Friend or Enemy?

I think my favorite book title of all time remains the child development classic Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy. Baby was VERY three today; sometimes acting like a sullen teenager, other times so sweet she makes me want three more kids. This morning there was a litany of complaints so long I was laughing on the inside. I try very hard not to show my amusement on the outside because A) Mean and B) That would only further enrage the beast. Her list of grievances this morning went something like this:

-I asked her if she wanted more breakfast.
-I told her she had to wear shoes when we went out.
-That it was winter and thus cold outside. For the record it was 45 degrees when we left the house, Baby was ensconced in a fleece jacket with a hood. Poor girl is going to be in for a nasty shock if we ever leave Southern California and she finds out what real winter feels like.
-The heater is does not instantaneously fill the car with heat.
-The heater might make the car too hot and burn her.
-That the Rose Parade was not happening at that very moment. In fact, not only was the parade not happening, but she could see as we drove down the street that the viewing stands were being disassembled. She did not approve.
-She couldn’t sit on my lap while I had my blood drawn this morning
-That we weren’t going to pick up Older and Middle from school. It was 10:00 am – they get done at 3:00.
-That the buckles on the shopping cart were broken and she might fall out.
-That it was cold in the grocery store.
-That it was “winding” (windy) outside. It was not in the slightest.
-That when we returned home Daddy would not be there and that we would thus be lonely; just us two girls and the cat.
-That our much loved neighbor had the gall to go to work and was not sitting in her driveway waiting for Baby to arrive home.
-I suggested that as it had been five hours since she used the bathroom she might want to give it a try.

Shockingly, she didn’t protest her nap at all and asked to be nursed and rest early this afternoon. She took a great nap and afterwards we snuggled under a blanket and ate 5 clementines between the two of us while we laughed and talked for half an hour. I made vegetable stock and had it simmering on the stove while she napped and she even commented that the house smelled “yummy” when she woke up and was excited to see all the delicious vegetables. She had morphed back into a perfect little dream child.

Tonight the pendulum swung back towards madness with bedtime protests to rival the fervor of a political dissident. It’s alright. I find this third time around, I am mostly enjoying three years old. Besides the title there is a lot to love about the “Friend or Enemy” book, foremost of which is their primary for suggestion for dealing with the frustrations of a tyrannical three year old: to send said three year old to preschool/daycare or to hire a babysitter. Because I am working I get to do just that a couple of days a week; and those two days allow me to truly enjoy my days with Baby – no matter how crazy she gets.

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