Sunday, November 11

The Demanding Life of 3

I realize that in just a few short months the title of this post will have a completely different relevance and meaning in my life....

Then...I will be living (and probably having no time to write about it!) the family life of five; two adults outnumbered by three children ages 5 and under (for a short time anyway, our oldest turns 6 in June).

Oh my...I get tired just thinking about it!

In the meantime, this post is about the day to day of just one three year old under my roof. The one crazy, busy, mood swingy, often irrational, highly energetic, vivaciously creative and full of spunk three year old that I have the pleasure of hanging out with one on one from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. when her sister finally gets home from school.

When Ava first started school I thought that having just Ella home would be easy peasey compared to having them both home, and on many accounts that was an accurate assumption. She's got the run of the house without anyone threatening to take her toys, boss her around or tell her she's doing just about EVERYTHING incorrectly (poor little sisters!).

And on some days the independent run of the show is enough to keep her happy and humming and satisfied all day long.

On other days...Oi...the other days...

My mother-in-law and I actually have a special name for Ella when she is really grouchy, crabby and sour apples...we call her Elga. It's kind of funny actually and even if she is in one of her most terrible moods, a reference to Elga always cracks the tiniest knowing smile...full knowledge the she is being certifiably, unreasonably, and irrationally a stubborn, crabby 3 year old.

For the record were at Tim Horton's having a donut with her bestest little friend Courtney after dance class on Friday and Courtney's mom told me that Ella taught Courtney how to pout...

"Ella! My Ella? How do you know?"

"Because Courtney came home from play school last year and said,  'Ella taught me how to pout...See!'  And then proceeded to make the grouchiest pouty face possible."

Oh dear...Although I can't say I'm completely surprised. When we're not calling her Elga I have called her the "Queen of Pout"... it looks just like this and it can be turned on in the blink of an eye...

and this...

and this...

So besides the pouting and crab faced shenanigans what else is Ella up to? I'll use this past Thursday as an example because I still happen to remember it...

At lunch time today I asked Ella if she wanted to help me make her sandwich...I, trying to be the 'with it' mom, knows that Ella likes to do these sorts of things and tends to eat better when she has taken part in the process of making her food.

She was so excited and immediately dragged the bar stool over to the counter to help and reported that she would be the peanut butter spreader.

Great! I think. She's cooperating and involved and wants to help with the peanut butter.


Until I explain that I am going to scoop the peanut butter out of the canister and make a pile on her bread that she can then spread (knowing that having her try to get the peanut butter out of the container on her own would result in a stickier, gooier mess than I was willing to clean up.)

"Noooooo! I. WANT. TO. DO. IT. I'm not helping mommy. I don't like mommy."

Since I had already scooped the peanut butter onto her bread the defiance escalated quickly. Once she looked down and realized she was not going to get her way with the peanut butter she practically jumped off the bar stool, ran across the living room screaming and threw herself into a corner with all of the theatrical flair she could muster.

I told her this was all quite ridiculous.

The screaming just got louder.

Finally I told her that if she was going to scream about the peanut butter that she'd need to do it in her room. She stomped her feet right up those stairs.

Lord help me, I prayed. I need wisdom with this one.

I let her pout upstairs for a few minutes while I took the opportunity to pop a few crackers into my mouth in quiet.

Eventually I went up to her room to talk to her about her attitude...

"Ella, we can't scream and carry on about peanut butter. Do you understand?"

She says nothing. Just crosses her arms in front of her chest with a full faced put.

"And further more you can't talk to mommy that way. Do you remember when you told me how you felt in school today when that little boy was not nice and said you couldn't play with him? That's what mean words do, they make people feel bad." I think I'm being all smart and connecting the situation to something real in her life... "That's how you make me feel when you say things like that.."

Guess what her response was?

"Well, Mom, he was not a little boy...He was just a boy."

Good grief!

She finally conceded to an apology and came downstairs to eat her peanut butter sandwich. By the time she was done eating she was bouncing around the kitchen with smiles and songs, as if the other little bit had NEVER happened. Truly, it was like a completely different child had entered the premises. She sent Elga back to her hiding place for a while and sweet Ella was back.

I swear I'm going to need a permanent room reservation in a local hotel if we end up having a third girl...I know people say boys are a handful and I believe that to be true in the physical sense, but girls...GIRLS are an emotional handful for sure.

I like to say it's a good thing she is so cute because it makes up for the mood swings! I suppose my husband has probably said that about me on more occasions than I'd care to maybe it's him that will need that hotel reservation after all!


  1. Ha! I though this was a direct message to me when I read your tweet. I bet we could trade some stories. I've written a few, but most are too graphic for general consumption. ;). Just so you know, boys can be emotional and moody, too. They can also do that shrill scream. I always thought that was a girl thing. Thanks for sharing this little slice. :)

  2. That hardest age for me so far has been from age 3 to 4. With my first I thought it was because our personalities didn't fit well but now that my second is almost three I realize its the age! Fun stuff! : )


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