Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

People are always quick to complain about the terrible twos and the struggles that come with that year of a little one’s life. But how about those threes? In our case, we’ve found the threes to be an even bigger challenge – our daughter is definitely a threenager. It’s a good thing she is cute!

If you have yet to hear the term threenager and don’t know what I mean, it is the age when your little one acts like he or she is a teenager. You may be growing out of the constant battle of a hitting and biting toddler, but now she has an attitude that doesn’t quit, is as stubborn as a mule and wants whatever she wants when she wants it and doesn’t want to take no for an answer.

Here are some things my threenager does. These could be signs you have a little threenager under your roof, too:

1. You always fear picking a cup for him or her. Does she want red, blue, or green today? Inevitably, whether you pick the cup for her or she picks it herself, she will change her mind right after you pour some milk.

2. If you ask a question, you may be answered with a growl instead of actual words.

3. He makes comments like, “No, I do not want to clean up!” While shaking his index finger at you. “I want you to do it for me!”

4. She sprints the opposite direction away from you any time you mention leaving a play place, brushing teeth, combing hair, or really doing anything that she doesn’t want to do. She thinks it’s hilarious, too. The plus side? You no longer need to figure out ways to find time for exercise because you are getting more than ever.

5. If you’re stopped in the car at a red light, he screams, “Go Mommy! GOOOO!” You try to explain red means stop and green means go. He gets it, but he simply doesn’t care. “Go NOW!”

Photo credit: flickr.com

6. She wants to do everything “all by myself.” Buckle her car seat, go potty and wipe (or not), and pour her own drinks. You gladly welcome some independence … but unfortunately, everything still takes just as long.

7. You go through multiple outfit changes every single day. Sister cannot decide if she wants to be Doc McStuffins, Ariel, or Elsa today.

8. You feel a sense of pride as you realize that your child can negotiate her way out of almost anything. This strong-willed and fight-for-what-she-wants attitude will actually be a pretty great thing once she’s all grown up. Parenting threenagers isn’t easy. They make you tired and can quickly turn even the most energetic parent into one who is exhausted and grumpy.However, this time with your 3-year-old is actually pretty great. Age 3 is a time when your child’s vocabulary tends to quickly progress. So in between the “Get me my blankeys!” and “Do it right now, moms,” you just may hear some really wonderful words come out of those little mouthy mouths. The other day, my 3-year-old said, “You’re my very best mommy in the whole world!” And the moments when she says things like that to me make my threenager a little easier to live with. God love ‘em.

What made you realize you had a threenager under your roof?

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Tags: 3-year-olds