AIBU to think staying calm or sane with toddlers is impossible?

(60 Posts)
Wheresthesalad Mon 20-Jul-15 19:55:45

I have two toddlers aged 2 and 3.

My 3 year old is at a new level of obnoxious. Having spent the day...actually the last month.... generally sneering and snarling at me - either looking at me like I'm something she has stepped in or screaming at me over whatever is not to her satisfaction, I put her to bed at 7pm and she's been up running around twice. My main concern is she's so rowdy she'll wake her brother who needs his sleep. And she needs hers!

I get it. She's three. But for the last month I've been subjected to a battle over everything. They say 'pick your battles' but I'm not picking any of them! She on the other hand wants to fight with me all day long. Everything DH or I do or say is objected to. This morning he asked her to play in her bedroom briefly so he could get the ladder down and go up to the loft instead of playing in the hallway and she kicked off with him insisting on playing where SHE wanted to play etc etc. It's stuff like that. Tonight her chair wasn't in the 'right place' for dinner I.e. A couple of inches to the left, and she started complaining loudly. She never stops talking, and she has an infuriating habit of saying the same thing fifty times.

How do people do it? I've got a reward chart, we use time out for unacceptable behaviour (she hit the dog earlier, just sauntered over and smacked her - not hard but not gently either, she shoved her brother over earlier just for being nearby).

I sat on the sofa crying last night because I can't cope with the constant behaviour from her. I try my hardest to get it right, she attends nursery some mornings, she gets lots of love and attention from myself and DH, I read parenting books and am always trying to improve, but lately all she has done is give me a rough ride. She's very active and I struggle to keep her occupied as she just wants to tear around yelling the whole time at home even though I know she settles well in to tasks at nursery and is very good there.

Arghhhh!

KanyesVest Mon 20-Jul-15 20:18:21

I have no answers, but all the sympathy in the world. Ds is 3 next week and doing my bloody nut in. Poor dd, who is 5 and the best child in the world, hardly gets a look in while I'm negotiating, cajoling, reprimanding screeching like a banshee . He's a pure delight at nursery though hmm

MiaowTheCat Mon 20-Jul-15 20:20:16

Oh I feel your pain - I've got a 2 and 3 year old as well - and my 3 year old has had me in tears several times recently with the boundary testing and "buuuuuut"s.

She's getting better and I'm getting flashes of my old lovely toddler back, along with flashes of the wonderful little girl she's changing into - but it's gruelling.

I tend to (not recommending this strategy) just fantasise that I'm Flop from Bing and let it all wash over my little floppy strange woolen aura of calmness and serenity - and then go stick my head into the dishwasher and swear while pretending to empty it.

teacher54321 Mon 20-Jul-15 20:28:03

DS is 3 and 3 months and is irascible. He is wonderful in lots of ways but he does push ALL my buttons daily. Today we've had battles about breakfast, getting dressed, getting shoes on, getting in the car seat, you name it, he's argued about it. No advice, just solidarity from me!

Bakeoffcake Mon 20-Jul-15 20:28:28

You must have your work cut out with a 2 and 3 year old, I don't envy you, but your dd is just being a normal 3 year old. She's not naughty, she's not obnoxious, it's good she doesn't stop talking!

Take a deep breath, try to laugh a lot and understand what's going through her mind. So when she insisted on playing in the hall rather than in her bedroom, it was probably because she wanted to see what's going on with Daddy up in the loft, rather than being shut in her bedroom. Or she could have been in the middle of a very important gamewink and didn't like being interrupted.

You have to look at things form her illogical brain, don't expect her to think and behave like a fully formed person.

It does get better eventually

Bakeoffcake Mon 20-Jul-15 20:29:51

By the way, mine are now 21 and 24 so I can look back on the toddler years through rose tinted glasses.smile

CigarsofthePharoahs Mon 20-Jul-15 20:31:54

My eldest was lovely, then he turned three.
Total threenager.
Objected to everything, stopped eating well, and just threw massive strops constantly over what seemed like nothing. Sometimes I would go to the loo and quietly weep - whilst trying to do everything one handed as I couldn't put the baby down.
He's four and a half now and I am seeing some improvement. Preschool has helped and he's just interested in more things.
Why? But why? Why? Really Mummy, why? Why? Why?

Mouthfulofquiz Mon 20-Jul-15 20:39:02

Fantasising about being Flop sounds perfectly sane to me!! grin

Egosumquisum Mon 20-Jul-15 20:45:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WineIsMyMainVice Mon 20-Jul-15 20:49:30

Sorry, I don't have the answers, but again, lots of sympathy! I feel your pain! Good luck.

Wideopenspace Mon 20-Jul-15 20:58:35

My DC is 3. I love him. He is ace.

However.

I have worked in inner city schools with the most challenging children for years. I am a trained behaviour analyst. I delivered behaviour programmes for families who had children with severe behaviour issues before this.

I have NEVER wanted to throttle a child as much as I occasionally do my DC. grin

I have found 2 things that have entirely saved my sanity. wine and valium 1) Telling him 'I can't hear' his special whiny voice. Then just literally blanking it. He still does it loads but will then change it and use his normal voice. Flipside of this is that if I lose my shit and shout he will tell me to 'just use your normal voice mummy' I swear he looks smug

2) If we're disagreeing, I sit on the floor next to him to carry on the conversation. Seems that something about physically being alongside him discharges the situation for both of us.

Plus, obviously, extensive use of bribery and CBeebies....

Purplepoodle Mon 20-Jul-15 21:08:03

Could be worse my not long two year old has picked up the lovely habit of blowing raspberries/spitting when he doesn't get his own way (every 5 minutes) or trying to slap me across the face. Unfortunately picked up from his 4 year old brother who is 'CHALLENGING' full stop. They all get a count of three to stop behaviour or its a time out. Ds(4) is put in his room (before I murder him) and ds(2) is banished to the hall for mini time out.

