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Three Years Nine Months

Three Years Nine Months

October 2, 2008

Dear Miles,

Three years nine months is the age of crazy. Your personality resembles that of a schizophrenic crack head. One minute you are on the top of the world, the very next you are so upset that you have no choice but to scream and make sure that everyone in a two mile radius knows of your displeasure.

You have developed a really bad habit recently of standing in front of me whenever I am talking to someone, either in person or on the phone, and interrupting me as I talk. I have tried ignoring you, but you just up the ante and start smacking my stomach. If I ignore that you reach up and grab my boobs. That one is harder to ignore. Turns out being felt up by a three year old is really distracting for all involved.

So I have now begun sternly saying, “No” to you whenever you interrupt me. The first few times you looked at me like I was nuts. What is this word you are directing at me, woman? And you proceeded to headbutt my pelvic bone and have screaming hissy fits that were probably even worse that being molested by a three year old. I look like a very mean and inattentive mother now since you continually test me. But at least now you stop and wait patiently to say, “Mom, mom, mom” over and over again.


You dress yourself now. I want to tell you this so that one day when you are grown and look back at photos of yourself you don’t go on and on about how your mother dressed you in crazy clothes. You did this to yourself. You pick out your own clothes and your latest obsession is to wear red baseball socks. With shorts.

If anyone asks you why you are wearing baseball socks you answer, “Because I am a BASEBALL guy. Duh.” I know I shouldn’t laugh when you say “Duuuuuuh.” I know that it is rude. But I can’t help it. It absolutely kills me every time.

The other night I was telling you to pick up your toys but you were more interested in watching the Misadventures of Flapjack on television.

So you said to me, “Why don’t you just shut-up!”

There was a collective gasp in the room from everyone but you.

“Miles, that is very rude. You do not tell Mommy to shut up. Do you understand? I was TALKING TO YOU”

And I swear to God, Miles, you looked at me and said, ” Well, why don’t you just SHUT UP!”

I ushered you off to a time out while giving your siblings the stink eye for laughing, though truth be told I was laughing on the inside. You sat in the corner crying and quietly saying over and over, “Well, just shut up!” As if the whole incident could have been avoided had I just stopped talking to you. Which I suppose is true.

You love to talk. And talk and talk. I am not sure what else to say about that other than my ears hurt.

Posted by Chris @ 10:02 pm  

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  1. Jamie AZ says:

    Miles sounds just like my almost 5 year old Kyle. I hope for your sake that Miles snaps out of it faster than mine as he’s near the end of his rope with the attitude, not listening, screaming, interrupting, screaming, attitude, not listening, rudeness. And there’s not an echo in here, he’s just that horrible sometimes! :)

  2. Ali says:

    The old saying is all wrong: it’s not the terrible two’s, it’s the MF-ing threes. I FIRMLY believe that! And my two year old likes to head butt my pelvis, too, to the point that it once bruised and my husband looked at me questioningly.

  3. Melissa says:

    oh my good lord….it is clearly the age. *My* 3 year, 9 month old is also perfecting he fine art of constant interruption, as well as spitting and shrieking his discontent (most recently in the Denver airport). While I haven’t gotten “shut up”…YET….I was greeted with “give me some milk, stupid” after nap today. I nearly fell over. He then muttered “stupid” to himself over and over again while sitting in the corner. I am hoping he was referring to his choice to call me a name, but somehow I doubt it.

  4. Katherine Hilton says:

    Chris, About a month ago, my 3-year-old came home with a really bad incident report from school: “After being asked to sit down for table toys, Nicholas proceeded to punch out a metal window screen, hit and punch his friends and kick the teacher. He was removed from class and management was notified.” You can imagine how proud I was. Just bursting. Miles has always reminded me of Nicholas, partly because they’re only a couple of months apart in age and they both have dimples as deep as the Grand Canyon. Reading about how you handle Miles usually helps me feel like I’m not the only other mom in the world with this challenge.

  5. Katherine Hilton says:

    In all fairness, I should say that Nicholas isn’t that bad all the time. (There. Now I don’t feel like such a bad mom.)

  6. gwendomama says:

    miles is one smart little ass.
    i mean, kid.
    one smart little kid.

    and good luck with that.
    i wish you that while i wish it upon myself with my same personality 7 yr old.

    oh good god good luck.

