Ben is now 3 and a half.
That means he’s been in our lives for 42 months.
That’s 182 days.
Which equates to 4368 hours (it feels like 4000 of those hours have been waking ones too).
We love him dearly but, my word, he has turned into a actual demon these last few months.
I know all kids go through it, and his ‘choice’ behaviour is probably amplified by the fact I will have inevitably lost my shit with one (or both) of his brothers earlier in the day already, but he really does seem to be pushing my buttons more than his other two brothers did at this age.
His favourite phrase at the moment as I am quizzing him over an incident (like for instance yesterday when I watched him, for no good reason, smack his middle brother around the head with a toy car) is, “But it wasn’t me mummy! It wasn’t me!”
Erm, I’m afraid little one that, unless you have a twin brother living with us (let’s fucking well hope not for mummy’s sake) it most certainly was you that smacked your brother on the noggin with that die cast camper van and ‘it wasn’t me mummy!’ isn’t going to get you out of this one mate.
Yes, I know he’s 3.
Yes, I know he’s still learning (perhaps a little too much on that front. The phrase mummy uses most frequently on a daily basis, “You’re doing my head in!”, is also now a regular part of Ben’s vocabulary. I’m proud to say it’s always used in context though. Brownie points for him there at least), but he is most certainly is at an age where he knows right from wrong and when he has done something wrong. He just doesn’t seem to care very much…
Even the dreaded, “Do you want me to get Daddy?” in the midst of a spell of select behaviour doesn’t wash with this little chap. He literally giggles in my face (which yes, then often makes me giggle – I’m not the best at being angry mummy. Stressed mummy – check. Worried about everything mummy – check. But angry mummy? Not so much).
My husband has an ‘air of authority’ about his ‘stern voice’ which can even make me quake in my fluffy slippers if he chooses to use it. Ben can react one of two ways to Daddy’s stern voice. He will either cry, run off and dive for cover under the dinner table where he knows Daddy can’t get him (his knees aren’t what they used to be) whilst saying, “me not like Daddy anymore!!!!” or he will stand there and begin engaging in a stare off with him. Brave chap. He’s got some kahunas I can tell you. Option one is the most sensible, but sadly he often opts for option two. At least Ben seems to ignore both of us and isn’t being selective about listening to only mummy or only daddy, I’m all for equality.
He blows raspberries in my general direction when I tell him no.
He moves up and down the stairs when I put him on the thinking step.
He tells me bluntly, “NO”, when I ask him to stop doing something…then followed by blowing raspberries.
He duffs his older brothers up, and even Daddy and Grandad sometimes.
No. Fucks. Given.
I understand as one of three he has to compete for attention, but I like to think I do a pretty good job of splitting myself between all of them in between general life chaos and if I think about it, he actually gets more attention than the other two because he is younger and needs a bit more assistance.
But for all his ‘choice’ behaviour at home, he’s a bloody angel (well, I’m told he is…) when he’s at someones house or at Pre-school.
I guess that’s all we can ask for as parents isn’t it, that they behave when they’re outside of the home so we don’t look like completely inept parents all the time…
I’m sure it’s just a phase (cor, if I had a pound for every time I have said that since becoming a mum) and that it’s all part and parcel of being a Threenager, but my goodness it’s Gin inducing.
This parenting lark is hard you know.
But then they look like this when they’re asleep (yeah, alright, not in his own bed but he’s still asleep) and all (well, almost all) is forgiven…
He’s a cheeky chap, with bundles of energy and loves a cuddle. But I do wish he would stop impersonating a WWE wrestler in the living room most days.
It’ll be easier when he’s 4. Won’t it?