Age of Non-Innocence

Dear Age Three,

You are cordially invited to kiss my ass.

I cannot believe how freaking crazy you are turning out to be; how I want to kiss you with tongue one minute and taser you the next. 

You now know my name is not just Mommy; you heard people calling me Dana, and you figured it out.  So now YOU call me Dana. 

You ask me if I'm kidding you (no), if I'm serious (yes), if I'm for real (yes), and if you can have candy (no).

You don't push my buttons, you rip each and every one out of my body with your cold sharp nails and then you stomp on them, beat them with a stick, set them on fire and then smoke the ashes.   My buttons are shot.

You know everything, and it bothers you that I don't always agree.  {Editor's note: This one might be my fault.  I have a psych degree with a self imposed focus on child psychology.  Back in the 90s we were taught to treat the child like a real person, rife with choices.  Allowing your child to decide which shirt she was going to wear to pre-school would help her to say no to drugs as a teenager. (?? whatevs) As a result, Leah's grown up thinking she's an equal part in this family--someone who has the same say in all family decisions.  Au contraire, Carol Ann, this is my mine and your father's house and we follow my our rules, and I am we are in charge and I we make the decisions.}

Oh, Age Three, you are a sexy beast.  With your funny little conversations and your cute little faces.  And your propensity to throw your backpack at me and hit me when the mood strikes.  You are wonderful with kids that are younger than you, acting like an old grandmother who plops you on her lap and pinches your cheeks.  And you love to hang with the older cool kids, leaning up against the garage smoking and cussing.

You are pushing your boundaries right off the map and I am constantly re-etching the line in the sand.  I fight back and I lose.  I let you walk over me and I lose.  I attempt to stand up to you and we are two chaps from the wild west at a showdown in the Alamo.  Oh, and I always lose. 

You are a steamroller in a tutu--a Zamboni in lip gloss.  I grow four grays each time your teachers tell me you're an angel.  Most days I can't wait to get home to see you and most Mondays I skip to work whistling a tune.  

Age Three, you drive me to drink.  And I am trying to drink you in.  I am told that you're the toughest, until she's a tween, which has been likened to age three with hormones. 

I was told that parenthood was hard, and it would be the toughest road I've ever traveled.  And I arrogantly nodded my head and rolled my eyes and thought there is no way that something that is a half my height and like a sixth of my weight will even be a blip on my life-radar, let alone uproot my life and leave me a confused, befuddled, frustrated shell of my former life.

And yet, here I am.  Eating some humble pie.  Baffled at just how difficult parenthood is.  How the one thing that drives me up the wall and out of my skull is the one thing I'd give my life for without a second thought in a hot flat second.

Up Yours,




Andrea Clayton said...

Sadly, 5 going on 6, is just as bad. And to think I have another one waiting in the wings.

Melanie Gaynor said...

She is the cutest, funniest, clever 3 year old ive ever had the pleasure of meeting!!!!