I knew it was coming. I have spent the last few years mentally preparing for it. And now, it is upon us — the threenager year. Long gone are the days of a fussy infant, a whiny 1 year old, or a terrible 2-year-old, we are now standing face to face with a tiny person full of uncontrollable — we will call it — passion.
And boy oh boy does little Miss Reagan have a ton of it! Sometimes, it is amazing to watch, like when she decided to be done with her baby tricycle and mastered riding a big-girl bike with training wheels in hours. She didn’t give up until she had it down.
The drive in her eyes was admirable, but it didn’t come without a few bumps and scrapes as she learned to go before she had the whole stopping part down. She even managed to glide straight down the driveway right into the street and got her foot caught between the pedal and a bar (requiring both her daddy and a neighbor daddy to do some lifting and maneuvering). But the girl hopped back on with sheer determination and was able to ride the entire 1/3 mile around the block with me that evening.
Those are the times I have to remind myself of when she is using that will power to resist our parental instructions. I mean, I am glad that the girl knows what she wants and goes after it — that is commendable — unless what she wants is candy right before bed, the toy her sister is playing with, or climbing up the outside of the tunnel slide. Then, it becomes me trying to reason with a charismatic creature who needs a whole lot of education on the understanding of consequences.
And I feel like the threenager year is just that — an in between of complete careless chaos and fully grasping the outcome of her actions. It is a time of fearlessness — she’s not going to fall off that swing she is standing on or hurt herself jumping from the furniture. Nope, even if we tell her 16 times to stop, she thinks she knows better. And typically, she doesn’t believe us until she bangs her head on the coffee table or slips off the swing.
It is tiring following her around throwing out warnings. That’s not a good idea. Do not do that again. You are going to get hurt. And I hate being the one putting negative thoughts in her mind. I mean, I love that she is adventurous and wants to try out new things but I just want to teach her to be safe — and that’s the last thing comprehensible by a 3-year-old.
And you would think that suggesting against these things — or anything that is her idea for that matter — completely ended her world. Once her little mind has taken in the denial of us allowing her free spirit to roam, she straight up loses it. She just doesn’t understand and wants to let the whole world know (just ask my neighbors, especially since it has been warm enough to keep the windows open).
Once the storm of uncontrollable passion passes, I attempt to explain the what and the why. The understanding in her eyes is promising — that is, until 5 minutes later when she is trying the same thing. It’s a cycle really. The threenager cycle. And it will last all year through, I am sure.
So, I have to continually remind myself (over and over) that it will one day get her really far in life. One day she is going to be so dedicated to a cause that she will make a difference — whether it is pushing new improvements in a corporate company, believing a little more in her students, sending people further out in space, or heck — maybe even seeking out and raising up a cure for cancer.
Whatever it is she does with her life, this girl has the passion — the spirit — to make it happen. She will fight and go after exactly what she wants and accept defeat only when it is a last resort. She is ruthless but loving and competitive but compassionate. And, at the end of the day, when she thinks she is right, she will sell it with the best of her ability.
Some days I literally want to rip my hair out. And some days, I feel like I am looking dead on in the mirror. Regardless, this baby girl is special and I honestly couldn’t love her any more than I do. She is going to do big things in her life, I’m telling you now. You know, as long as we make it through this year.
Happy birthday, Reagan Starr.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.