  7. kellie says:

    I agree it is the three’s that push you to the limits. But I like you also laugh on the inside. “Shut up” is so not allowed in our home and was never an issue however that said, when my nine was almost four I had asked him to put his shoes away and he responded by looking me straight in the face and saying “kiss my @ss!” as the others looked on in shock and awe I ushered him to time out and then had to lock myself in the bathroom to laugh!!

  8. Anne/Navhelowife says:

    I am absolutely cracking up over this one. And I agree with Ali above…odd numbered years are the worst.

  9. melissa qubti says:

    my 2 yr 2mth old tests my patience to the absolute limit…luckily she has older siblings so when shes really driving me nuts i make them all take turns to take her out for a walk just to wear her out!!!!!!

  10. meredith says:

    I laughed, too. Sorry :)

  11. Brigitte says:

    My 3-year-and-10-month saw “Andre the Seal” a few months back, and WILL NOT let up on the blowing raspberries thing, no matter how many times I tell her it’s rude. And she’s starting a few other rude behaviors, including the “Duh” thing. It’s my fault for accidentally laughing a couple times, now she pays no attention until I raise my voice, then she cries. ARGH.

  12. Lisa says:

    You give me so much to look forward to with my 15 month old daughter.

  13. Amanda says:

    You just described my 7yo. I looked at my husband one day, and said “Someone needs a Midol, and it’s not me.” He just laughed that knowing laugh we parents share with each other because he was thinking the same thing.

  14. Mary says:

    My son is the same age and we have been through it too. We went through several phases of temper tantrums, though we seem to be out of it now (or should I say FOR NOW). Also had to deal with the head butting and interrupting. His biggest challenge right now is torturing his 15 m.o. sister - knocking her down, yanking her feet out from under her, running toward her full tilt, then trying to stop, taking toys from her, taking and shoving back water or milk cup. We have even seen improvement in this area, but it is SLOW going. I think we might react a bit more strongly/strictly than you on some things, but of course, that is every parents personal decision. Most of our friends think we are too strict.

  15. Margaret says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. My middle son is exactly the same age and does all these things! I was really worried about the boob-grabbing thing, but now I know at least one other mom has to say out loud “Stop that! Don’t grab my breasts!”.

  16. t in hd says:

    Amen, Ali. People who say the two’s are challenging have never had a three, LOL.

  17. Woman with Kids says:

    Thing 1 firmly believes the world would be better, and he would be in trouble a lot less, if I would just stop talking to him. Of course, he’s 14, so it’s not nearly as cute… And the baseball socks? Of course he’s a baseball guy. Obvious. Duh.

  18. dangitAnge says:

    I HATE the boob grab!! Honestly, WHERE do they learn that??

  19. Katie says:

    On the bright side, you are almost to 4 years and that age has always been my favorite.

  20. Cat ATL says:

    Beautifully said, as I watch my own three-year-nine-month old boy… who talks so much that there is a whole other wold occupied by only him and his imagination. He is Patrick, and his imaginary friend is “baby Patrick,” his son. Baby Patrick is alternately an infant, or a six-year-old or driving and “at the store picking up some milk.” This morning he told me that baby Patrick woke up last night, came downstairs, and encountered a monster. Big Patrick apparently chased away the monster and “held baby Patrick until he stopped crying.”

    I try, futilely, to find his impressions of our parenting in his baby Patrick capers. This one, somehow, made me a little sad.

  21. catnip says:

    Three is definitely the worst year.

  22. Naomi in Ohio says:

    Ours is 5 … and it just started AGAIN over the summer. The exact things you mention. It was right before he turned 4 … and now again. ICK. Somehow though, your telling of the antics make it all sound so funny!

    The Duuuuuhhhh(to which I MUST get a handle on with my little guy…. when you hear another child say it, it is JUST not cool in my book)

    LOVE the baseball socks … we were stuck in superhero land (superhero costumes and capes EVERY day until kindergarten started).

  23. J from Ireland says:

    That kid is just hilarious. Very funny.

  24. Wendy 2 says:

    Yep, 3 years old is way worse than 2. I agree that anyone who thinks the terrible twos are the worst never had a three year old. After having three go through it, I hate that age. My youngest just turned 4 and is still in the constant talking stage, although he isn’t too bad about interrupting anymore. Miles is so adorable, I love the “shut up.” Sounds exactly like something Junior Dude would say, and get in trouble for, while I laughed hysterically inside.

