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Yup...three gets worse. My darling daughter morphed into this miserable, dramatic, Diva and apparently NOTHING made her happy. They have all these emotions, and they know a lot more words! It was hell. My son is three now, and actually, he's not too bad. More of a Joker, always trying to push it to the limit just to get a reaction. I'll take that over my mini-teen anyday.

Three was by far the worst age here, but two wasn't terrible at all. Four and five have been absolutely wonderful. But i will admit to still having nightmares about three. Ugh.

Um, yes... it gets MUCH worse. And then it gets better. Five was fabulous. I LOVED 5. Every freaking day was great. Six was up and down. Then it got easier most of the time until 11. THAT was the worst year ever. It was so bad that I was just about to roll over and say "Enough" and give up. It was horrid. My SIL warned me, but I thought she was being snarky. She wasn't. Then my BFF's daughter turned 11 and the whole family almost fell apart. 12 and 13 weren't a lot better, but 14 is way cool. I'm liking 14 a lot. Most of the time.

The truth is, every age has it's ups and downs. For my kids, two was pretty darn good, but three was horrid and 4 was even worse. But other people don't find that to be true. I've always found that the second half of each year is much worse than the first half. That's been documented in those Eg books called Your Child at (Fill in age).

I have to say, I stopped taking my kids out to eat from around 18 months until they were about 4. They just couldn't handle behaving and it wasn't worth it to me. We ordered in if we wanted food other than homecooked. And we worked long and hard on manners, so that when we DID go back to restaurants, they had table manners and weren't allowed to get up, ever. We used to say "Glue your tushies to the chair" and I meant it.

Both my children started showing evidence of human DNA around age four. And yeah, three was worse than two. I'd lay in a store of a nice Shiraz, if I were you.

I'm sorry to say, it has been true for us as well, 3 is much much worse than 2. WAY worse. He's 3.5 yrs old now and I can barely see the top of the mountain -- still climbing it and hope to have an easier time come age 4 or 4.5

It's a mix of being a toddler and a teenager almost. He's got the horrific tantrums and spontaneous outcries plus the words and defiance of a teenager, but not the skills to control any of it. It lashes out any minute at any trigger or at anyone.

When does it end!!!

Not a parent so I can't opine on twos vs threes, but I do have to say "Yay!" for Kate in a blue trucky shirt! :)

Yes yes yes, 3 is hell! 2 was a walk in the park. People are very forgiving of 2 year olds. They are still babies. 3 year olds are angry, verbal, defiant and melodramatic. But wow, 4 and 5 were so much fun!

PS, where's your airconditioning?? Our kids sleep like babies with the aircon cranked up - so worth it!

No, no, don't panic! Three isn't ALWAYS worse than two. My son had a tougher three (we deserved it since he had an embarrassingly easy 2) but my daughter, who was, umm, shall we say "spirited" at age 2 (and 2 1/4, and 2.5, and 2 3/4...) has turned into a positively delightful 3 year old. Enough to restore my faith in the future of the species. She still has her occasional bad days, but heck, so do grownups, and now we can often figure out what the trigger is and work to fix it. I'm LOVING three!

Some things are a LOT worse, and some things are a LOT better... At three years and 2 months T is fully potty trained, can dress himself (sort of), can get his own juice/fruit/whatever from the kitchen and is doing all sorts of things that makes life easier on mom - like tyding up - my kids a neat freak :) It makes up for the other dramas!!

Little known parenting fact: compared to three, the terrible twos are a picnic. Two is merely a warm up round. The good news is though that it seems to finish faster. As with most things, girls come out of it quicker than boys. Mister Now Six was a nightmare until just before his fifth birthday when he suddenly started behaving like a human being. A very nice human being. Miss Nearly Four has been nice to be near for over 6 months now. This is the same child who got put in the shower with her clothes on because she REFUSED to take her pyjamas off and I had to get to work. I told her that she either had a shower naked or with her clothes on but either way she was going in the shower. She stood her ground and so did I. In she went pyjamas and all. That was the first and last time it happened ;) Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Well, in our household, we only had the "Terrible Two" thing with daughter #3. I don't know why, but DD#1 and DD#2 never threw fits like DD#3.

