Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why age 3 is so much more amazing than age 2

Laura's post today about why age 3 is easier for them than 2 got me to thinking about my feelings about age 3.

Age 3 is not easier than age 2 was. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The tantrums are crazier, the reasons behind the tantrums are even less rational, and discipline has become more complex. Michael's personality is such that he can be very difficult to either reward or punish. He has what I call the "cut of your nose to spite your face" gene. He often becomes so emotionally invested in "winning" that there is no suitable punishment that is enough of a deterrent to motivate him to give in. I'm pretty sure he would watch me throw away every toy, DVD, and Popsicle before giving in. I have no idea how long he would be willing to sit in his room doing nothing, because I'm not willing to leave him in there for hours. He gets THAT invested sometimes. (And I refer to it as a gene becuase I know exactly where it came from.)

Just because 3 has been hard at times, doesn't mean I'm not loving 3. I am. Michael has become such a complex and funny little person that the 95% of the time when he isn't a raving lunatic is just wonderful.

From Laura's post, it seems that one thing that has made 3 easier is that her boys now play with each other and keep themselves occupied. They have reached a new level of maturity that 1) gives Laura and Jon a break, and 2) is about as cute as cute can get. I saw a touch of this same maturity with Michael the other day when he played with the little girl at the playground. For once he was having a great time, and it didn't require constant vigilance from me. I know how huge that is for me, so I can just imagine what that must feel like for parents of twins.

Another thing that I'm enjoying is Michael's increasing awareness of his world and how he expresses it. Last night before bed Michael told me that he does not like his bed. I thought he might be refering to the fact that we converted it to a toddler bed so I asked him what he didn't like about his bed. He corrected himself and informed me that what he didn't like was actually his sleep. With further prompting I was able to get him to explain that the reason he doesn't like sleep is because it's boring.

I love conversations like this. I'm amazed at how well he can articulate his thoughts and feelings. I love how he is interacting with his world and how he expresses what those interactions mean to him.

And this is why 3 amazes me more than 2. There is just so much more to Michael's personality. I cannot wait to see how this progresses over the years. I just hope that we get a few breaks from the less pleasant side effects that come along with this increasing awareness of the world around him.


LauraC said...

Hey mostly my post was written for other twin parents. When you complain about 2 year old twins, everyone says WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE 3. But really the 2 year old thing was the craziest bc they were constantly hurting each other but too young to understand why they should not do it.

Plus I am so good now at the double arm carry out of grocery stores with two crying children.

Stacey said...

Yes, I agree even though we're at much greater than 5% raving lunatic time around here.

I recently watched a video of Cole from a little over a year ago. I was truly astounded at how much calmer he was. His entire presence was profoundly different.

I'm optimistic for four though.

Julie said...

I'm with Laura on the 2s being worse than 3. Actually though 2.5-3 was the worst of it, so I am expecting 3.5 to suck as well, based on the half year disequilibrium theory. Lana being able to articulate her feelings has helped tremendously and the ability to reason with her (sometimes) also helps. But I agree that the 3 year old crazies are pretty baffling. One thing you may escape is the 3 year old drama that girls are prone to. She gets a cut the size of a pin head and we are talking hysterics that make you think you should take her to the ER! At least with boys "shake it off" seems to work.

DesiDVM said...

I love love love the 3-year old conversations. J's view of the world is so interesting. His tantrums can be intense but I'll still take 3 over 2 any day, at least now I have some idea what the problem is and he can understand (somewhat) WHY he's in timeout when he's there.