Three and a half. What a wonderful age. They are old enough to know what’s going on and interact. They’re out of nappies and whilst testing their independence, there’s nothing like running back to Mom and Dad. Days out are easier as you’re not loaded down with a changing bag and the kitchen sink to keep them occupied. Life on a whole seems that little bit easier. Unless you have a three year old diva.
P1. My first born daughter, entering the world one whole minute before her twin sister weighing six pounds. The quitter of the two in the womb, this continued as they grew. By the time they were about three months, despite being the lighter born of the two P1 overtook her sister in chunkiness. Her sister was definitely the more outgoing of the two with her more laid back approach. We found P2’s fearlessness meant that she hit all her “milestones” before P1 who was more cautious and the thinker.
As we have hit the age of three, this has all changed. My quiet little panda loving wall flower has decided it’s her time to shine. Well, if you call shining shattering eardrums causing a whirlwind of chaos in the process. She is “challenging” to say the least. Life needs to be going her way and God help you if you stand in her way.
I have quite honestly never seen or heard anything like it when she flips her lid. There is no talking her down and she is happy to go hell for leather creating the biggest scene she can. If you try to pick her up off the floor her “am dram” instinct kicks in with wails of “you’re hurting me” you know, when you aren’t actually touching her? She won’t given in either. She is stubborn, determined and has perfected her sulky pout to an art.
I always wanted feisty girls. Hell, I knew I would with us as parents and I am keen not to dull their sparkle but at times it’s bloody hard!
For every spectacular tantrum she throws, it’s balanced with being the sweetest caring child I have seen. When I was feeling poorly, she knew I had a headache so came over and kissed me gently saying she would make it better. Her cautious nature is still there with her ingrained instinct to protect her sister as she always tells her not to run off and to be careful. She definitely has a mothering spirit inside of her and she gives the most wonderful cuddles ever.
As she grows, the throwing herself on the floor probably (read as hopefully, please GOD hopefully) will subside, but I anticipate her stubbornness remaining. And with me as her Mother? There will be some corking stand-offs in silence. I remember them well from being young with my own Mom. We could go days without breaking and using the silent treatment, until we would dissolve into giggles about something silly.
Raising fiery strong willed children can be hard. I am only a short way down this path so don’t feel bonafide to give advice, but if you’re desperately seeking something – let them scream. I am three kids too far down the road to give a shit what other parents think. Tut, shake your head, look down your nose – I COULD NOT CARE LESS. If you have a solution then bring it on! Parenting identical twins has made me realise that you can treat your kids exactly the same. My girls have experienced almost every single thing in their lives at the same time with me their main teacher. I treat them the same, in the same environment and they have the same god damn DNA but look at them. Complete opposites. Proving that no matter how you parent, their own personalities conquer. Your parenting can only guide but does not shape them. They have their own traits, quirks and decibel of tantrum. They are all their own person.
When you lie in bed after an exhausting day of parenting where everything has seemed a mountain to climb. Where a piss in peace felt like the only break you got all day just remember this – they are three. Three years old. They think they’re all that and can take on the world, but they need nothing more than a kiss and cuddle before bed. Those fleeting moments as they drift off where you want to squeeze their faces off because despite being monsters all day, they aren’t that bad. They are growing to be ace little people. I mean – who wants to be a yes person anyway?! Wouldn’t life be boring if they didn’t have bags of sass and attitude to throw at you each day.
Like me, we are on the nine month countdown before there’ll be someone else getting six hours a day five days a week of their craziness; and whilst that on a bad day sounds AMAZING, you’ll never get this time back. Once September rolls around they’re off. There’ll still be plenty of tantrums, arguments, fights but they’ll taking a very different journey in a very different little world of their own at school. My God I’ve just thought, she better not chuck herself on the floor when she’s got her £36 brand new school shoes on…ah shit.