As you probably already figured out, the "two" thing really starts anywhere after that first birthday. For us (DD#3), it started at about 13 months old, and continued until she was 27 months old! Then, like a lightswitch, she became human again. Just in time, too, because I was near the end of my rope. LOL

I had to chuckle at the head-butting thing. SO MANY times I have suffered injury from my children, and THEY cry! WTF?!?! Not only do I have to deal with my pain, but I have to comfort THEM. Not fair. :-P

Good luck, Tertia. At least A&K are cute as buttons, to make up for any behavioral issues. LOL

I worked in daycare for years, and I found the 3 year olds to be willing to learn and hungry to please. The biggest problem with 3 year olds is that people expect them to behave older (ie be toilet trained, dress themselves, behave at the table) but many of them are behind developmentally and really can't. (my mom calls them 'young 3's')
Most three year olds still need a nap every day, need to be reminded to use the bathroom, and have trouble sitting and doing anything for as long as people think they should. When you take these things into account, 3 year olds are very pleasant. Four year olds, on the other hand, suck.

For me, 2 was my favorite age....the closer to 3, the worse it got. And 4? We called that year "the fucking 4's"....but 5 got better. Now that was with my daughter. My son, who's 5 now, had a speech delay, and I think that put him a bit behind, because 5 isn't nearly so fun with him (but the other ages were no big deal).

We'll see what the next 2 bring. So far, my 17 month old is starting Early (groan) and will soon have a new baby to "compete" with. They are all different is what I'm trying to say...

Good luck!

I have a 2 year old and a three year old, and I guarantee 3 is SO MUCH WORSE. Think stubbed toe v childbirth worse. I think the main difference is 3 comes with malice and intent. Far less "cute" when you know they're doing it ON PURPOSE. My sister's kids are older and she also metions the "fucking fours". I'm just so excited about having a 4yo and a 3yo......

Oh yeah, here's what I think about the Terrible Two's: Just wait, anyone complaining about the Terrible Two's hasn't had a three year old yet. We were ready to put our oldest son on the curb with a sign that said "free to good home" when he was three ! (Just kidding, of course.) But it can be tough, tough, tough!

Har HAR! Three was way worse than 2! Then 4 was worse than 3 (in SOME ways). I am hoping for that miraculous angelic FIVE in three weeks time. It's going to be just lovely. Can't wait. Ha HA

OMG - bring on the red wine immediately. I have a two year old - who terrorises everything / everyone. Spirited is a nice word for the mayhem he wreaks... Only just two mind you on the 3rd of Jan - so I shudder to think what could be next...XX

In our house, 3 yrs old has always been a golden time. We had the terrible (but cute) 2s and the fearsome 4s.

Frankly, I think every child is different and it seems like those who had Truly Terrible Twos are blessed with Terrific Threes and vice versa. My MIL said she loved the odd years with her kids and hated the evens--not sure how long that continues since DH is 38 now!

And, as others have said, it's a good thing they're cute, because otherwise they'd be out in the snow (well, not so much snow in a steamy South African summer, but you get the North American picture).

In the spirit of grammaticus analibis:

Yes, it should have been "Points her finger at Adam and me." (The trick is to drop Adam for a moment in your head: "points her finger at me" and then you know that when you add Adam back in it's still "me")

On 2 vs 3: For my older daughter, 3 was worse than 2; 2 wasn't bad AT ALL. For my current 2-year-old, wow 2 is bad. So I'm hoping she'll be one of the ones who turns it around at 3 but, hmm, I doubt it! But one thing I have learned is that all things kid-related seem to come in phases, and just when you think you can't stand something anymore, they seem to move on to some new (annoying) behavior, but at least it's fresh and annoying and gets you thinking about the next parenting tactic.....

I hear ya, sista. I am up to my knees in Terrible Two's right now. So adorable, so exasperating.

Unfortunately, I keep hearing rumors that the fours are the worst.

Sorry to tell you, but three is MUCH worse. At least IMHO.

