On Soccer Camp.

I am constantly learning new things as a mother. For example, last week I learned that getting a 3-year-old to listen to a soccer coach for three hours in 90+ degree heat is impossible. We tried. I had high expectations, but it went just about as smoothly as Mom and Baby Yoga. The good news is we didn’t end each class lying on our sides, breastfeeding our kids. The thought of doing that in direct sunlight in 95 degree heat makes me want to puke.

He’s not ready to pay attention for that long. I was silly to think otherwise. Motherhood has been one learning experience after another. For example, I’ve learned that the more you spend on an activity, the less your kid’s gonna get out of it. And the more excited you are by said activity, the less excited they’re gonna be. So, should we ever have a second child, that kid’s gonna be ignored until age five or so, particularly where extracurricular activities are concerned. Sorry, kid. It’s nothing but flour and water for you. Maybe some paint. And we might take you to the playground.

(Wait, I’m a second child. This explains a lot.)

But all was not entirely lost. We had two great days. He followed instructions, had fun and we stayed the entire time. I won’t talk about the other three days; the days I had to take him home kicking, screaming and spitting. (Picture Linda Blair from “The Exorcist” only without the company of The Devil. Because, seriously, had The Devil been there I’d have asked him or her for help.)

I won’t mention those days. I won’t start talking about how age 3 is ten bloody times worse than age 2. If I start talking about all the timeouts we’ve had lately, or the fact that it took him 1 hour, 40 minutes to eat pancakes this morning all the while he sat screaming at the table, I’ll never stop talking. Plus, I’ll develop a stutter and start drinking. And I haven’t had a drink in a very long time.

I will say this: the closer we get to three, the rougher our days become. I’ll leave it at that for now. But soon I’m gonna need some companionship, a gentle shoulder to cry on. Because this has been hard, really hard. It’s kind of like breaking in a wild horse, not that I’ve ever done that. But if I ever apply for a job as cowboy, I’m putting this on my resume.

I’m convinced this is why siblings aren’t often 4 years apart. Who in their right mind looks at their husband after a day spent with a three-year-old and says, “Hi, honey! Let’s have unprotective sex so we can have ANOTHER ONE!”?

Anyway… SOCCER CAMP! The last class went off without a hitch. And I managed to get this short video of my boy following instructions, giving high fives and receiving his final award.

So, we won’t be back next week. But we will be back next year. Because the gentlemen from United Soccer Academy who were in charge of these 3-year-olds were amazing. I’ve never met two Brits more deserving of an award for patience. In fact, everyone pooled together a hefty tip at the end of the week to show how sorry we felt for them. A pity tip! A pitippy!

We’ll be back next year—you know, after three is over.

(Three does end, right?)


  1. I don’t remember a lot from being that age, but I do remember my father begging and pleading with me to please play in my team’s soccer game on various Saturdays as I screamed and cried, eventually bribing me with the purchase of a Barbie doll. You’re a brave woman.


  2. Ashely: Ahhhh I love the irony.

    And I thought of something else that came out of it. I met a couple of great moms.


  3. Around our house, the “terrible threes” were nothing compared to the “fucking fours”!

    Deep breathing, sense of humor and a LOT of a little something to take the razor sharp edge off – that’s what got me through.


  4. Wait, 4 is worse? Dear God. Really?


  5. Three SUCKS. Big time. My general observations of those around me with kids was that boys were worse at two, girls worse at three, but that is a big generalization.

    My kid was just as bad at 4, if not worse. Sorry to add to what Stacy said. Seriously, my daughter is lucky she lived to see 5. BUT! When she turned five it was like a magical switch had been flipped and she became a human being again instead of a rabid animal. No joke, it was like night and day, the difference.

    So you know. Hang in there. What’s 1 more year? ;-)


  6. Three made me look back to the “terrible twos” with sweet nostalgia. My son has been 4 for two months now and, while it’s not a dream come true, it is better. And I hear it gets better with 4 yr old kindergarten (if you are doing that). I have also told people that if you want to have another child, do it before they turn three, because you may reconsider.


  7. 4 is better than 3…but not by much. You can reason with them more and they understand a lot more. The problem with that is they KNOW they’re being terrible! My oldest is almost 5 and the last half of 4 is much better than the first half.

    My kids are 4 years apart. Mostly because I didn’t want to have a terrible 2 and a frightening 4!

    The video made my heart swell though. It’s amazing just how amazing kids are when they’re listening! :)


  8. I remember my friend going through a rough patch with her son. One day he was this sweet little baby and, what felt like overnight, he turned into a complete fiend. It was crazy. I think it was a good four months of him being completely awful, all day long. She had no good days or moments whatsoever. And about eight months total of horrible, but that had good days in as well.

    Then one day, she said he woke up and he was back to his normal self. Just when she thought she couldn’t take anymore.

    I think my son is starting to get to this stage now. He’ll be three in sept. Everything is no at the moment. Even if he means yes, he says no. So either way, there’s a tantrum.

    I wish you luck and will remind you to stay consistent (that’s what I have to keep reminding myself). Even if it feels like you’re going crazy. Keep your head up. He’ll snap out of it eventually. :D

    BTW, Em’s too cute with the football!


  9. Just be glad you’ll never have a 14yo girl? ;>)


  10. I am so glad you posted this, makes me realize we are not the only ones :) My son is 2 1/2 and I love him more than anything but it has been a nightmare lately. I cried yesterday and I am not a “crier” I just wanted him to have a wonderful day and had things all planned out and ended up yelling all day! When my husband came home at 4 I just started bawling. Hopefully terrible two’s won’t be followed by awful threes in our house.


  11. birdgal (another amy) July 19, 2010 at 9:31 am

    At our house, 4 is BY FAR better than 3, but then again 3 really, really sucked. After hearing other people’s stories, I’m just glad my daughter wasn’t a complete outlier. Just pay attention to your and Emory’s limits (attention span for instance) and you’ll get through it, really you will :).


  12. Wow, look at him go! You should be proud :-)

    Listen, I have a kid the same age with a long-ish attention span (and attends Montessori, where they push that kind of thing yada yada) and NO WAY she could handle a three-hour lesson in anything, particularly in the heat. For the love of god, why do they make it three hours? I think the longest class she’s ever attended (gymnastics) is 45 minutes. Anyway, after 30 minutes in the heat, she’d be begging to go home. After three hours, I don’t know what. Melting down for sure.

    She’s two months from three now and we’re enjoying a nice little phase but I’m not kidding myself–EVERYBODY tells me that three has nothing on two and to brace myself! Good news for you is that it will be over sooner!


  13. Yikes, I was really hoping life at 2 years and 3 years old would be better than the 19-month old hell I’m living in (which is amplified by the fact that I also have a 6 week old). Bummerface.


  14. Welcome Back Mihow :)


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