Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

The terrible twos. An expression that can fill a first-time mom’s heart with fear and trepidation on the eve of her child’s second birthday. What could the terrible twos possibly have in store that make them so, well, terrible?

I was bracing myself for tantrums of epic proportions. I had visions of my toddler sprinting across grocery stores and parking lots, evading my every attempt to catch him as his wriggly body escaped my fingertips. Yelling, and thrashing, and gnashing of teeth. I was a little bit terrified of what was about to go down.

Here’s what I discovered: terrible twos? Not so bad. Then my son turned three, and things got real crazy, real quick. Terrible threes. That is what all the parenting experts should be warning us about! Age two was a cake walk compared to age three. And apparently, I’m not the only mom who has felt this way. I have had many friends share their own tales of woe when dealing with their threenagers.

Three-year-olds talk. Like, a lot. They have really strong opinions. About everything. They are determined to fine-tune their negotiation skills. “No” just means “I haven’t convinced mom yet.” By age three, their meltdowns are Oscar-worthy. They have another year under their belts of finding all your buttons, and they can push them with incredible accuracy.

With my oldest, I was counting down the days until we could slam the door on age three and never look back. But this second time around, it’s different. My youngest is almost four and I find myself wishing I could stop time smack dab in the middle of all this crazy. I know that once he turns four, I will never get to be here again, living in the wonderful world of three with my son as my guide. Yep, I said wonderful. As it turns out, age three can actually be pretty great. And I have been determined this time around to appreciate this age more, despite its many challenges.

Here are just a few things I love about my threenager.

His body is growing into that of a little boy, but he still has that sweet toddler chubbiness around his arms and legs that squishes into me as he plops himself on my lap for a snuggle.

He tells me “I really, really, really, love you, Mommy” multiple times a day.

He talks . . . boy, does he talk! But his speech is not perfect yet and so instead of there being a reason for things, there is a “roosen”. Cheeseburgers are “cheeseboogers”. His jokes make absolutely no sense but are hilarious all the same.

He tells me things like, “Everything is beautiful that you do.” Best compliment ever, because I think he truly means it!

He pretends to be a kitty pretty much every single day.

His vivid imagination creates the best stories with the craziest characters. By the time he is done telling a story, there have been six or seven plot twists, but they all end the same way: with the biggest smile on his face.

After a car seat battle of wills, he will tell me “I love you, but I don’t love you in the car.” The only way he knows how to be is his authentic self.

All too soon, he will know how to pronounce all his words correctly and will start to say “I love you” a little less. Eventually, my lap will become a little too small to cradle his growing body. He will show his love in different ways, but it will never be the way it is now.

So I’m going to soak up this last month of threeness. I’m going to kiss those chubby cheeks as much as I can, and I’m going to laugh at the jokes that make no sense. I’m going to smile through the temper tantrums because I know, those too will eventually disappear.

And when he blows out the four candles on his birthday cake, I’m going to be swallowing a large lump in my throat because my time living with a threenager has come to an end.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Mary Ann Blair

Mary Ann Blair is a stay-at-home mom living in the Pacific Northwest with her two little gentlemen and hubs. She loves connecting with other parents who like to keep it real! Her work has been published on Her View From Home, Motherly, A Fine Parent, Perfection Pending, That’s Inappropriate, Pregnant Chicken, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Red Tricycle and in Chicken Soup For the Soul. She can be found at maryannblair.com or on Facebook at Mary Ann Blair, Writer.

Right Now I’m a Mom Who’s Not Ready to Let Go

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging, color photo

We’re doing it. We’re applying, touring, and submitting pre-school applications. It feels a lot like my college application days, and there’s this image in my mind of how fast that day will come with my sweet girl once she enters the school doors. It’s a bizarre place to be because if I’m honest, I know it’s time to let her go, but my heart is screaming, “I’m not ready yet!” She’s four now though. Four years have flown by, and I don’t know how it happened. She can put her own clothes on and take herself to the bathroom. She...

Keep Reading

Your Youngest Child Will Always Be Your Baby

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

The baby of our family is no longer a baby.  She turned five this year. She talks a mile a minute, rides her scooter on one leg with no hands, and is learning to read. She’s sweet and creative and has the best sense of humor that makes me belly laugh daily. She has long, strong legs, and her round toddler cheeks have morphed into something more mature. All remnants of babyhood and toddlerhood have long since gone from her. She is all little girl—a kid with the world at her fingertips, ready to explore everything life has to offer. I watch in wonder...