Cigarette Lady was just being a bitch. In my household, three was awesome. Three is adorable, three is finally being able to have real (if odd) conversations, three is taking oneself to the potty.... Don't freak out about three. You might just find it to be a golden age.

I found that my son was an asshole (and not the G&D kind) from 16 months to age 4.

Much MUCH worse! Sorry.

Three was better than two, but four was way worse, with both of mine. Four was terrible twos with words and attitude of a teenager. But honestly, you know what? Don't let US tell you how YOUR kids are going to be. You just have to take it one day at a time, and when you look back you'll realize (I hope!) that it wasn't "that bad" in retrospect. I now stop myself from saying things like "Oh it gets worse" or "you're just getting started" or "wait till you see what happens next" cause really, how does that help anyone? It doesn't, so let's stop.

I'm still waiting for the twos.

3 sucks. That is all.

Yup...I have 3 1/2 year old boy/girl twins and I have to say the tantrums definitely got tougher as we hit year 3. And yes, it's weird to hear them parroting you. Mine re-enact entire situations, one of them pretending to be mom while the other is the "baby". I sometimes cringe at how they sound while they're impersonating me. They're still awful cute! Once you get past that first year having twins is actually really fun.

For us, 3 has definitely been worse. Mind you, 2 was no walk in the park....but 3 has been bad b/c she can express herself so much more ("I want to sell you! I don't want a mommy anymore!"). And when she hits/kicks/bites you know it's on purpose and that she in fact DOES know better.

My twins will be two in a couple of weeks and only one has bona-fide tantrums. My son does the usual boy things and sometimes will throw, hit or just annoy me and when i say,"NO" or "Stop it" he FREAKS!!! Then he starts running around the house SHOUTING "No, no, no, Stop it, Stop it, Stop it!". Ugggghhhhh!
Luckily his tantrums only last about 30 seconds before he is diverted away and over it.
I hope my daughter stays free of the terrible two's (she just likes to whine a little) altogether. Would be nice not to have both twins freaking out for the next 3 years. I don't there's that much Chardonnay in the world!

Wow Adam and Kate are cute!

It would not say it was worse, but different. You move into some more frustration and then the "why" bug bites them. It is 20 questions 24/7. You think they would exhaust themselves with it!

Yes, 3 is indeed worse. Sorry to everyone with 2-year-olds.

"Kate points her finger at Adam and me." If you would say "Kate points her finger at me," then by the same logic you must say "Kate points her finger at Adam and me."

Basically, whether "Adam" is in the sentence or not means nothing. You choose "I" or "me" to refer to yourself depending on what you're doing vis a vis the verb.

So you say, "I went to the store." "Adam and I went to the store." "Marko gave me a peach." "Marko gave me and Kate a peach."

And never "myself" unless "I" is the subject of the sentence. "She provided toys for Adam and me." "I provided toys for Adam and myself."

I thought 3 was better than 2 because the language was better. You can tell 3 a story, or get 3 to tell you a story. I used to trick my daughter into getting dressed by having her clothes argue with me in a funny voice: "I don't want to go to daycare today. Just put me back in the drawer and get another shirt." Then she argued with the shirt, not me. Worked every time. I have lots of tricks.

: )

I think I disagree with most people here. I have 3 year old twins and I think they get EASIER the older they get. That doesn't mean they are easy, but easier. It's nice that they can follow direction (although they seem to pick and choose when they will) and that it's very easy to communicate with them.

Honestly, I just think it's easy to forget the hard stuff that you've already been through because you're focusing on the hard stuff you are going through now. I also have an 18 month old and I'd take 3 years old over 18 months any day.


I hear from my mum that 14/15 (my sister, I'm a bit older) is pretty tough to deal with. (You've got some years to get to that stage.)

I think it should be all about air conditioning when it's hot (and gin and tonics and margarita's) but it's been snowing here and I don't really remember what unbearably hot is like. Hope they sleep better tonight!

YES, 3's are worse. And, as a pre-k/4 year old teacher, let me just tell you that in a lot of instances, 4 and 5 are the peak of the badness. No kidding. Some of these kids, if I had to live with them, well, only one of us would survive. However, since I only have them for 4 hours, 3 days a week, I consider them "active little learners" and move on, LOL. It definitely gets worse, but that's okay, because each day you love them that much more.

