my kids are just challenging me. Maybe I'm a shitty parent. But no, it's not just me. This is a worldwide epidemic. All three-year-olds do this to their parents. Something happens to children when they turn three where they become...assholes.

I'm sorry, there's no other way to put it. They do whatever they want to do and they do not care if you tell them not to do it. In fact, if you tell them to stop throwing M&Ms at the cat, they will throw more M&Ms at the cat with increasing velocity and greater intention to hit the cat in the face.

Thankfully, they don't stay assholes for a long time. Their asshole behavior only lasts for one year. When they turn four gradually they become slightly easier to negotiate with and begin to respond to bribery. So there is hope.

If you are dealing with an asshole now, just take a deep breath and realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This too shall 12 months.


  1. Hahah greatest post ever. But thanks for terrifying me further, since Archer is already the worst...

  2. ITA! I am counting down until Joshua turns four. However, he has been my "easiest" three-year-old so there is that.

  3. So...I'm banking on a miracle. M has been trouble since conception.

  4. It's terrifying! And the ones who start early are the absolute worst. Samara too!

  5. I am not sure I hate it as much as I don't see the point. Now last year I had a friend offer to babysit on it because her husband had to work anyway and she didn't mind. Took her up on it, got some Subway and a movie. But I really don't see the point of going out to eat when the rest of the world is just because it is the 14th. Before we had kids my husband and I would go out on the We don't ever give each other anything and that is fine.

  6. Threenager is one of the best things I've ever heard

  7. OMG I thought it was just me. My boy just turned 3 in November. Sometimes he's the sweetest, sometimes he will do terrible things while smiling at me while I tell him to stop! Wow.

  8. My daughter is two and she already acts like a little a-hole a lot of the time... does this mean I'm going to endure that for another year and a half? I will go nuts. This is why I will keep the one child and tie my tubes. Enough is enough.

  9. This is a post that I just wrote in response to the article here:

    Once I wrote it I figured I should probably share it here as well.

    "I never actually post comments on things like this, but I'm going to here. I found her article refreshing and funny. Many people have posted that they don't think it was helpful but I find that to be completely untrue for me. To give you some background I am a very loving and nurturing parent in general and I think my kids are the most amazing creatures on the planet. Most nights my husband and I just sit around and talk about how blown away we are at the love we have for our children who are 1 and 3. We don't swear in front of the kids and I filter what others say in front of them as well (as best I can). They are happy and healthy. With all that being said I loved the article because it really expressed the difference between two year olds and three year olds in my experience with my daughter. She wasn't very difficult until about 2 weeks before her third birthday and then something switched. I am fully aware that these changes in her are developmental and normal, however they are so incredibly frustrating that it was so refreshing to hear someone talk about it in a funny and blunt way. Parenting any child is hard and this stage has been the hardest for me. I am a stay at home mom so when I read her article it was the first time it really clicked to me that it probably wasn't just my child, which meant that I wasn't being a terrible parent. Those things were very valuable to me because it's helped me to have more grace for not only myself but my three year old daughter as well."

  10. inmates running the aslym. They thought they were in charge. Disobedience after being told don't throw M&M's at the cat has to be followed by actual consequences or guess what? They will keep throwing M&M's at the cat. Why wouldn't they? There are no consequences. And yes I have kids. I have 2 boys and 2 girls.

  11. It's that easy. Congratulations on being the serious parent here who can never just appreciate a funny story, but has to constantly preach. Great stuff.


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