Three and a half going on 14 (or, look, another Autism post).

by statia on July 24, 2010

While, my worry about LG’s development is fleeting (petulant tantrum attitude notwithstanding), I feel as if at 3½, the Mini’s development is still a constant source of anxiety for me.  I’m sure that this will always be the case.

We enrolled him in our local Y camp program.  He went there last year for four weeks throughout the summer, to help him continue to acclimate to going to school in the fall, and hello?  Newborn Hell.   He really loved going, and it helped my sanity.  This year, he’s going every other week, and on top of weekly speech through the IU , it’s really helped his social skills and language tremendously.    His pragmatics are getting better, and we’ve both noticed a lot less echoing.   The things that come out of his mouth, are things that typical kids say, and it makes me beam.

But with the good things, also come the bad.   And that is behavioral issues.   Part of this is because he’s stopped napping over the past month and a half.   He still needs rest time, but he doesn’t really seem to comprehend that.  So, while he does get daily rest time, without question or negotiation, he chooses to use that time to thunder around his room like a heard of elephants.  Dude, how a three year old can make an entire 3,000 square foot house shake, is impressive.   Because he’s not taking time in his day to either rest or sleep, the latter half of the day is sheer hell.   He’s defiant, screamy, tantrumy and downright, asshole-ish.

And because this is my first three year old, I worry about him having behavioral issues down the road.  Maybe this is just normal three year old behavior.  He’s as good as gold at school.  Never once did I ever have “the talk” with any of his teachers.  He’s not a mean or an agressive kid.   Yet, at home, he’s yelling, and blatantly pushing LG for no reason.   The yelling, I’ll admit is learned from us, as I feel as if we’re both yelling at him more frequently, and I don’t want him to grow up thinking this is OK, because we’re not yellers, and I don’t want either of them to grow up in a yelling household, but his behavior and attitude as of late have pushed me to my breaking point.   He yells at the dogs, torments them, pushes and hits his sister.    And yet, at the pool today, he politely gave the kid a turn with one of the pool fountains, and then kindly told him “ok, now it’s my turn.”    And those moments where he’ll be in the car and politely say “Mama, can I watch a little Calliou when we get home, please?”   (we’re huge sticklers for manners, which is something we’re often complimented on when people interact with him)

So what the hell?  Is he just being a dick because he’s three, or am I looking at major issues as he gets older?


Casdok July 25, 2010 at 3:32 am

I think this is quite normal 3 year old pushing boundary behaviour! Hopefully it is a phase!!

Linda in TX July 25, 2010 at 6:50 am

He’s going through ‘the three’s.’ I know that sounds too easy but having been there as a mom, the first kid is the hardest cuz you really don’t know what’s coming. And at least half the time you think they’re psychotic. The second kid comes along and you recognize the age behaviors. He’s becoming a kid instead of a baby and these behaviors (guaranteed to make a parent run screaming for help) are the normal discovery part of growing up. You’re a good mom Statia and you’re doing all the right things. Repeat that to yourself 100 times a day without fail.

Yo-yo Mama July 25, 2010 at 10:15 am

He’s being 3. Doodicus was a pretty good 3 year old including polite out the whazoo. NOW we have behavioural problems thanks to ADHD. I keep thinking now that Aitch is being a friggin pill that she’ll be a bookworm and angel in 5 years.

Fawn July 25, 2010 at 11:47 am

All of that sounds like normal 3 yr old boy behavior to me,too. Especially how polite he is with others and then pushes his sister for no reason. My kids have 11 yrs between them and they are at each other constantly..oh I take that back..they are at each other every moment except if someone else (including me) goes at one of them for any reason. All of a sudden they bare teeth and protect their sib to the death. I am not allowed to reprimand my 16 yr old daughter without my 5 yr old son standing behind me telling her how much he still loves her lol 10 mins later he’s threatening to cause her bodily harm.

donna July 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

He sounds just like Bridget. So I’m going to chime in with typical three year old assholeishness.

electriclady July 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Yeah, what everyone else said. Not that I could presume to know if he has issues, but the asshole-at-home, charming-to-others thing sounds like classic 3. As you yourself said, 3 year olds are total bullshit.

Heather July 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Typical three year old. My daughter is a regular pill and a half at home. Out in public and with others she is a dream. My early education specialist mom tells me that if she is horrible at home but great on public with others? We are doing it right.

I’m told it gets better. That four brings with it sufferer types if problems but tr constant boundary testing does let up a little. At least it BETTER :) .

