I learned a new word recently that answers so many questions in my life right now.
In most online mommy circles — which are my stomping grounds these days — the term describes the teen angst and attitude coming from a 3-year-old.
It describes Ellie’s personality all too well these days.
When she doesn’t like something, she responds with: “What’s up with that?” Or Ellie makes her displeasure known with a short and sweet: “Fine! I don’t care.” This is usually followed up by her stomping out of the room for further effect.
Our preschooler’s “tude” seems even more pronounced since Ellie is juxtaposed right now with Katie, who at 16-months is in a hugging, grinning and cheerful babbling phase.
It seems like just last week I was rocking Ellie to sleep with songs, but really it’s been about a year since that phase. She still likes cuddles for story times and we share plenty of giggles, but she’s come so far from the cute baby stage.
Ellie’s “threenager” stage isn’t just about sass. Though she’s already perfected her glare, her fake apology (soooo-rrry!) and her hand-on-hip stance to signal displeasure.
Our 3-year-old informs me on a regular basis that she’s ready to be “big.” Her somewhat open-ended goal for growing up fast would allow her to do the following, according to a conversation we had this past week:
— Ride in the front seat of the car.
— Go to the doctor and get medicine (though her ailment is unclear).
— Pick the songs on the radio.
— Grow so tall that her hair would brush on the ceiling.
I’m pretty sure Ellie’s hurry to grow up will only intensify in the coming years. Meanwhile, I’ve spent most of the past three-plus years wishing time could stand still as I try to soak up the fleeting moments of babyhood from Ellie and Katie.
But if we can’t stop the clock, I’m OK with fast-forwarding through some of these “threenager” antics.
Dorothy Schneider: 815-987-1244; firstname.lastname@example.org; @dotschneider