Wideopenspace Mon 20-Jul-15 21:18:58

Misread that as 'banished to hell' purple....grin

Felyne Mon 20-Jul-15 21:19:04

I have a nearly three year old too. He argues about everything seemingly just because he likes arguing. If I ask him to stop doing something it's like he doesn't hear me and just carries on and does it anyway.
I have to shout at him before he will listen to me. I hate the sound of my own voice because all I seem to hear is me saying 'no' / 'stop that' / 'leave her(DD) alone' / 'no, we don't hit' / 'give that back to her' / 'leave the cat alone' / 'do you need a wee? No? Then stop touching your penis' / 'get off there please'...
I make a point of saying good things loudly near the open windows in the hope that the neighbours might hear that I am nice to my kids too because I'm sure all they hear is shouting and tantrums.
The best one is this conversation we have every three/four days:
Me: "I know what I'm talking about, don't argue with me"
Him: "I'm not arguing with you"

KanyesVest Mon 20-Jul-15 21:19:31

I had forgotten repressed the special noises. Ds has learned how to do an ear splitting screech, which is his dinosaur voice. Dinosaurs are about to become extinct in our house.... I've also decided the raspberry blowing is not a fight worth having. Once it's not actual premiership footballer spitting, I've abandoned responsibility.

broomchickabroomchick Mon 20-Jul-15 21:25:22

I have a threenager too. We argue and then I find myself thinking 'why am I arguing with a three year old?!' His best response is "just stop telling me you annoying person!" hmm

Today he stepped it up a level and punched me in the arm repeatedly. Good news is he starts nursery in september! grin His 4 month old sister is a dream compared to his constant questions/repeating/arguing back

Asleeponasunbeam Mon 20-Jul-15 21:30:32

Oh the dinosaurs! DS (just 3) has taken to terrifying smaller children and any passing adult with his ear splitting roars. He is currently in an intent on destruction phase, breaking things a lot (DH's iPhone today...), wrecking his big sister's games etc. He also thinks he can fly and has no sense of fear or danger (apart from big bad wolves which really scare him).

On the other hand, he is totally hilarious, has us in stitches constantly (with his poo songs and jokes mostly!) and is really cute when he's asleep.

Like a PP, I work with children with very challenging behaviour. Patience and calmness are my most important traits at work. I am utterly incapable of maintaining this with my own children.

Hillijx Mon 20-Jul-15 21:54:58

I have found 3 worse than the so called terrible 2's, what age do they stop arguing with you? 21?! My children make me cry daily....they are delightful confused

Wheresthesalad Mon 20-Jul-15 22:06:30

I feel tons better reading your responses - thank you! Yep we have dinosaur noises too. A few weeks ago she leapt out of bed at midnight, put her lamp on, raced across to DS bed and jumped on him yelling 'roooooooarrrrrr!' as loudly as she could. I woke up, rushed in like a ninja, put her back to bed muttering threats and DS somehow remained asleep throughout! grin

Threenager is about right. Last week she turned to me and said 'Mummy, I want lip balm and sparkles'. I was in the middle of changing the beds and said 'not right now ok?'. She turned on her heel and flounced off hissing '^oh for goodness sake^'

I look in the fridge at the wine longingly at 4pm knowing I have to wait until 7pm.

Wheresthesalad Mon 20-Jul-15 22:07:40

Edit: Lamp no longer has bulb in as she kept turning it on in the night and wandering around grin

Claireshh Mon 20-Jul-15 22:12:28

My daughter spent her life from 2.5 until 4 ish trying to constantly negotiate with me. At 3 ish she would randomly push her favourite friend over and even had a really upsetting biting phase. She also like to whinge a lot.

I told her I couldn't understand 'whingese' and refused to answer her when she talked in a many voice. I was super strict on any pushing/biting. She was taken home immediately from where ever we were. It soon stopped. As for the negotiating I started giving her two choices.

She is now the easiest six year old. Honestly couldn't ask for a lovelier daughter. She is kind friend and sister and incredibly happy.

I like to think of her horror years as intensive training on how not to behave. It's like she pushed every boundary and now knows how to behave pretty much all the time. It's incredible.

I'm not trying to sound smug, I actually had no idea of what I was doing was right plus I had her brother when she was 2.2years. I'm just trying to say it'll pass. It gets SO much easier and much more fun.

Kasterborous Mon 20-Jul-15 22:14:55

My three year old DD just never, ever shuts up. And all the but why? It drives me insane. DH gets home from a 12 hour shift at work and I'm just sat there looking frazzled. I took up running, mostly just to get an hour all to myself out of the house three times a week, it does actually help to run the frustration off.

CigarsofthePharoahs Mon 20-Jul-15 22:15:11

Today my ds1 was running around with both arms up yelling 'I'm the octopod!' He has stayed like it, and through dinner to. I have had to feed him again. Then his hands became stingers. Siiiiigh.
I have just over a year and a half before ds2 turns three. I am expecting him to be worse, he's had a cracking example to follow.
I hear him telling his toys off for being naughty a lot.

Wideopenspace Mon 20-Jul-15 22:20:55

Fucking, fucking Octonauts angry

MiaowTheCat Mon 20-Jul-15 22:28:52

Mine has a total recall for the scripts of random TV shows or annoying as fuck songs which she likes to belt out full blast when she should be going to sleep.

This week I thought her reproduction of that day's Rhyme Rocket was bag enough - then bloody preschool taught her to sing the Hokey Cokey.

It is not a mash up you want to ever have to listen to.

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