Autumn and Threenagers: What’s that all about?

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Summer and winter are easy – you strip down to beat the heat or you layer up to shield from the cold. But Autumn, now that’s a pickle. It’s cool, but not cold enough; yet that piercing blowing wind makes 14 degrees feel like 10. Then the sun comes out and its warm(er) again. It’s all confusing.

Much like a three-year-old. Threenagers – as they are notoriously called – are contradicting creatures. Lovable one second and complete arseholes the next. Obedient at 10 am and defiant at 10.02 am. Constantly challenging you, surprising you, confusing you – you really have NO IDEA what will come next or what to even expect next!

So as I was constantly buttoning and unbuttoning my jacket the other day, feeling cold one minute and too layered up the next, the striking similarities between this season and my current life (i.e. with a three-year-old) dawned upon me. Here’s a clearer picture on why Autumn is a reflection of my Threenage son…

1. Blow Hot, Blow Cold
The Threens are all about contradictions. About opposing behaviours. About differences. It’s the green cup one day and a full-blown tantrum if not given the red cup the next. It’s ‘I hate this shirt’ on Monday to ‘I won’t wear anything except this shirt’ on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… A Threenager’s disposition is much like this season – warm sunshine accompanied by cold winds. Not quite winter but summer’s definitely over. Sunshine yet cold and windy. What the hell is going on???

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2. A Beautiful Phase
Autumn can be unpredictable, but it is also beautiful. The yellow-gold leaves blossoming on trees and scattered on the grass coupled with hues of red and orange are gorgeous. And while the Threens can be a real pain in the neck, it is also a wonderful stage. Your Threenager becomes his own individual with a mind of his own. He talks. A lot. Says big words and complete sentences. He has opinions and you can carry on a normal(ish) conversation with him. He’s naughty, but in a delightful way. It’s that lovely stage between them still being semi-babies at two and school-going kids at four. Three can be delightful.

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3. Preparing for the tough road ahead
Autumn helps trees prepare for the cold, harsh winter that follows. Much like the Threens that prepare your little one to enter the big ‘real’ world. Threenagers are learning independence. They are learning to dress and undress themselves, they are being potty-trained, they are entering pre-school to prepare for school. And life.

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4. High Testosterone Levels
It’s a lesser-known fact that human testosterone levels are highest in Autumn, possibly from ancient mating instincts. And a parent of a Threenager will agree without doubt that a three-year-old has unexplainable levels of energy/ testosterone/ whatever the hell you want to call it! They hardly eat, they never sleep, yet they are full of beans from six am to well past normal bedtime for a thing that small! Most even drop their nap but that seems to make no difference to their tiredness levels.

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5. Beer Wine and other Poisons
Oktoberfest takes place the world over during Autumn. Lots and lots of beer is consumed. And mothers of threenagers tend to consume a lot more alcohol in general – it is, after all, a trying phase and we need our beer/wine/cocktail.

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