  25. Sue @ My Party of 6 says:

    I love him! (He better not grab my boobs though!)

  26. Another Susan says:

    I completely feel your pain. My youngest son turns 4 on Sunday and these past two weeks he’s been a holy terror. It’s like the last of the age 3 demons are leaving his body. It’s unreal!

    About the baseball socks, at least they are keeping his legs warm. Our weather has been in the low 50’s each morning and my little terror is refusing to wear pants. But yesterday he asked me if Indiana Jones wears pants and I totally said he did b/c if he didn’t, his legs would have cuts all over the place from all the stunts he does - and HE AGREED WITH ME. I almost fell over. This morning he happily puts pants on!?!

  27. Lilly says:

    I love Miles. I think he’s a snappy dresser too. I can imagine how tough it is to keep a straight face while disciplining your funny, cute and sometimes rude 3.75yr older.

  28. Denise says:

    I love that kid. I miss 3 year and 9 month olds.

  29. elaine says:

    the other day my 4 y/o said to me “so, whats the deal for breakfast?”

    i swear, 4 going on 15.

  30. Headless Mom says:

    His fashion sense in astounding. When is he starting his own fashion blog?

  31. ~annie says:

    Oh, yeah! I forgot that the “odd” years are the hardest. I’ll have to keep that in mind with my 17yo…

  32. Jan says:

    I have a 4 year old with similar (talk-til-you-drop) tendencies. We’ve pretty well solved the obnoxious interrupting with a trick I read in a magazine.

    If I’m talking to someone else, and she wants my attention, she comes over and puts her hand on my leg.

    I put my hand over hers to let her know that I realize she’s waiting.

    As soon as I can do so politely, I excuse myself from my conversation and let her say what she wants to say.

    Sometimes she has to help me with step 2 by grabbing my hand and placing it over hers. :)

  33. Steph @ Diapers and Divinity says:

    I’m a new visitor, but couldn’t pass up the chance to share an empathetic laugh. My 4 year old is starting to wind down a little, but BOY has he been a handful. Let’s just say that a padlocked fridge, gatorade scattered across the carpet to be sucked up by him, permanent marker house decorations, and mall disappearing acts have been all-too-common occasions in our family. I just comfort myself by saying he’ll grow up and be wonderful and adventurous . . . right?

  34. CNemec says:

    Your post is so awesome, I have a 4 year 1 month little boy and we can relate.

  35. Kris says:

    My 3-year-old dresses goofy too. I keep blaming my husband for making our son look like a goofball, but perhaps it’s the head-strong kid. Hmmmmm…

  36. Jennifer says:

    try being felt up by a 7 yo girl - my daughter is OBSESSED with breasts. “when am I going to get them”, she asked me last week from the confines of the bathtub. I said “hopefully never”. She likes to check mine out, see what bra I’m wearing and so on…it’s a little creepy, I won’t lie.

    When she gets all bossy and nasty and backtalks like there’s no tomorrow and cries over nothing, my husband calls it “being a chick”. Guess that includes me too.

  37. Jen says:

    Sadly, I am going through many of the same things with my recently-turned-8-year-old (Minus the headbutting and boob-grabbing). Its like a rude, obnoxious monster has taken over his sweet little body.

    He threw an all-out temper tantrum yesterday at the soccer field, because I would not let him throw his shoe onto the roof to knock down a soccer ball stuck up there.

    He has also taken to wearing long grey, red and blue argyle socks with shorts, the favorite being a pair of long orange and white swim trunks (yes, the boy has fashion sense). It looks even better when he wears them with pink and white shoes (his choice - I think mainly because I suggested he pick something else), and a blue soccer jersey - a favorite outfit. He is also very fond of the words “Duh”, and “Shut up”.

    He was very sweet as a 3 year old (at least as far as I can remember) - at least if he had done it then I would have had a definite size and strength advantage - not so much now.

  38. Miriam says:

    I think our little guys are within a few days of each others’ age…and mine does all the same things ;-)

  39. Qtpies7 says:

    I agree sort of with the second commentor up there. I call them the terrible twos, the terrific threes and the f’n fours. I hate the 4’s with most of the kids. Two of my kids were horrible at 3. But at any rate, 3 and 4 makes 2 look good again.

