We have scratched. We have clawed. We have laughed. We have cried. Did we contemplate murder… and suicide? Daily. Did we cope by ramping up our discount box wine intake to an all-time high? Definitely. Are we stronger parents after having survived the past year battling our three year-old son? Debatable. And yet, there is something good to come of these trying times…I think I see it in the distance ahead. Is that…could it be? Yes, it is! There’s a light at the end of what has seemed like an eternally long tunnel, otherwise known as the Terrible Threes.
That’s right, folks. Lil b is turning four! I first notice it on the refrigerator calendar as I am topping off my 64 oz glass of fine boxed Merlot. Something on that calendar catches my eye, so I take a closer look and I can scarcely make out the hand-written scribble. “Benny’s B-Day” is scribbled diagonally across the symbolic date box in the Nell-scratch that is wife’s primitive form of written communication (She also points and grunts…and bites when she’s really mad). It was like a beacon of light guiding the lost ship that is my soul safely to shore. Lil b’s birthday…no more terrible threes…there is a God…I just overflowed my wine chugger…
I instantly drop to my knees and french kiss the kitchen floor. Mainly because I don’t want to waste any Jesus Juice. Once down there I also see several drops of gravy that I must have dropped earlier (and every good Texan knows that thou shalt not waste gravy…or chili, for that matter). Needless to say, while I kneel there slurping cheap wine and delicious cream gravy from the grout joints in my tile, I think back on the past year and how much we have actually overcome in our battles with three year-old Lil-b.
Over this past year We’ve endured what I would call a textbook case in your generic toddler parenting book. We have battled the “anger hitting”, where Lil-b will lash out and take a swipe at you if he feels he’s being wronged. Aside from the anger management aspect, the real problem with Lil-b hitting me, whether playing or not, is that he just happens to be at that height to where is right cross lands squarely in my junk. He affectionately calls it, “Tee Tee Punch”. At least he screams it out as he’s winding up his haymaker, which provides me just the fraction of a second that I need to protect the family jewels. Perhaps the silver lining is that he attacks with no mercy when I sick him on my buddies!
Lil-b also has a severe problem with authority. He doesn’t like to be told what to do. (So sometimes I have to check him into the wall and blame it on his clumsiness). Once he gets older, he can get some dark sunglasses and tell people he ran into a door just like mommy…(wink, wink). So, when Lil-b gets upset and he’s not sucker punching someone in the baby-maker, he simply throws an all-out fit complete with screaming, crying, and floor flailing. It is this, and this alone that I pray goes away with the threes. I need this for my own sanity…and he needs this if he doesn’t want to walk around like Verbal Kint the rest of his life.
Lastly, we have valiantly waged a violent war with bed wetting… and have suffered heavy casualties. In fact, we are currently in full retreat. Each night Lil-b is straps on a pull-up and we get to make it through a night that doesn’t involve a midnight sheet changing. We will take this loss (along with the extra sleep) and live to fight another day.
As I finish tongue squeegeeing every last drop of nourishment from my kitchen floor I glance up at the calendar one last time. A smile comes to my face and I start to chuckle just thinking about all of the things I have just ranted about above. It occurs to me that these are the very things that we are going to one day look back upon with fondness and warm fuzzies. This gives me hope for the future and it also reminds me that time flies. Before I know it, my babies will be complaining about me acting crazy and wetting the bed. You know what, Lil-b? You go ahead and throw that fit. You go ahead and wet that bed…and why not, throw in your best Tee Tee Punch while you’re at it. Daddy loves you just the way you are.