Dear Baby: My Yelling Doesn't Scare You

Dear Baby,

You're three now. We barely survived the "Terrible Two's" and all of our parenting sources have told us that three is worse. You've only been three for a couple months now, but you are fully embracing the "Threenager" term.

It seems like recently all I do is scold or yell at you and it makes me feel awful. I am struggling with balancing between allowing you to be three and setting boundaries.

For example, brushing your teeth is such a frustrating task every night that your father and I barter to see who gets stuck with doing it. You try to talk to us the entire time I'm brushing by asking me what flavor the toothpaste is. (We only have one toothpaste. It's strawberry. It's always strawberry.)

I am constantly telling you to open your mouth or stay still. But before you even let me get the toothbrush into your mouth, you want to give me hugs and kisses. Yes, this may seem sweet, but I know your tricks. You're just delaying me brushing your teeth and thus bedtime.

I literally have to pry you off me and yell, "I don't want any more kisses!" This is hilarious to you until I threaten to place you in time out, which basically makes me a monster for punishing my child for giving me too many hugs and kisses. BUT, NO, KID! RESPECT MY SPACE! LET ME BRUSH YOUR DAMN TEETH!

Here are some of the ridiculous reasons I've lost my temper this week: (By the way, you have been out of school for two whole weeks now so we're spending a crazy amount of time together.)

1) You wouldn't tuck your foot in so I couldn't close the car door and leave.

2) You told me you wanted to eat eggs so I made you eggs. You took the plate of eggs and threw it into the trashcan.

3) You told me you wanted a waffle so I made you a waffle. You took the waffle and threw it into the trashcan.

4) You wouldn't sit still at the restaurant so we had to pack up our meal to go. You started screaming, "No! I don't want to leave!" You then had to be dragged out of the restaurant by Dad while I stayed behind to pay. In the car you started yelling at me, "I'm still hungry! You didn't feed me" I yelled back, "Well, I'm hungry, too! You should have eaten your food!"

5) You jumped off the potty and pulled up your pants before I could wipe your ass. I had to tackle you to the floor to clean up your literal shit. And then we had the change underwear, which was another traumatic moment.

6) You threw your milk cup on the floor. I told you to pick it up and you yelled, "No, I want you to pick it up." Oh, hell no.

7) You wouldn't take a nap.

8) Bedtime. Just all of it. It's a mess.

When I yell at you, you will stick your hand out to me and say very sternly, "No, Mama. No. Stop it. You're not listening." If you're really upset, you will hit me.

If Dad yells at you, you literally quiver in fear and collapse in his arms. This is because Dad rarely ever yells at you.

"I don't like Daddy's loud voice. I want Mommy to be angry. Not Daddy." (insert eye roll*)

Sweet child of mine, I love you so much, but you're killing me over here.