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To think a day out with a 3yr old is not fun, at all!

(68 Posts)
NatureCreatesFreaks Sat 06-Aug-16 16:53:08

My dd is very nearly 3. We've been out for a walk & bike ride in the sun today. It has not been fun at all.
She wants to ride her bike, she wants to be carried, she doesn't want to be carried but doesn't want to ride her bike. she doesn't want to walk and just wants to stand there looking sad or whinging.

She doesn't want to get in her carseat, or out of her carseat. she takes her shoes and socks off just as we pull up to go for a walk, then doesn't want them back on. It takes about 20minutes to leave the car, then we only get 10 minutes down the road and she starts whinging.

I live in the Lake District, I have the mountains on my doorstep and some beautiful walks but I can't appreciate any of it because of my 3yr old.

I'd rather just go out on my own, or with my 7yr old. Who has been an absolute star all day and normally is. But I do remember going through this very stage with him and just everything we do being a chore, whether it was supposed to be a nice day out or a trip to supermarket.

I don't want to wish her life away but I really am fed up with the toddler/pre school stage now and can't wait for her to be around 5 or 6!

HolaWeenie Sat 06-Aug-16 16:57:50

You have my sympathy! I have a 4yo and 9mo and I guiltily wish their lives away after most days's my husbands birthday on Monday and I'm struggling to think of something nice to do that suits us all.

LadyFuchsiaGroan Sat 06-Aug-16 16:58:53

Yanbu - we are having this with DD who's nearly 4. She wants her scooter, she wants to be carried but what ends up happening is she just stands there whinging and whining. Warm weather doesn't help either ( that's what I keep telling myself anyway!)

Your right though we have a nice day so decide to take her out for the day and it does feel like a chore - hoping this passes!

Artandco Sat 06-Aug-16 16:59:14

Maybe make it easier?

Take a Tula toddler sling and you can carry her on back when tired

Or take adult bike with kids seat on back for her.

Just use small bike locally around. At 3 mine likes cycling but would be tired soon after, so going around the block or in circles meant they could stop when they wanted. At 5 they can now cycle much further but they are older now

NatureCreatesFreaks Sat 06-Aug-16 17:04:35

Oh artandco I did have my sling carrier with me. I ended up carrying her her bike for a while. Then she wanted to get down, then up again, then down.

It was my ds decision to go on a bike ride but I stupidly gave dd the option this morning of her going on her balance bike or on the seat on my bike. I wish I'd gone for the seat on my bike as bike rides are much more fun that way as there's nothing she can do, and I don't have to carry her.
With her balance bike in mind I chose a nice short route with cafe at the end, but we didn't even make it that far! My poor ds was a bit miffed as he didn't get to ride his bike for long.

blueskywithclouds Sat 06-Aug-16 17:06:03

My 13m old has been this way all week, except swap walking for sitting on me. It is driving me mad!

NatureCreatesFreaks Sat 06-Aug-16 17:08:23

I just find her hard work in general, she whinges alot, and has a horrible whine to her voice whenever she talks. It really grates on me.

I feel like a miserable, tired, impatient mum.

dylsmimi Sat 06-Aug-16 17:10:42

I had this yesterday dc2 who is 3 was a pain all day and in one of those moods just looking for trouble and had several big tantrums
Today it is dc1 turn who has been whinging and whining and moping about
I won't respond to whining though so they do know If they shine for something I won't listen till they speak properly!
It will get better though wine

Artandco Sat 06-Aug-16 17:14:01

Have you tried giving here simple choices so she feels she has control? And can use as tactics to ignore what she whinges for

Ie she wants to be carried instead of walking. Change conversation to ' let's see who can find something first, would you like to look for a flower or a snail?'

If you want her to ideally go on back of bike, don't give her the choice in future, but let her choose something else like 'would you like the red shoes or blue shoes to go outside with'. Choices still made, she still feels in control, but actually you didn't give her a choice in what you need to happen.

Try always asking her would you like a or b, rather than just what would you like. As that can then be when moaning starts if she wants option that isn't possible

AndroidAddict Sat 06-Aug-16 17:21:57

My dd is nearly 4 and is exactly the same. She wants to scoot/doesn't want to scoot. There's a hill/ds is going faster than her/there are too many stones. It's the same with the bike. It's the same with walking or running. It gets right on my tits. I remember storming out of a nice local NT place a couple of months ago, and therefore also spoiling the day out for ds, because she just wouldn't stop crying and whinging.

Today she hasn't been too bad (we nearly didn't go though because of 5 y old ds' tantrums this morning) but when we got home after a lovely afternoon of water splashing, sand castles, museums and a picnic all hell broke loose. Both children crying, stropping and carrying on over everything. They were so dirty from today I've had to bath them, against their will, and I'm sure the neighbours thought I was trying to do them an injury. They've argued over drinks, chairs, cushions... we've only been home an hour and half.

I tried to explain rant to h (not so dear at the moment the twat) that the strops either during or after a day out almost makes me feel like it's not worth going. It makes me feel even more trapped. He just said I was too easily put off and that I am a defeatist. Bastard prick. I told him to fuck off.

