Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Hello, Officer, I’d like to report an abduction.

An abduction?

Three actually.

You’re reporting three abductions?

Yes. It was aliens, I think.  One abduction seems to be for the better, so I’d like to leave that one alone, but the other two are not good. So not good.

Ma’am, have you been drinking?

No way, that would NOT help matters. It’s hard enough to keep everyone alive as it is, I don’t think I could do it in a state of altered consciousness.

I think you’d better start from the beginning.

Okay, well in the last two weeks, my sweet little #StopThatAiden #NoBen have been abducted and replaced with angry, raging hate-machines. I’m not delusional, I know #NoBen has always been a challenge, but he’s also always been such a cheerful tornado of destruction, and now he’s sullen and argumentative. And #StopThatAiden is screaming at all of us! Yesterday he tried to hit me repeatedly when I told him he couldn’t have more goldfish! It was only yesterday that they were both all kisses and cuddles, and now they are fighting everything and everyone! I want my babies back!

Um, how old are your boys, Ma’am?

They’re two..they’ll be three in April….Oh. NOOOOOOOOOOO.

Yup! The twins are now threenagers. The dreaded, horrible age that make the two’s seem not terrible at all but tranquil. Tranquil Twos, they should call it. Three is the bad age. Three is when they finally have the vocabulary to argue, demand more than one or two things, and develop and express their own points of view. All those are good things, big picture, but there is also a corresponding LACK of emotional maturity to express oneself constructively. I remember people telling me about this when Bisky was three, but to be honest, I kind of dismissed it, chalking it up to having two brother thrust upon her idyllic existence.

But now I have incontrovertible evidence that being three is just a poop show. I was in denial at first, because it happened so suddenly, and assumed the bad behavior was a result of the NEVERENDING cold/flu that has been recycling itself since Thanksgiving. Then, I figured it was just ‘Act like a demon from hell around Mommy’ syndrome, but no.  Last week the preschool teacher very diplomatically told me that “Ben was not himself” in school. Further questioning revealed that #NoBen refused to participate in circle time OR centers (by screaming NO and flinging himself on the floor), and choosing to sit in the Shame Chair and stare out the window. (I don’t think it’s really called that, but we all know that’s totally what it is. Even the kids know).

And then for the past week #StopThatAiden has been inflicting his wrath on people who aren’t even me! It’s now common to hear his shrill NO! coming from downstairs several times an hour. The worst part is, if it is threenagerhood, then I’m in for a very long 18 months (because why would it only last a year)? Figures, I finally thought I was out of the woods when they stopped being infants, only to have this to deal with!

On the bright side, the same aliens have brought me a sweet, helpful little girl who loves to clean up the living room, is dying to learn how to do dishes, and who is actually reading all on her own. I keep pinching myself, but it’s true. The only sad thing is that she is letting me pick out her clothes, or when she chooses her own, they match. That and her glasses makes her look about 8. I didn’t think I’d miss the violent color wars that were her daily outfits, but I kind of do.

I swear, being a Mom is the physical manifestation of every emotional disorder there is. From manic highs, to irritability, to melancholy, nostalgia, depression, anxiety, joy. Every stage from conception on is a non-stop cycle of all of them. And just when I learn how to deal with one stage, the little suckers grow more and enter a new one. I’ve never really had a boring life, but this brings interesting to a whole new level. I had NO IDEA these small people would test me on so many levels. But I sure do love ‘em!

How are you being tested? And do you have any suggestions for threenagers?

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