  40. Leeann says:

    Oh Chris, God Bless that kid. He is so freaking funny I can hardly stand it. I nearly peed myself just reading this.

    My kids LOVE Miles stories. This one will be saved to show them when they get home.


  41. Julie says:

    My son is three years and 5 mo and this letter made me smile. I could have written the same thing to my son! Especially the part about loving to talk and my ears hurt. Why is it that the non stop chatter actually gets tiring? But sometimes it just makes me smile. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today.

  42. ali says:

    ah…three…certainly is an interesting year, isn’t it? ;)

    and of course he wears baseball socks…duh!

  43. tracey says:

    Oh man… I think I LOVE Miles. Poor kid with a fashion forward ability and a mother who can’t shut her trap… :)

  44. Natalie says:

    Really, I blame it all on Flapjack. And Chowder.

  45. barb says:

    And I thought I was the only one being felt up by a preschooler!

  46. peepnroosmom says:

    Gotta love that Miles! What a cutie pie-stinker!

  47. Steph says:

    The “terrible 2’s”,the “I can do all and with attitude 3’s”,the “I can do it myself 4’s” and the “I’m too big for that 5’s”. Growing up is just splendid!! My 4 year old informed me yesterday that “mommy I can cut my own steak with that knife, I won’t cut myself really” Ummm sure you won’t! When he was 3 though he told my brother “don’t sit next to me punk” when I told him not to say things like that his response was simply “your a punk too” my jaw hit the ground. Mine picked it up from daycare… yours gets it from all those older siblings!! I’m not 100% sure what is worse…

  48. Monica says:

    I’m glad to know i’m not the only one who deals w/ this kind of stuff. My son is 4yrs old and still does this. Just today he through a fit at his nana’s and had to be put into time out were he kept kicking the door near him and screaming. It was horrible. Helps to know I’m not the only one.

  49. Erin says:

    Oh my God, that’s priceless! I used to have a two-year-old who would shout “Witoo chit!” (Little shit!) over and over when he didn’t get a treat in the grocery store. I was oh-so-glad his language was incomprehensible to everyone but me. Nothing could deter him from using bad language for a very log time. Thank goodness he’s finally getting over that. He’s almost five now. Phew! Just in time for kindergarten.

  50. mom101 says:

    Aw, it’s every child’s dream to have a mom who calls him a schizophrenic crackhead, isn’t it? The little angel.

  51. Amy says:

    I think whoever coined the phrase “terrible twos” never had a three year old.

  52. Jen says:

    You have described my 3 year nine month old to a tee. I never realized it was such an age thing until I heard the same things coming out of all the mouths of my friends with 3 year olds! Thanks for sharing - we are all feeling your pain. I especially love it when my guy says - “I’m not your best friend anymore!”.

  53. Kate says:

    lol he is so cute

  54. chanelireli says:

    I love the red baseball socks. I blame it on being the littlest. I swear my youngest is a stinker.

  55. Debbie says:

    My 3 year, 9 month old is currently stuck in a “that’s not faaaair” phase. I hate it. And I hate it when he rolls his eyes at me. Or gives me a look like I’m such a dork. He’s taken to labeling things cool vs. not cool thanks to daycare, and I’m often not cool. We have major issues anytime I attempt to talk on the phone, and any in-person conversation invokes immediate whining.
    But he’s been coming up and giving me random kisses and telling me he loves me. And that helps to cancel out all of the eye rolls.

  56. Ramblin'Red says:

    :hanging head:

    I laughed too. Out loud. I so do not have the laughing inside mastered - which would be helpful because my 5 y/o is a little shiz this way too. And it is not getting better with age, either.

  57. Kristen says:

    I have a 3 year and nine month old, too, and boy is this an ‘interesting’ age. (I remember wondering what happened to my older son, too, at this age.) My 3 year old’s biggest thing now is being very, very sensitive to any type of reprimand and suddenly not wanting to do things that didn’t bother him at all before — like going to school. I’m hoping it’s all just a 3 year old phase, but I seem to remember 4 being a little challenging with my older one. Heck, 7 is challenging…wait a second, maybe it’s me…

  58. Nextcommercial says:

    Poor Miles. It’s hard being “almost four”.

    When I got to the picture, I thought “Well, I hope he dressed himself”.

