Three-year olds are passionate about what they want
and don’t want. Recently, my three-year old asked for
some water. It went something like this.

“I want water. I’m getting water.” Off he marched to
fulfill his request.

“No, you don’t get water by yourself.”

“I want water!”


“Don’t tell me no! You don’t tell me no!”

“You need to ask nicely.”

“You get water for me NOW, please.”

“That’s not asking nicely.”

“Momma, I want water now!” He hopped and stomped and
scowled and clenched his hands into fists.

“Look. You either ask nicely and politely or you get

He brightened with a big smile. “Please can I have
some water?”

I happily and immediately got up to get him some
water, praising him for asking so nicely. He followed
me into the kitchen, skipping along. I handed him the
cup of water.

“I WANT ICE CUBES!” he screamed at the top of his


Naptime is what happens when small kiddos push all of
Mom’s buttons and wear her patience thin. There is a
difference between a child that is learning manners
and needs reminders and an impudent little brat that
could make the world’s most formidable dictator wither
in fear.

I sent his Lordship to his room. Before he even got
there he was screaming epithets and howling with

Thank God for doors. Doors are what separate human
beings from the rest of the animal kingdom. If it
weren’t for doors, we’d eat our young. It’s such a
small price to pay for some peace and quiet.

My husband came home and asked me how my day was. I
nodded wearily toward our son’s bedroom door. He was
sobbing and sounding pretty miserable. Weakly his
voice carried through the door.

“Dad? Please can I have some water?”

As if mean, evil Momma had denied him this humble
request and had banished him from the family forever.
It must have been the longest and most forlorn ten
minutes of his life.

It was heaven for me.

Dealing with a three-year old all day is like smacking
your head against a wall and then being worshipped on
a pedestal. You alternate between the two. You are
either his worst enemy or you are the one being in the
entire world he cherishes and will go out of his way
to adore. You are either ‘in’ or ‘out’. You are
either his best friend or his biggest foe.

“I don’t love you anymore!” is first uttered at the
age of three.

Don’t worry. Chances are you have something he wants.
Everybody does. He’ll be back in no time screaming,
“Mine, mine, mine!”

Heaven help us all.

. . . . . . . . . . .
Jelly Mom™ is written by Lisa Barker, mother of five
and author of “Just Because Your Kids Drive You
Insane… Doesn’t Mean You Are A Bad Parent!” and is
syndicated through Martin-Ola Press/Parent To Parent.
To publish Jelly Mom, buy the book or leave comments,
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