Three and four-year-olds are best described as sour patch kids. They draw you in with sweet cuddles and kisses and an “I love you Mommy.” Then, without warning, they turn sour.
This sour about-face is something as simple as giving them ketchup when they requested ketchup. Or something even more horrifying like turning on the wrong episode of Paw Patrol. Below are top tips for managing your sour patch kid:
Number one, how dare you?
There are several ways to offend your sour patch kid, namely by not reading their minds at all times. While grapes may have been a favorite last week, they are now disgusting, and their mere presence on a plate has now ruined the rest of breakfast. How dare you not anticipate this change?
Make sure when your sour patch kid asks for water, you specify which cup to avoid giving them the blue cup when they specifically meant water in the Spiderman cup.
Mommy? Mom? Mama? Moooom!
Remember when you couldn’t wait to hear them say your name? Yeah, me neither. Your sour patch kid will call for you, usually when you’re in the middle of loading the dishwasher, but will never say what exactly they need. This is their power move. You should immediately stop what you’re doing to see what is being requested. Likely, it will be to see how high they can jump.
You must marvel at their clearly advanced athletic abilities as this delights the sour patch kid and buys you a few more minutes to get things done.
The sophisticated sour patch kid has several tactics to avoid bedtime. God forbid they get the AAP recommended amount of rest to have a healthy and productive day. There are three main themes in bedtime avoidance: potty, thirsty, scared. You’ve never seen bladder control like a toddler who doesn’t want to go to bed. They can turn a regular pee session into four different ones.
My advice: coffee and a strong will. It also helps if they have a comfortable bed that is easy for you to crawl out of after falling asleep next to them after the fifth time out of bed.
But seriously, the days are long, but the years are short
I know this is a major cliché, but it’s so true. We used to love the way my daughter said “chicken” more like “shhhicken.” In the last few weeks, she’s started to say the word clearly and correctly, and it’s just another reminder that she’s growing up.
Their (sometimes irrational) pushing of boundaries is their way of growing. As much as I am pulling my hair out several days a week dealing with a sour kid, then comes the sweet. I enjoy the sweaty toddler cuddles because I know they’re not forever. Bigger kids will come with bigger problems, and there will come a time when I miss these simple sour moments.