terrible threes

The Terrible ones, twos and threes

Whoever termed the phrase the ‘Terrible Twos‘ blatantly never had kids. They obviously never experienced the ‘Terrible Threes’.  I knew when Finlay began crawling just shy of six months I was in trouble with this one. Very determined, very head strong. Little did I know what was in store for me!

As Finlay turned one, the tantrums began, we seemed to hit the magical Terrible Two’s a whole year early! Most things would result in a huge meltdown. Not being able to balance his toys, the offer for help, not being able to get to get somewhere quick enough, anything and everything would set him off. The worse part was watching him hurt himself. Nearly every tantrum would involve Finlay furiously banging his forehead on the floor at full ferocity. The resulting bruise almost became part of him, it was always there.

Was this behaviour Normal?

I sought advice from the health visitors over and over. Each time I was told not to worry, it’s normal, it’s frustration, ignore it. Well, I can say it didn’t feel normal. It was impossible to ignore. Especially when at the park, Finlay would throw himself down screaming. Banging his head as hard as he could on the ground. All while the other mums stared. All because the swing wasn’t free or we had to go. It was extremely embarrassing. I questioned if I was a bad parent. Had I been too strict or not strict enough? Did I feed him the wrong foods? is it something I did when pregnant?

This wasn’t an irregular occurrence either. We were lucky if we had a meltdown free day. We were drained as a family, not knowing how to deal with the anger! Mostly I ignored it as much as I could, it was my way to cope, but Chris found it more difficult. He wasn’t able to just switch off. Finlay’s tantrums would result in us all shouting at each other. My only respite was the fact this was ‘normal’ it would end hopefully, sooner than later. If we hit this stage early perhaps we would bypass the terrible twos phase.

The Terrible Threes!

That was wishful thinking. Moving forward we have endured the terrible twos and moved into the terrible threes. There was a small respite period where the head banging seemed to disappear, but recently it has begun rearing its ugly help. The tantrums remain. I comfort myself with the fact that he has good reports from the nursery. His behaviour isn’t perfect (he is, after all, a little boy), but nothing has been flagged up that would ring alarm bells.

Sometimes, Finlay’s behaviour reduces me to tears and I sob my heart out wondering if I went wrong somewhere along the way. Of course, I love him dearly and unconditionally, there’s no questioning that. In between the tantrums, Finlay really is the most loving, caring little boy I know. Always concerned when people are sad, giving cuddles of comfort. However, as baby number two grows, I can’t help but worry. What if it’s just like Finlay, how on earth will I cope?

As I sit here in soft play, he’s currently lobbing balls at every poor unsuspecting victim, his character makes me smile, but I am well aware he is the only one doing so!! However, I do feel recently, the tantrums although more intense, seem fewer and far between, perhaps this is the light at the end of my tunnel?
Have you experienced the terrible ones, Terrible twos and terrible threes? I would love to hear your stories,your tactics and coping mechanisms!

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