Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Therrible Threes

Regina and I grew up in, quite literally, two different worlds.  While I always think it's strange that she didn't grow up reading Cowboy Small and Ferdinand, or never really watched MASH and Three's Company, she thinks it's absurd that I didn't listen to Depeche Mode, have never played Monopoly or Scrabble, or have never read, or watched, Sybil.

Do you know about Sybil?  I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that it was a TV mini-series, based on a popular novel, about a woman who had thirteen different personalities.  After skimming the paragraph Wikipedia devoted to the history of Sybil, I finally understood why Regina sometimes gives that nickname to our daughter.

The terrible twos?  Please.  The Therrible Threes are a force that BP couldn't even cap.  On any given day, we see 8 - 11 of Sybil's, I mean Dylan's, personalities.  The range runs from the sweet and cuddly girl who tells us she loves us and gives kisses, to the comedian who farts on our laps and makes up stories about blueberries, to the toddler-demon who screams non-stop for what feels like hours and throws punches at anyone who comes near.

Today, while I was cutting hay, I received a text:  Do they make boarding schools for three year olds?  At first I thought it was my old friend Kevin (see: Country Livin') seeking advice.  It wasn't though, it was Regina suffering through pre- and post-swimming lesson tantrums.

Grady is easier to predict.  If he's kept fed and rested, he's happy.  Exceedingly happy.  Tom Hanks in Castaway wasn't as happy with his first meal off the island as Grady is about just being fed, anytime.  But, he's one, and easy to predict.  We can limit the number of Dylan's personalities that we see on any given day with the same prescription as Grady: diet and rest.  But miss a nap or throw a Jujube candy into the mix and her head spins completely around and we have to have yet another exorcism.

We hear from parenting veterans that the terrible twos are a myth perpetrated by grandparents to distract young parents from the real storm of a three-year old.  The young parents get through the twos, are so proud of their awesome parenting skills that they pat themselves on the backs, and then those pats lead to a caress, and that caress leads to baby number two.  All before the oldest turns into a three-year old.  The grandparents laugh, knowing they just suckered their offspring into giving them another grandbaby to spoil.  It's crazy logic, but it's crazy enough to work.

And here we are, in the middle of this gale and all we can do is lower the main, baton down the hatches, and ride it out.  Dylan still shows enough of her good side that we feel like there could be a lull in the storm (someday), and we hope that by the time she's worked her way through these crazies, we'll have time to gear up for Grady's threes.  Until then, I'll watch The Sound of Music (Regina even calls it un-American that I haven't seen that one), learn to play Scrabble, and put on my black eyeliner and listen to bad 80s electronic music.

1 comment:

Jstar said...


Regina is right. Maybe we should go see the sing-a-long sound of music when you come to Portland.

And everyone is right about the terrible 3's. I love that Blythe pic though :)