Harry was a difficult baby, but we were very lucky with him as a toddler. I used to scoff at articles about threenagers, because life with Harry improved immensely when he turned three. He finally began sleeping through the night (at least most of the time), he was dry night and day, and was interested in everything. You could always keep him busy by talking to him about what was going on around him and sharing interesting facts. Of course he had his moments, but I don't remember him ever lying on the floor kicking and screaming.
Mia however became a bit of a tempestuous toddler, and I find myself having to deal with her in a completely different way. They are both so different personality wise. Harry is sensitive, needs time to himself, and takes things very much to heart. Mia is more unpredictable, if she is upset she explodes with anger, hitting and screaming, but then a few minutes later it is all completely forgotten, as though you've flipped a switch. Harry has never really done anything naughty, Mia is a little more contrary - for example if you tell her not to touch something she will immediately try to touch it, and then look at you to see your reaction. She is never sitting still, even if I try to sit them on the sofa in front of the television she is jumping and climbing about.
It has taken me a while to realise that I need to deal with them differently and to cater to their different personalities. When Harry is feeling tired and emotional especially he needs time to himself, perhaps to be set up and left alone with a Lego set to build. Mia needs someone to play with her, either to play a board game or to engage in some role play with her dolls. This leads to frustration from them both if Harry wants some space and Mia wants him to play.
It's hard work and when it's just me and Mia I do feel like I'm constantly on the go, with no time to get on with anything by myself. But when I do play with her it's a lot of fun. I enjoy playing board games and I love seeing her little imagination come alive, even if she does get cross with me when I don't play out her role play the way that she wants me to, and at least I do have three mornings to myself when she's at nursery so that I can recover a bit!
I'm just hoping that she calms down a little bit before she starts school in September, although at least then it will be down to the teachers to deal with her tantrums and not me!
Do you live with a threenager?