“I want to do it myself Mummy”

“Three is definitely harder than two”. The words you really don’t want to hear when your ‘spirited’ child is approaching her third birthday and you’re counting down the days until the terrible twos are over.

Yet, it seems the next chapter is unfolding whilst we are still navigating a minefield of mastering the potty training, behaviour and mealtimes, and those who have walked this path just ahead of me are reporting back tales of woe from the front line. Is this what is known as the Threenager?

We have been here before and it doesn’t seem that long ago – the days when our eldest daughter insisted on asserting her independence through every menial daily task. Hard to imagine now as she regresses into not wanting to brush her own teeth or put on her school uniform…

And the Mouse? She has started to show those tell tale signs of wanting to be her own person. Choosing her own clothes, regardless of their impracticality. Demanding what time is bedtime, mealtime, snack time and waking up times (obviously). Putting on her own shoes, painfully slowly, when we are already late, every Mum of toddlers favourite.

With round two of ‘Miss independent’ upon us we are set to see it on a whole new level, as our feisty second daughter discovers her voice and how to use it.

I guess, it is in these times of parental hardship that one of my favourite pieces of advice comes into its own.

‘Pick your battles’.

School shoes to the sandpit? Whatever. Making your own sandwich? Go for it – in fact, make me one while you’re at it. You want to stay in your PJs all day? Fabulous idea. Princess dress and scooter? Live and learn girl.

Save those moments of standing your ground for when they really matter (do your own car seat... non negotiable I’m afraid), and save yourself a world of pain and energy.

I really must take my own advice…meanwhile taking deep breaths and trying to remember what I learnt on that managing child behaviour course. Until wine O’clock that is.


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