I just had to send you a comment and tell you how adorable Kate & Adam are! Love you T.... Charmaine

No grammar lesson -- looks like that is covered!

I don't think that 3 is necessarily worse than 2 -- it is just different. I personally found it easier because the language development is much better at age 3.

Each stage has its joys and frustrations. Hang in there, they eventually turn back into human beings (along about age 19 or 20 or so!)

Oh wow, I LOVE that "make the clothes argue" thing! I am so trying that tomorrow morning!

Sorry, but I have to agree that three is worse. For us it's not the behavior that worsened -- it's the attitude that seems to have gone to hell. As a friend said, "Three is two with a year of practice and a better vocabulary."

Hey Tertia,

Sure you don't really care but to answer your question it is that he pointed to "adam and me." Not I.

Would not have corrected you had you not asked, and I usually don't care about grammar, but I'm the one who wrote in before and said the misuse of I/me is my pet peeve.

Why does it bother me? Not sure but I think it's because people who use I instead of me usually think they are speaking properly, while in reality, me, though it sounds more casual, is the proper way to say it.

You don't say he pointed to I. So you wouldn't say he pointed to Adam and I.

Feel free to disregard all this of course, it's just that since you asked ... :)

(Sure you can see I don't worry as much (so much??? --- that's one of my pet peeves -- I believe it is actually so much) about typos.

Yes, for us three has been the worst. They rev up when they are two and start winding down during four. Five is much better.

Re: head butting: I have to remind my 3 yr old that his head is like a weapon. We call it the wrecking ball.

I would recommend the book "Raising Your Spirited Child".

After reading the post, I had to find the following headline and link. So apropos:

Airline kicks toddler, family off after temper tantrum

A late-comer comment here... I tried to write a comment earlier but no matter how I wrote it it came off sounding smug... which was not my intent.

So I'll keep it simple, and say that my son did not get tougher when turning from 2 to 3, nor from 1 to 2. I still think the first 18 months were the hardest, and he was the toughest then, than he's ever been since (he's 7 now). Maybe I'll be blindsided by the teenage years?

Sorry T, but I have to agree with that woman. Three is worse. My daughter never went through terrible twos, but made up for that during her horrendous threes. My son went through the terrible twos, but 3 has been so much worse. He is older, smarter and more verbal now, so he can throw much bigger tantrums. Can't wait to see how 4 goes...

I have heard toddlerhood called "the first adolescence".

My MIL says there's a reason why two-year-olds are smaller than you. Their tantrums give you a chance to get your bluff in early.

What, no one told you three is worse? Quito honestly four only *seems* nice because it comes right after three :). Five is pretty good, except that they are mini laywers.

We here the nee very very often with Yasha in addition she loves to hit momy in the face and she has decided that she doesn't want to sleep any more (she screams for 2 to 3 hours every night).

On a positive note it never got worse with son...

For us three is SO MUCH WORSE!. Two was lovely and three is killing us. The other day my sweet, nice, mature, well-behaved little dude, in the middle of a play date, SPIT in my FACE. Out of nowhere. Saliva. Everywhere. Suddenly time outs are funny. Oh I could go on. Steel yourself. They speak in complete sentences and still look adorable but they're willfull and defiant.

Sample size of one, keep in mind.

Yes, three is worse. Our son was born right before our daughter turned three - we thought the transformation was due to being a big sister. But then when our son hit three he was even worse - and he isn't a big brother.
He is coming up on his fourth birthday, I hope he turns around soon. Six year olds are LOVELY.
Good luck!

heh heh... it does get worse, then briefly better, then worse, the a little better again, the worse again, then a lot better and worse again- and so it coninues ad nauseum!

I have to say that I think that whether any age is worse or better depends at least partially on what bugs you. At 4 my first born son learned to complain and that really bugged my ass. He is a bit better at 5, but I sometimes, aaarg! Three was fun as they say great things and really become themselves. But they do have a whim of iron.

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