Saturday, March 7, 2009

terrible threes

I don't know why people call it the terrible twos. I really think three is much harder than two. But I had a mini-epiphany this week. My Ella is a sweet girl, but she can be a handful. There are moments that she really challenges us and wears on our patience. I was thinking about this a few days ago and wondering if it was a) just her age, b) her own personality, c)something I'd done wrong, or d) all of the above.

The answer: e) probably all of the above plus the fact that in many ways she has had a difficult year. I worried a lot about how Michelle would react when Ella was born, but I guess this time I have been pretty busy thinking about how I would handle another baby. So a couple of days ago, it just hit me that part of her terrible threes are probably a reflection of the changes to happen in her little life this year. Michelle, her very best friend and playmate, started school and is no longer with her all day long. Gabrielle was born. Alfredo changed jobs and works Monday through Friday. Previously, he'd always been home with the girls 1 or 2days a week. And then in January, she changed from the only babysitter she knew to a new babysitter. That is a lot of changes for a little girl of only 3 (almost 4) years old. It doesn't excuse tantrums or bad behavior, but it has given me more empathy for her and patience to deal with it.