Thing 2

Knocking On Wood Violently

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I have written often in the last two years about NikkiZ and her tendency to be…evil. Her blatant rule-breaking (usually while smiling her evil little smile), her yelling, her abuse, and her manipulative behavior. I first categorized it all as The Terrible Twos – until she turned three. Then many of you pointed out that three is beyond terrible. But that four? Gets much better. I remembered cursing you all for not warning me about the Evil Threes and counting down the days to Four. And praying to all that is Holy that you all weren’t hiding the truth about Four from me as well. Is it even WORSE?

Yes…I know I have a teenager who supposedly was two and three at some point. You would think I knew all about these trends. However…LilZ was unlike any child on earth. Two and Three were as mild and sweet as all of the other ages. I knew nothing about real babies until NikkiZ was born because LilZ rarely even cried. He was just born…easy. Therefore…I was clueless when NikkiZ was born. Oh…so…clueless. So I was shocked by the Terrible Twos and the Evil Threes and just hoping I could trust you about Four.

Well, we’re three months away from turning four and I can say: You Were Right. It gets better with Four. We’re not four yet…but things are already better. We haven’t gotten a Your Child Beat Up An Innocent Bystander Today note sent home in a couple of months. We’ve had a few bad days, as we call them, but nothing consistently awful. NikkiZ has finally gotten all of her toys back from the garage (we cleared out her room after one particular bad set of notes from school) and she currently has no privileges taken away from her. She seems to be more aware of the feelings of those around her…whereas before? We were all her floormats…waiting for stomping upon.

It’s just a relief to know what you were telling me all along. It’s just a phase. I was worried the bad behavior was more of a personality trait than something she would grow out of. But you were right! You always are! It’s a phase…to be left behind. I feel relatively certain that Mother Nature planned it this way to give us a solid 8-10 years to prepare for the Teenage Years. Because those? Those years? Those are the years our nightmares are made of.

19 thoughts on “Knocking On Wood Violently”

  1. I am currently in the clutches of the Evil Threes. It is bad. Weeping at the end of the day bad. But I do know it gets better. Although I don’t remember my oldest son ever like this. Ever. Or, maybe rose-colored glasses and all.

  2. Those 8-10 years of you enjoying her will probably save her life when she is torturing you during her angst ridden teenage years.

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    Christina says:

    I have heard, likely read in some random book and some random chapter because that is how I read lately, that kids go through 1/2 year cycles. I cannot for the life of me remember name of the book that I might have read about this or the age when these cycles end, if ever.

    But what I do remember is that 3 to 3.5 is always more difficult then 3.5 to 4 and then the cycle of evil starts all over again from 4 to 4.5 and so forth. I thought it was an interesting concept and seems to hold true for my NOW four year old son. He was much better, easier from 3.5 to 4 but now that he is four he is currently back to exhibiting the same henious behaviour he had during the first part of three and we are in the midst of said henious behaviour. It sucks.

    Encouraging? No. Interesting? Yes. Hmm now that I think a bit harder about this maybe it was a magazine article?! Hopefully this does not hold true for your daughter!!!

  4. I had the evil 3 year old flare up when I was babysitting. he was four at the time. He bit me. But since then? all is good in the world. He still has moments, but is oh so much better. I was babysitting once to twice a week for awhile there. Their father just asked me if I wanted them for an overnight because he knows I would have fun. I would, but I know it is because the parents want adult time…lol

  5. Two and three were relatively easy for us, but four? Argh. I hope four is easier for you! 🙂 We are on the downward spiral to five and I am hoping five is great! 🙂

  6. I call ’em the torturous or tumultuous threes. It’s a roller coaster. They’re still not at the ‘age of reason’ where logic starts to take over and we can talk them into being, well, reasonable.

    I noticed with my sister’s girls and then my neighbor’s and friends’ girls a ‘princess’ stage at about five or six. This is characterized by their belief that they rule all in their universe and it is beneath them to stoop to picking up their clothes or doing other chores that have been assigned them or whatever it is they’ve been directed to do. fun times ahead. It’s good to know NikkiZ has hit a more amenable stage, maybe Lil’bug’s turn is coming!

  7. This post gives me hope because we are not even halfway through Year 3 with Aidan and I’m ready for the mental ward. This year has been way worse than the terrible twos ever could have been.