Keep Reading

I’m a Helicopter Mom Learning to Become the Place They Can Land

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child

My daughter places a paper in front of me on the kitchen counter, looking up at me expectedly. My eyebrows lift in question before reaching down to pick up the wrinkled sheet. Next to an empty line awaiting my check mark reads: My child has my permission to attend the field trip. The child is my kindergartener. The field trip is on a school bus. The school bus will travel into the city. Over an hour away. Without me. Two steps to my left sits a pink and yellow backpack. Next to it, a sequined lunchbox. The lunchbox is making...

Keep Reading

Six Feels So Much Bigger

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with horse, color photo

Six . . . Six is only one number more than five,  one grade, one year . . . but it feels so different. Five is baby teeth and new beginnings. Five is venturing out into the world, maybe making a friend. Meeting a teacher. Learning to ride a bike. Six took my breath away. Six looks like a loose front tooth—tiny and wiggly, soon to be replaced by a big tooth, one that will stay forever. Six looks like a bright purple bike zooming down the driveway. RELATED: When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes Six looks like playing...

Keep Reading

You Were Meant to Be Our Oldest

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Brother holding little sister on back

Dear oldest child, Thanks for taking one for the team. You’ve probably thought by now that Dad and I really have no idea what we are doing. You’re not wrong. Please don’t misunderstand, we have goals and ambitions as parents. We’re trying to raise you to be a healthy, positive, and contributing part of society. But you are—and have always been—our guinea pig. You are the test subject to this whole parenting thing. Each new phase you encounter brings another new phase of learning and growth. Unfortunately, with that comes growing pains, and you often take the brunt of those....

Keep Reading

The Bittersweet Reality of Your Baby Turning 5 Years Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl lying on living room floor, color photo

Those first five. Those precious first five years have flown by. I blinked and here we are. I look back and think about all the times I wanted these days to go by faster. The times I couldn’t wait to get to bedtime. The days I wasted being irritable and angry because sometimes being a mom is just too hard. But now? Now, I wish I could have slowed it all down. Savored it a little longer. A little harder. That beautiful wild child who fought like hell from the moment she was born has been burning that fire ever...

Keep Reading

The Petrified-Squished-Spider Stage of Motherhood

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Bug squashed on windshield, color photo

There is a squished spider corpse dangling from the inside of my car windshield. I don’t know how long it has been there. Not because I don’t know when the time of death took place, but because I’ve lost track of the number of days it’s been a fellow passenger of ours. The burial service is past due. And a cleaning of my vehicle is so long overdue, if it were a library book I’d be banned from the library by now. When my husband removed his hat one evening while driving and used it as a spider swatter, he...

Keep Reading

Listen to Their Endless Chatter Now So They’ll Talk to You as Tweens and Teens

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and young daughter talking on the couch

I’m a talker. I’m a spill-the-beans, over-sharing, rambling on about my latest fascination chatterbox. I love words, and so do my kids. I’ve spent over a decade listening to my kids share—often, as they all talk at once. They go on and on about their day, rambling about how their sibling has been driving them nuts, their shenanigans with their friends, and never-ending factoids about video games. So many words, so many significant and yet simple thoughts brought to life in our bustling conversations.  Sometimes I love all the chatter, and sometimes the sheer volume of it drives me to...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergarten Graduate, My Hand Will Always Be Yours to Hold

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

Tomorrow you’ll graduate kindergarten. You chose the perfect shirt for the occasion. It’s a blue and white button-up. “Get one with big checkers, Mom, not little ones,” was your request. I know it’ll make your eyes pop from under your too-big red graduation hat. It’s going to be adorable. You’re going to be adorable.  You’ve been counting down the days. You’re ready and, truthfully, I am too—even though I’m so often in denial about how quickly this time with you is passing. Didn’t you just start crawling? How is it possible you’ll already be in first grade next year? RELATED:...

Keep Reading

You Were Made to Be My Oldest

In: Child
Mom and three kids

You are my firstborn. My big. The one who made me a mama. The one who started this whole crazy, beautiful roller coaster ride the day I found out you were on your way. I remember tip-toeing to the bathroom before the sun rose and taking a pregnancy test. The flutter of excitement in my heart turned into a flutter in my growing tummy within just a few short months. And now here you are, seven years old and more incredible than I imagined in all my wildest dreams. You amaze me every single day with your humor, kindness, and...

Keep Reading