You’ve heard about them, you have nightmares about them, you live with one. I’m sorry.

If it ‘s any consolation, I did too. We survived and you will too. Until then, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

No, I’m not talking about adolescents. Well, I kind of am. I’m talking about the miniature version; the three year old model.

Your babe isn’t threeteen yet?

Sorry to inform you but it’s a shit-show the minute the clock strikes midnight. Three is worse than two. Three is worse than the teens. Three is just the worst.

Here’s why:

Threenagers & Teenagers: Same, same, but worse

11. Characterized by a pervasive self centeredness, the elusive threenager has a global disregard for the public interest.

A teen might say: “me, me, me” and might think “it’s all about me”.

A threen, however, has them beat. I mean, have you heard of primary narcissism?

Sounds like:

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


Me only.

Me forever.

10. Much like their teenage counterpart, children who turn threeteen also adopt a prevailing sense of entitlement.

Get ready for “I wants”, “I likes”, and “I needs” out the wazoo. So many out the wazoo you feel like you gave birth again (to a mutant jerk).

9. With regular displays of defiance and rebellion you will wonder what you did wrong.

Deep sighs, eye rolls, and door slams are on the menu.  And, for extra fun, your preschooler will adopt a quasi- anarchist attitude and will virtually embody insubordination.

You don’t believe me, do you?

Well, just you wait.

Like a teen who might yell, swear, and curse “#%&@ you, I quit!” to their superior, your threen will show you the same intolerance and disregard.

You heard the about children yelling “you’re not the boss of me!”, right?


8. Experimentation.

Frankly, I’ll take the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll that comes with a teenager over the bizarre and senseless behaviour choices made by a three year old.

Crayons do not belong in underwear. Tongues belong in mouths. It’s not appropriate to goose your neighbour. Why do they always have to be upside down? Abstract art, everywhere. Please no humping on the soccer pitch.

7. This brings me to the development of a disproportionate interest in genitalia (no further explanation required).

6. Your child will become an ingrate.

I feel I should warn you. We all expect teenagers to think we’re the worst and tell us that they hate our guts but your little one accusing you of being a mean Mommy? Yah, that’s not even the half of it.

5. Also, there will be threats (a lot of threats).

You know how teenagers threaten to run away? You’re gonna wish your three year old had a grasp on that concept. All the personality disordered “if you don’t play with me I won’t be your best friend anymore” games are exhausting.

4. Comparable to the high risk behaviour and disregard for personal safety that is characteristic of teenagers, your three year old will also have you eating sedatives like candy.

Car surfing? Jumping off playgrounds? What’s the diff?

3. Oh, and you’ll be glad to be medicated so to tolerate the withdrawal from parental affection.

Teens act tough with the “don’t touch me – get away from me – I can’t stand you – get a life” script but a threenager goes for the jugular.

Get ready: “I don’t want to be called love anymore”? “I don’t love you”?

It’s true. All that and more.

2. The onset of pms.

For teens, this is characterized by hormonal instability as demonstrated by cyclical irritability, dysphoria, mood fluctuations and, in severe cases, explosive outbursts.

For threens, all of the above traits are present. Explosive outbursts? We’re talking about EPIC tantrums. The only difference between the ages is that the “preschooler menace syndrome” does not discriminate; boys and girls get to suffer. Oh, and it runs on a shorter cycle: one day on, one day off.

And, finally, my favorite:

1. The silent treatment.

Teens have mastered this. Threens have not. If only they had…



Heather was born a mom in 2009 but is still working out the kinks. She loves the CBC, aspartame beverages that are toxic and delicious, her profession, the 3 guys she shares a home with, and (sometimes) being a parent. A believer that moms are born too, she writes about her business because words make her happy and happy is good.

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