Heather July 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Argh, trying to type on the ‘ol phone… That should be great IN public and…
That four brings with it DIFFERENT types OF problems but THE…

Betsy July 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm

He sounds a lot like the three year olds I know, and a lot like what I remember my brother and sister acting like at that age. From what I’ve been told, three is often a lot worse than two.

Steff July 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I just want you to know he is soooo THREE!
I always soothed myself thinking, as long as they are good in public (school, bday parties, etc) they can be terrors at home! Not that he IS a terror, not implying that at all.

Betty M July 26, 2010 at 3:18 am

Another one chiming in to say that sounds like 3 year olds the world over.

Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo July 26, 2010 at 5:54 am

my vote is for 3 year old dicky behaviour.

Not everything is Autism related. I remember panicking when Boo pushed a child at playgroup (he was 3) I emailed my friend who was an Autism specialist in the US – back in the day when there weren’t that many of us Autie Mums on the internets so you could actually converse with experts and they were interested in your child and not just your money – and he basically told me to calm the hell down and let him be a 3 year old once in a while. That he was NOT going to turn into this terrifying monster who beats up small children…

girlfiend July 26, 2010 at 7:37 am

3 year olds are assholes. I’ve written about it at length. the Ames and Ilg book, Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy is a fun read. It tells you that the parents are the 3 year old’s worthiest adversaries. They won’t fight with anyone as much as you. The book suggests that parents enlist a good, cheap babysitter.

jesser July 26, 2010 at 8:40 am

Sooo typical at our house. Perfect angel one moment, slamming the door on her brother’s fingers because he wouldn’t stay out of the bathroom the next. gotta love it.

Lisa July 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

Just wanted to say hi.

Tracey July 27, 2010 at 12:20 am

He’s so 3. You might want to check out this book “Finn Throws a Fit” – a parenting book masquerading as a children’s book. Maybe, like my husband and I, you will recognize yourself in the faces of the beleaguered parents. And your beloved mini in the face of Finn. We always feel better after we read it:)

Tommie July 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I have to echo the majority and say this is totally a three year old thing for him to be doing.

My daughter, who is three and a half, has been potty trained for about three months (far ahead of schedule for a child with her syndrome, 5p-) and she’s doing REALLY well.

Except this past weekend. We were in the toy aisle at Walmart. I asked her if she had to pee. She said no.

I noticed her pullling at the crotch of her shorts. I asked again if she had to pee. Again, she said no. This time adding loudly, “I don’t have eto pee!”

Obviously, I should have just taken her. But I’m trying to give her some ownership of her toilet habits. I know….

Fifteen seconds later, she was bending over, holding herself, saying, “I do have to pee, I do.”

And she was peeing on the floor in the toy aisle at Walmart.

I took her to the bathroom, made her sit on the toilet (a little late) and then got down to eye level and asked her why she told me she didn’t have to go when she obviously did.

Her response? “Butt!”

Yeah, totally a three year old response. I feel you.

Kathy L. Phy July 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm

My (just turned) 6 yo little boy is and has always been a dream child, for the most part. My 3.75 yo girl is me all over again–um, to put it nicely, VERY spirited, VERY independent, um, what the hell…she is a little stinker. I thought the 2′s were bad, what with the most awful tantrums ever, but a friend warned me that as bad a reputation the 2′s have, the 3′s are even worse, and boy, is that ever the truth. The tantrums have thankfully passed, for the most part, but now she is just plain defiant. I mean, DEFIANT!!! It is driving me crazy–I’ll tell her a rule, or put her in time out for something, talk to her face to face when we are both calm, etc etc, and then turn my back for one second and she is doing it all over again, with a
“FU mommy!” little smirk on her face that makes me have to take really, really deep breaths and count to ten. Or fifty. Or even 100. It has been a real challenge, because honestly, I never experienced anything like this, behavior wise, with my little boy. She requires a completely different parenting style than he does. I have been saying for 2 years now (ever since her little personality started blossoming), that I will be so proud and happy to have a independent, strong-willed, nothing-can-stop-me daughter in her twenties, but oh boy, as a 3 year old…man oh man… Trying times! But taken overall, she can be every bit as sweet as she is a stinker, and I do love her fiery little spirit so much. Anyway, don’t worry, you are not alone!

lynne July 27, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I agree that right now it’s pretty typical three year old stuff. The ‘terrible twos’ actually seem to peak around three. What is not typical, and can be part of autism, is if the behavior problems don’t peak and then ebb but instead continue at this level through age 4 and 5. Which has been our experience. The good news is that we’ve seen marked improvement between 5 and 6 years old.

Mina July 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I hope it’s just 3 year old behavior. If not, then I have a problem on my hands too.

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