  8. Watch out for 6/7 – filled with more drama than you could imagine. It is especially hard for a mom that was never a “girly girl” who has a daughter that is TOTALLY a “girly girl” – we had a two hour MELTDOWN last night because apparently two girls in her daycare shaved their legs… AT SEVEN YEARS OLD (WTF?) and I would not let her. I was the meanest mom in the world… and she did not care if the hair grew back black like a gorilla…. OMG it went on and on until finally ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ caught her interest and ended her cryfest.

  9. I am cracking up at the “Your Child Beat Up An Innocent Bystander” notes. So far, we’ve only been on the “Your Child Is The One Who Was Beat Up” end of those notes, but I am sure that she’s taking lessons.

    I’m a little afraid of three-year-olds, to be honest. This makes me think that I may have good reason.

    Here’s to four!

  10. what is it about 2nd children who are girls? I seem to have spawned an evil genius as well who is insanely good at manipulating everyone around her. And she loves to test situations. She tries something and when she hears no, she just smiles. and does it again. and then laughs and does it again.

    So what? You’re saying she might grow out of it? Thank goodness, because I’m a little afraid I might be raising a dictator hell-bent on taking over the world. and maybe I need to stay in her good graces.

  11. We’ve entered the 4 year old era this month and it’s all sunshine and kisses.. for now. Cause I know what lies ahead … we’re two short years away from DRAMA!!!

  12. Thank you Miss Zoot! My son is almost three and a half, and almost daily I am tempted to ship him off to the circus. He is downright wretched some days, so knowing that there is even a glimmer of a possibility that he might outgrow this stage is comforting.

  13. You have no idea how much I needed to hear that it will get better. Three is tough. Three and a half is killing me! I keep looking at my husband and saying “Is this her? Is this really her? Is she really going to be such a mean spirited, defiant person?” I know that’s not sho she is, but it feels like a dark cloud has steeled over her some days. Her twin brother is not so bad. Is it a girl thing? Ok, so age four is better. Promise?

  14. Love that she is becoming more “handle-able”. I’m finding that is the case too, with my almost-four-year-old-diva-in-training. Summer has also been a bit easier because I’m able to be a bit more lax on wardrobe choices which leads to less fights. I’m worried about when school starts again though.

  15. I have not birthed anything, but I have four step children – two girls, 14 and 12, and a set of twins (one of each), 4 yesterday. I have only been in their lives for two years, but so far: 14 is EVIL EVIL EVIL. She went from being fairly nice and happy for her father (who had a lousy marriage) to sending hate mail banning me from her Middle School graduation. 12 has been pretty good – but then again, the 12 yr old is a peach at heart, and the 14 yr old – not so much (even her grandparents say she’s just like her mother – not a good thing). I’ll be interested to see if 12 turns EVIL at 14.

    The twins have been a mixed bag – 2 was tiresome but not horrible, and the first part of three was bad for the girl, while the second part of three has been bad for the boy. Which in this case makes sense because the boy has been consistently about 6 months behind his sister in everything except language. Hopefully the days of tantrums and “NO!” are on the wane….

  16. Hi Zoot, I love reading your blog but don’t think I’ve ever commented before.

    I just really wanted to say to Jessica, as a step-child with step-siblings, to be nice to your step-children and try to see things from their point of view. Remember that however bad your and their father think their mother is, she is their mother. Fair or not, they are likely to see you as part of the reason that their parents are not together. Don’t say bad things about their mother in front of the children, and try to see that things are hard for them too. Hope this helps.

    And hope that it is indeed a phase for your step-child/children, it is a phase that most step-children go through I think (I don’t remember mine, but I think my mother does, but I do remember my step-siblings’s). Otherwise you may have to investigate changing the custodial arrangements. So that they spend more time with their mother? More time with just their father without you? Custody arrangements don’t need to be the same for all the children and can change as circumstances change. And try to give the older children some say in the custody arrangements.

    Good luck!

  17. She sometimes scares me from a distance 😉 Here’s hoping for smooth sailing!

  18. God I hope this is true for us. My big kid is about 6months younger than NikkiZ and if he doesn’t stop terrorizing us he may not live to 4. Last night he smacked my husband in the face and broke his glasses.

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