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Childrearing

The Five Stages You Should Worry About More Than The Terrible Two’s

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The phrase “terrible two’s” has been part of our parenting vernacular for decades and there is some truth to it. For both of my children, it was a difficult age for various reasons and I was eager to see it go. Part of that might have been the hype about how awful two-year old’s can be because now looking back, it was far from the worst stage. There are so many other stages after (and in hindsight, before) that are so much worse. Here are the stages you should worry about more than the terrible two’s.

1. The Evil 18-Months

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My son was the worst at this age. He knew exactly what he wanted but could not always communicate it and to that end, just threw a lot of awful tantrums. A particular incident that sticks out in my mind involves me giving him crackers while his little red face screamed at me intelligibly and him just crushing them between his pudgy fingers without breaking my gaze. I could practically hear him saying “FUCK YO CRACKERS, MOMMY! FUCK YO CRACKERS!!!”

2. The Three-nager 

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My son got a lot sweeter at this age but my daughter was just getting started. She was always my “easy” kid but the three’s caught hold of her and did not let go. I called her my Three-nager because, drama. Not a day went by without some kind of story from her daycare class about who took what doll or who “wasn’t my friend anymore” and then, there was the time she decided to make her classmates laugh by pulling down her pants and standing on a chair to show them her butt. It was all high school pranks and drama in a 45-lb. body. No thank you.

3. The F**king Fours

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The questions. Who knew there were so many? And the answers- my God, they are never satisfied! And the ideas and the demands. Four-year old’s are too smart for their own good. They know how to thwart bedtime with 43 different requests in a 30-minute period. They know how to bring a nice dinner out to a screeching halt by whining continuously about how bored they are and making adults lose their will to eat and enjoy themselves.

4. The Sassy Six’s

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I will admit- my daughter was not sassy at this age. I think she had it out of her system by then. However, I have been around a number of her peers and I clutched my non-existent pearls quite a bit hearing how these kids spoke to their parents, teachers and each other, frankly. They think they know everything and are not at all afraid to tell you so. My son is only five but I have a feeling we will be there with him soon as he is already a little smart-mouthed for a kindergartner. I will be stocking up on wine in anticipation.

5. The Sensitive Seven’s

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My daughter is only a few weeks from having turned seven but I have noticed recently that it is VERY easy to make her upset and send her running to her room to pout. We are not allowed to laugh at her or talk about her with anyone. She has a new best friend every week because they fall in and out of favor so quickly. One day, Maddie is the best thing since sliced bread and the next day, she’s offended my daughter so grievously that we are never to speak of her again. I can’t keep up. More wine, please.

(Image: Firma V/Shutterstock)

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