Three Years and One Month

9 Jan

You’ve heard of the terrible twos.  But how about the torturous threes?  Tornado threes? Too-Much-Screaming-To-Think Threes? The Mommy-Needs-A-Vacation Threes?  Terrible, Tantrumy, Driving-Your-Parents-To-Drink Threes? Oh, you haven’t heard of those?  You must not live with Lucas.

Today, Lucas is three years and one month old.  And, as if a switch was flipped the day he turned three years old, it’s been a rough month.  Now, this past rough month also coincides with a major change in little man’s life.  The night of his third birthday, we bid adieu to his beloved binkie.

There are a lot of transitions in a baby/toddler’s life — and parents dread them all: moving from bottles to sippy cups; formula or breast milk to whole milk; transitioning from two naps to one; moving from the crib to a toddler bed; switching from a baby room to a big boy room, etc…  Lucas handled nearly every one of these transitions without the expected hiccups.  We slow played the binkie’s departure from his life and it was the last of the typical toddler transitions he made… and his reaction to losing his precious made up for every bit of ease we had in the other challenges.

There were two nights of no sleep.  And it was ugly.  There was sobbing, begging, pleading — and that was just from me.  I was ready to fold like a cheap suit.  Tim stayed strong and staved me off from running into his room and flinging the binkie at him in an effort to coax immediate REM stage.  Lucas was a wreck.  His behavior was abominable, naps were gone…. I think he slept a collective 8 hours over the course of those two days.  The third night, after I had assured myself that I’d be forking the binkie back over at first request that evening, he didn’t ask for it and went right to sleep.

I definitely have attributed his volatile behavior since then as the new “life without binkie” norm.  Most days, he refuses to nap – instead spending an hour in his room flinging stuffed animals around and diving in and out of his sheets.  He used to covet the time spent sucking his precious pacifier which induced near immediate sleep.  The lack of naps and the less night sleep that has resulted from the change certainly has played a role in today’s behavior battles.  Although, a month in now, I may need to start to accept that this is less behavior brought on by missing binkies and more “I’m a three year old and the boss of all the things” status quo.

Is it time to celebrate his fourth birthday yet?  Someone please tell me that the terrible, torturous adjectives are put to rest at that point!

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