A long post, all about me and my shit day out, sorry. I'm just offloading and hopefully helping by showing some solidarity.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 06-Aug-16 17:25:57

Just remember that "this too will pass" - she's 3 and 3 sucks a lot of the time. I have a nearly 4yo DS2, and he can be like this sometimes, but other times he's great.
Kind of depends on what side he got out of bed, whether there is an r in the day, if the sun is shining and whether he's had enough sleep; but there is good in among the bad.

I agree about the whining though - that peculiarly penetrating whiney voice that just makes me want to scream my lungs out - can't bear it! <shudders>

It'll soon be over - keep repeating that to yourself.

FestiveFran Sat 06-Aug-16 17:30:02

flowers for Android - we've all been there smile

HuckleberryGin Sat 06-Aug-16 17:30:31

Schrodinger's 3 year old. Mine turned 4 last week and doesn't show much hope of stopping.

TheEagle Sat 06-Aug-16 17:35:26


I've been stuck indoors with 2.10 DS1 and 15mo DTs all day. All they do is fight each other, climb and jump off furniture or fling themselves on me.

I feel like I'm going totally mad and I spend a lot of time fantasising about them being older. Then feel immediately guilty.

Parenting is hard!

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 06-Aug-16 17:38:06

Just remember they probably won't be doing it at 18. And ahhhh they are so cute when asleep.

Scuttle22 Sat 06-Aug-16 17:38:57

They don't get better until they are 5+ as you well know! grin

NatureCreatesFreaks Sat 06-Aug-16 17:38:58

Thanks artandco I'm pretty good at giving her small options and not responding to the whinge. But I feel I am constantly asking her to use big girl voice, she does but quickly reverts back. It's frustrating.

I know I could be better and more enthusiastic outdoors with them, playing games or doing activities to pass the time & encourage, infact I'm pretty good at that sort of thing. But I find I'm much more enthusiastic with ds, and when dd is in a good mood. Because I am in a better mood.
When she is whingy, or refusing I lose my patience quickly and I become miserable. Although I don't get cross or shout, I just refuse to engage for a while as a coping mechanism.... I don't ignore. But I do as little talking as possible for fear of snapping.

LouisTherouxsGlasses Sat 06-Aug-16 17:40:40


BertieBotts Sat 06-Aug-16 17:42:06

Nope, I think you summed up the 3yo age quite well!

It's exhausting.

Some things which I found made it more bearable are taking a camera everywhere so you're looking through the lens and finding the beauty/cuteness that way. Making sure you ALWAYS have more than enough drinks and snacks.

+ the phrases

Sorry I don't understand that voice. Where's your nice voice?

We are not talking about this any more.

I already answered that.

Thank you for.... (instead of good girl for... no idea why but it seemed to help)

Can I hold your hand? (Make it sound like you really want to)

I need a [road crossing/shoe putting on/etc] expert. Do you know any?

Don't forget to.... [stop at the road/be careful/use two hands] (rather than just the instruction - avoids accusations of rage and "I KNOOOOW")

Lots and lots and lots of pre-warning of every little thing. Think of it like indicating in a car so that the little old lady behind you has time to hit the brakes. They are literally only just learning to predict things, but they are not very good at it, which means that anything unexpected ruins their day. Which, of course, happens a lot. If you give them a warning a little while in advance "When we get to the road you'll need to hold hands or go in the pushchair" they've processed it by the time they get there, they're expecting it, and it works more smoothly. Not always but a lot of the time.

Borrow someone's dog.

Races for everything.

Hopefully, since it's DC2, it might be that this stage is shorter? Because she'll want to be like her big brother and try to act more like him? smile

OhPuddleducks Sat 06-Aug-16 17:42:59

It's the whinge that does my head in. I wouldn't mind as much if mine would be indecisive in a normal voice. The winge goes right through me.

Sympathy to you OP. Prosecco in the fridge for after they are in bed on your husband's birthday? That's my only advice!!!!

CoolioAndTheGang Sat 06-Aug-16 17:44:31

They don't get better until they are 5+ as you well know!

shock sad sobs

BertieBotts Sat 06-Aug-16 17:44:33

I also wish I'd heard of Andrea Nair when DS was 3. I only found her page when he was 5 and the worst of it had passed and I think her stuff would have really helped me. She's on facebook.

NatureCreatesFreaks Sat 06-Aug-16 17:44:40

You know what android that sounds like our day out. Dd hates not being in front, or hills, or stones, or sheep poo!
The 3yr old stage has certainly been amplified because there's 2 of them. Ds is usually very understanding of his sister's random tantrums, but sometimes he does like to wind her up.
I don't know how people with less than a 4yr age gap cope!... Atleast you get through the toddler stage quicker!
android There is also nothing worse than an unsupportive OH. flowers My dh isn't here atm, I feel like I've spent way too much time with dc on my own recently, we've turned in to an old married couple!

NatureCreatesFreaks Sat 06-Aug-16 17:47:12

mummy she is cute when she's sleeping!

Yes scuttle my 7yr old is wonderful! I know my 3yr old will be one day too grin

BertieBotts Sat 06-Aug-16 17:49:28

Oh it is 100x harder when your DH isn't around (or is around but is useless!)

It really helps to have a glass of wine/cup of tea and someone to commiserate with in the evenings! And someone to tag team with.

Do you have any friends who also have 3 or 4yos?

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