  59. Bonna says:

    All we can do is love them.

  60. Jamie says:

    My 3yr 6 month old is driving me crazy, too! Kinda gives me a little sanity knowing I’m not the only one with an angel who can go to possessed demon that makes Satan quake in fear in 2.1 seconds.

  61. Becky says:

    My kids–all 4 of them, have woken up on their third birthday and started acting like this! Of course, this was after I declared the terrible twos “a breeze” and “a piece of cake,” among other things. I should have been prepared for it by the 4th child, but on that last night of their 2nd year, I always said to myself, “Nah, it couldn’t happen AGAIN, could it? Look how sweet he is? He won’t turn on me in the morning, will he?” And sure enough, the next morning we wake up to a new personality. It’s a little freaky actually.

  62. Shelley says:

    If I could just pummel the two laughing teenagers, I think my six year-old would not be nearly as difficult to deal with. Although there are times when I am laughing too, but I try to keep it inside…really, I do.

    I agree with the above commenter that the “terrible twos” have got nothing on the “horrible threes”. My older two kids got better at age 4. The youngest? At six, I’m still waiting. For it to get better.

  63. Amy says:

    Are you KIDDING me? Mine turns three this month and I thought the insanity was about to be laid to rest. Man….

  64. jody says:

    LOL! I also agree about the 3’s being more difficult than the 2’s.

    The 4’s with a girl are something too. Miles saying “just shut up” under his breath reminds me of Mia when she gets mad about being in time out and mutters “I don’t care. You hear me. I just don’t care”

  65. Fairly Odd Mother says:

    I’m not sure this ends at 4. My newly 4yo (youngest of 3) was in the middle of Linens-n-Things with his sisters and I. I called him to come for the 3rd time and he yelled, “I’m coming you LITTLE DUMMY!” Awesome. Mother of the Year, right here.

  66. JM says:

    Mine (4yrs) told me yesterday to “stop being so bossy….” !?!!- needless to say I got a great laugh from the blog today- And he wears yellow rainboots everywhere he goes. Weather-appropriate they are not, but he can put them on himself, and it sort of evokes Christopher Robin.

  67. Carolynn from Western Australia says:

    When I think of Miles, I have this image of this sweet little fellow so full of love for his Mum. I was blown away when you describes his recent outbursts.

    Yes, I was aware that when young ones started to dress themselves, they seemed to develop some sort of bizarre Fashion sense, I guess that can be handled most of the time and in certain situations would have to be rectified.

    But my Jaw hit the ground when you descibed what was coming out of this sweet little man’s mouth of late, I am shocked to say the least. Unfortunately not having had the experience of being a Mum, (Natures choice) I have not had to deal with this and I certainly don’t envy you. I can so understand you having to hide somewhere so he can’t see you laughing, pity you are unable to video him unseen so that when he is older you could then play it back to him so he can see how unacceptable his behaviour was. I love the image of you giving the other guys “The Stink Eye” for laughing.

    I don’t envy you this challenge right now, it must be so hard to deal with whilst trying to remain calm and not lose your temper with him. I admire you for having brought up what seems to be such a wonderful well balanced family. My thoughts are with you and I hope this “Phase” won’t last too long and that he learns rather rapidly that being rude and obnoxious doesn’t get him anywhere, infact that it gets him less than if he were polite and patient.

    Chris I wish you luck, I hope you can maintain your sanity throughout what will actually be the last time you will have to go through the dramas of this age groups phases. The next time these phases are gone through is when you observe your own children having to deal with them, and you will be able to sit back and watch “The Pay Back” :-)

    Take Care and take those deep breaths.
    Lots of Love Carolynn xxxx :-)

  68. Katie in MA says:

    I would tell you that four doesn’t get any better…but I think by now that you know that. :) Gracie does this thing when she gets in trouble. I tell her she isn’t acting nicely. She starts to cry and dramatically announces, “But I’ll be good! I will!” And I tell her good, I hope so, go to time out. “But I WILL be good!” I think the child needs a refresher course on tenses: past, present and future.

  69. Heather says:

    I am laughing so hard at this because I have a three year and nine month old that sounds exactly like Miles. They would be a pair. In fact, he just asked me why I’m laughing and I lied and told him that I sneezed because I fear having to tell him that there is another kid just like him out there. :)