I was watching Supernanny the other day, and JoJo said something to the mom in distress that encouraged me. This mom had two sets of twins who had not been disciplined consistently. After a rather lengthy discipline session with one of her boys, the mom was in tears wondering if this kid was ever going to learn to respect and obey her, and ultimately begin to make better choices. This is the jist of what Jo said..."You can gain the obedience and respect of your children because you are a mom who wants to do right by her kids and are thus worthy of respect. But you have to step up and do the work."
As kids grow, they pass through many phases. Schroeder is in the height of cuteness. He's sleeping through the night. He's smiling and he has this dimple that just melts you. D'arcy is in a mature 5 year old stage. She is sweet, responsible, independent, and teachable. I feel like we are reaping the benefits of all of our hard parenting work.
And then there is Julian. Our quiet, thumb sucking, layed back toddler, has officially morphed into a talkative, rambunctious, three year old! I'm not inclined to use the term "terrible-twos". Growing up is hard, and two year olds are just trying to deal with it. It feels mean to label them as terrible. But now I know that, in fact, the term "terrible-twos" is just downright incorrect. Someone told me, "Whoever created that term hadn't met a three year old."
All of this is to say, that, although wonderful, three year olds require parents who wake up ready to do the work. It helps to remember, though, that Julian was once at the height of cuteness and will eventually be a mature 5 year old.