I've been warned by friends with older kids that the "terrible twos" are really nothing compared to three year olds. And only one week away from Ben's third birthday we are experiencing that reality for ourselves. Heath described it rather succinctly: When they're two they do bad things, but they don't realize those things are bad. But when they're three they do bad things they know are bad. So it's all about the intent.
The most frustrating thing is that sometimes Ben's his old, sweet self. He'll cooperate, he'll do what I ask, he won't stall for insane amounts of time. Then all of a sudden a switch goes off in his head and he's whining and stomping around and willfully disobeying me. And this happens every day. Our day isn't complete until he's thrown himself on the ground in anguish over something. Or made me drag him along the sidewalk because he won't stand up. Or run away while I'm yelling at him to STOP.
Is this like mini-boot camp for the teenage years? I suppose I should be grateful that at least right now I can physically overpower him. That advantage is going to go away all too soon. He'll probably be taller than I am by the time he's 10. But this SUCKS. I know it's not just me, but it's making me feel like a terrible parent because I pretty much want to strangle him on a daily basis. And I don't want to be screaming at him in Target or at restaurants.
I guess he started preschool just in time. We both need our space.