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.