I was typing up this post about something cute that Luke does every night, and then I stopped. Not because I don't want to share the cuteness, but because I just couldn't. Not right now.
Instead I want to tell you that three is hard. For most of his twos, we scoffed at the whole terrible two phase. We didn't see any of that. Not even really after his little brother was born. But then he got close to three, and I started hearing the phrase "three-nager," and I GOT IT. Oh, did I get it. Maybe a little too much, because sometimes I hear about other three year olds. About the cute things they do, of course, never the THREE things they do, and I start to think that maybe my child is flawed. Maybe I'm a bad mother. Maybe I'm spoiling him or being too hard on him or maybe I'm just not cut out to be a parent. All of these things go through my head, and you know, maybe they go through yours.
So, I'm going to be real. My child is love and sweet and light. Some times. But then there are times when my child defies me. When he flat out refuses to do what I ask him. When I have to put him in time out to keep from pushing him out the front door and pretending he's not mine. Once he picked up the word "dammit" and decided to scream it over and over. In the middle of a crowded restaurant. He wouldn't stop, until I carried him out of the restaurant with my hand clapped over his mouth. A walk of shame, in which I imagined everyone looking at Tommy and thinking, "Oh my. They bred AGAIN?" And at these times, I look at Tommy and think about how he's sweet all the time, but someday, he'll be THREE.
Sometimes Luke is too rough with Tommy. Often it's unintentional and just the result of a three year old loving too much, but there are times when it is intentional. Once at the park, he pushed Ivy. He gets shy at first in social settings and will try to mask his shyness by doing something crazy, like headbutting me. He doesn't do this all the time, but there are times when Tommy falls asleep in the car, and Luke will raise his voice to try and wake Tommy.
There is so much that he does RIGHT, but when he does wrong, I blame myself. I never think that he's a normal three year old, I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Maybe you have a three year old like mine, and so, I hope you read this and realize that no one has a perfect child. (Or if everyone does have a perfect child, please don't tell me.) And in a few days, I'll share the cute because it is OH SO CUTE, but for right now? I'm feeling good about admitting that sometimes, the cute is seriously lacking and I'm frantically wondering if there are gypsies in Indiana and whether or not they would like to buy my child.