Aside from the fact it quite possibly has many, many interpretations, all of which are subjective and dependent on experience and circumstance, I don’t believe it is adequately explanatory.
I, for a long time, have maintained that there is something about three-year-old that simply cannot be encompassed by a single word.
The Terrible Twos, in my opinion, are misleading. The give the impression that once the ‘two’ years are over, everything is hunky dory.
No. No indeed.
The Terrible Twos cannot even be construed as a pre-empting, warning, or preparing for what is to come when your child turns three.
Oh, no. Nothing can prepare you for that. Even Doomsday Preppers fall far short in the preparation for experiencing life with a three-year-old.
Something along the FuckingKillMeKnow Threes, or the Fucking Awful Threes or something along those lines is more appropriate than the insipid “threenager”, and even they don’t adequately portray the reality.
Aside from it not being appropriate, it is far too ambiguous.
See, until you’ve had a teenager, you don’t really know what they’re like. And you will understand that “threenager” also dumbs down just how horrendous they can be.
More recently, a more succinct definition of the word was brought to my attention; a threenager is defined as a “three year old who behaves like a thirteen year old”.
Yeah. Kinda makes sense. I guess.
Except when words like “who behaves like” which kind of implies it is only a selection of three year olds and that not all three year olds are mindfucking little terrors. On a good day. Let’s not talk about the bad days.
ALL three year olds are horrendous at times. It’s just that age, and all the stuff that they’re experiencing as their little minds are developing and they are learning more and more about their world and themselves. They don’t mean to be arsefaces, and they aren’t doing it intentionally. It’s not even personal, so don’t got there.
Just, I dunno, doomsday prep up on the vodka, breathe a lot and try not to take it personally. You’re not a bad mum. They’re just developing.
I don’t know that you can adequately even state a “three year old who behaves like a thirteen year old” – because three year olds don’t behave like anything or anyone on earth. Other than other three year olds.
Teenagers in their early teenager years, however, can behave very much like a three year old. Which is where “threenager” in the way it is bandied about becomes completely invalid. Or confusing.
When you have a thirteen or fourteen year old, giggling hysterically at the word “titmouse” or “blue tit bird” and reverting back to that stage where the word “penis” is the funniest word in the house, then what you have on your hands, essentially, is an overgrown three year old.
It is also likely that they will whip out the old Wrong Colour Plate tantrum from time to time, and swing erratically from hating you with a passion, to snuggling up on the couch with you, forcing you to watch the same DVD they’ve watched 26 times since the last school holidays. Only now, it’s less likely to be animated, and more likely to include violence, sex references, and men wearing lycra superhero outfits and being all sexy and carrying hammers and stuff (which is not all bad – *ahem* so I heard).
I also share a house with a quinquagenarian who shows regular trances of three-dom, too.
Ideally, I’d prefer the word be banned altogether. I do, however, concede that it is a ‘nice’ fluffy word, that is politically correct and acceptable with in the mainstream mothering circles.
Mostly, I’d just prefer we could skip that atrocity entirely. The three year old bit, not mainstream mothering circles, I mean.
T’is all part of the fun and games of parenting.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
And what doesn’t kill us when parenting a three year old makes our drinks stronger.