Everyone warns you about how hard it is to parent a two year old. They never tell you how hard it is to parent a three year old. Two was a piece of cake for us. Sure, there were tantrums. They were mostly related to LB’s inability to communicate what he wanted to communicate. Otherwise, things went pretty well. Three is so much more complicated.

Little Bug can be the sweetest, most wonderful little human being. He is smart and funny and loving. He totally cracks me up! Last week, when I took him to Hanks, he was interested in the spinning wheel. I told him I would show it to him on the way out. By the time we left, he didn’t seem that interested. Monday, he came to me and said, “Mama, remember the spinning wheel at the yarn store? You should get one. You could make yarn for all the people who don’t have yarn. People without yarn are sad.” Adorable, right? And smart! He has an obsession with princesses (he wants to be one…he also wants to be a firefighter). He loves pink. It is just too cute. He remembers every song (both lyrics and melody) after hearing it just once. He can identify most states on the map. He totally amazes me.

I guess all that amazement is what makes parenting him so complicated. He can also be extremely difficult. He has been so defiant. He tests the boundaries all the time. He pushes my buttons. He is so smart and knows exactly what they are. Lately, I have been really snappy with him. I hate it. I snap, and then I feel really, really, really guilty. I love him so much, but some days he makes me crazy.

It is also complicated because I feel guilty when I can’t give him my full attention. Monday night, I was alone with the boys because DH had a late meeting. CB was having a difficult night (very fussy because his reflux was acting up). He needed me to feed him and jiggle him. LB did really well, and then got tired. He deliberatly broke several rules. I sent him to time out a few times. After 9 pm, I was exhausted. Both boys were still awake and overtired. LB kept pushing the boundaries. Finally, I yelled at him (just raised my voice to tell him to stop). He threw himself on the couch and cried. I heard him say, “I just need you to pay attention to me, Mommy.” I have never felt so bad in all my life. LB was crying, CB was crying, and I was crying. I put the baby down, and scooped him up. Then he got upset because his brother was crying and I wasn’t holding him. He said, “Mommy, Critter needs you too.” When DH got home about 10 minutes later, the three of us were all cuddled up in the rocking chair exhausted and tear stained. I get frustrated because I feel like I don’t give LB enough one on one time. Parenting is hard work.

Note: I typed this post a few days ago. I was not going to post it, but have decided I will. It is one of the things going on with me. I like to post only happy stuff, but that isn’t always what I am thinking or feeling. The whole point of the blog is to be able to talk about the stuff I wouldn’t ordinarily get to talk about. Writing this did make me feel a lot better. It also helped me realize the real reason for my frustration (guilt over not enough one on one time). I have been better about the one on one time the last few days and have been much happier (as has LB). I know that we will always have our ups and downs. I just hope I don’t screw the kids up too badly!