Being three years old is really hard. Parenting someone who is three years old is also really hard. Yesterday was one of those days where “hard” turned into “damn near impossible” and I considered just letting my kid grow up to be a selfish, inconsiderate jerk. It would be so much easier.

By 9:30 am Evan and I were both grumpy and whiny. Ten minutes later I was hissing at him to START LISTENING and FIX YOUR ATTITUDE or we would leave gymnastics immediately and he would go home for an extra-serious-in-your-room-full-10-minute-time-out. Ninety seconds later I had to follow through with my threat and drag him kicking and screaming out of the building.

Literally kicking and screaming. Barefoot, since he punched me in the face when I tried to put his shoes on. I pinned him under one arm and led a very sad and confused Caroline with my other hand to the car, where I briefly considered just LEAVING Evan so his sister could finish class. I did not leave him in the car, but I did stand behind the van for 90 seconds taking deep breaths after I strapped him in. Getting punched in the face by your kid is the kind of low point that requires deep, cleansing breaths. They don’t do much to improve your day but at least you can feel in control of SOMETHING, even if it is your own lungs. Take that, lungs! You’re not the boss of me!

The rest of the morning was just as bad. We both used our angry voices. He threw things. We both cried. He asked for a hug and I said no. It was not my proudest moment. After we both calmed down and had a snuggle and said we were sorry we talked about his feelings and why he was upset. He wasn’t really sure, but was worried Daddy was going to be mad so I assured him we still loved him even if he sometimes acted naughty. We talked a lot about being angry and how to express those feelings without hurting people. We agreed using kind voices was much nicer and that we would be friends and love each other forever and watch Little Einsteins during quiet time.

Then we had lunch.

“Mommy, I don’t feel empty anymore!” says Evan.

“Empty?” says Mommy.

“Yeah! I was empty and sad. Now I FULL so I happy!”


Hungry. My kid was HUNGRY. He melted down because I didn’t feed him enough breakfast. HOURS of fighting that could have been prevented with a bowl of fricking cereal.

Sometimes being three years old is really hard because your mother is an idiot.

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12 Responses to “Meltdown”

  1. It’s AMAZING what a difference food can make. At 18 months, I can see a huge difference between Hungry Noah and Full Noah.

  2. Audrey says:

    Aww that’s tough. Poor kiddo. Poor mom!

  3. Animom says:

    Oh man..I bet this has happened to all moms at some point (including me).

  4. Shannon says:

    My kid is the same way! He is not even the same person when he’s hungry – we call it “hangry”

  5. molly says:

    Oh dear. Well, onward and upward. We’ve had those days where they are hungry and tired and yes, I’ve been smacked in the face. Three years old is hard, yo.

  6. Jess Judkins says:

    awww. to be honey I get angry and super selfish when I am hungry and its not until Scott suggests I eat something and after I eat is when I realize I was just crashing and needed something to eat. Same thing happens with Judah. Sometimes I think he had enough breakfast and he will flip out for no real reason, punching screaming and after he eats he is a little angel.

    Its a learning process, even as an adult

  7. This totally happens to my 2 year who is nearly always too busy to eat. Ever since my mom helped me figure out that he was super hungry and not just super naughty I have made following him around with a forkful of food my part time job. Sorry you had a rough day!!

  8. Oh, this post took my breath away… I have definitely had those days. I actually teared up reading this!

  9. OT and ET says:

    Hoping today is going much better for you, mama. No face kicks, lots of cheerios, and hopefully a pinot & cupcake for mama too? xo

  10. Oh, you are not the first person to find this out the hard way. I did that recently, too. Hope things are better today!

  11. Fionnuala says:

    Amazing, honest, epic, and real. In this house we say, “it is a sell your kid on e-bay kinda day”… Thank you for sharing the real-even when it is ugly. If it is any consolation, this past Thursday I picked up O after work/school long-a$$ week… its 5pm we are both hungry, exhausted, mad that it is not weekend yet.. we basically fight with each other for the next 2 hours… (i.e., no you can not have Widkratts until you pick your coat up.. her response, “fine I won’t pick my coat up..”) Get it? Anyway her bedtime is 7:45, and at 7:20 she came up to me and said, “I’m to tired to not be cranky, I need to go to bed.” I wanted to die… to think I had spent the last couple of hours fighting with a little who was simply tired… not my proudest moment.

  12. karen says:

    Oh my goodness. I’ve so been there, but with a (now) two year old. After over an hour of horrible epic tantruming where I couldn’t get away (it got worse if I left), I picked up my screaming writhing child and went to get myself a mandarin. I thought peeling it would be meditative for me, even if my kid did whack it out of my hands in anger. Turns out, she didn’t. She saw it, calmed right down and asked for some. Ate 3 pieces and was a doll again. Ugh. That’s exactly how I get when my blood sugar is low too! Geez, ma.
    keep up the good work, you’re doing great, and you’re hardly an idiot.

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