Troublesome Threes

My grown-up guy
Photo by Kay Kauffman

When I was growing up, my aunt used to babysit.  She watched a little boy who had the same name as my cousin, right down to the middle name, so my cousin became Big D. and the boy my aunt watched became Little D.  That kid is now in his early twenties and, last I saw him, taller than me, but he’ll always be Little D. to me.

Anyway, my aunt watched this kid when he was a toddler, and I remember her talking about the terrible twos and the troublesome threes.  I didn’t really understand what she meant at the time and since I was a kid myself, I didn’t really care, either.  Now, though, I know exactly what she meant and boy, do I care!  As I recall, Tomcat’s twos weren’t overly terrible, though Cricket’s twos have thus far fit that bill, but boy, were his threes ever troublesome!  I suspect Cricket’s may be the same way, but I’m hoping they won’t.

When Tomcat was three, our lives were in a state of upheaval.  Actually, our lives had been in a state of upheaval for the duration of his life up till that point, if I’m really being honest about it, but things came to a head that year and it showed in his behavior.  That was the year that his dad and I divorced.  It was a trying time for everyone and his threes were more trouble than I knew what to do with.  Hopefully when Cricket hits the troublesome threes, he’ll give me an easier time.

But Mom, she’s a girl! Do I really have to stand next to her?
Photo by Kay Kauffman

Three was also the year that my Tomcat served as ring bearer for the first time.  When his aunt and uncle were married, they asked him to be the ring bearer and they asked a friend’s daughter to be the flower girl.  When Tomcat was little, he was painfully shy.  Although he went to daycare (he spent 40 hours a week there, but he wouldn’t associate with the kids from Sandi’s outside of her house), he didn’t start attending until he was two.  We lived in the country at the time and he had no other kids at home to play with, so he wasn’t very socialized.  I remember once I took him to a football game.  A girl from daycare came up and gave him a hug and he burst into tears.  I found the whole thing kind of hilarious because he probably spent more time a week with that little girl than he spent with me, but you’d have thought the devil himself was after him.

Anyway, knowing how shy Tomcat was, when they asked him to be their ring bearer, I wondered exactly how well it would work out.  Not only did he not know the flower girl, but if I remember correctly, she was the outgoing type.  I was excited for him, though, and tried to get him excited about being a ring bearer.  Tomcat adores his uncle, so it didn’t take much to get him excited.  But when the big day came, there were tears.

Daddy’s boy
Photo by Kay Kauffman

Okay, okay, some of the tears were mine.  He looked so grown up in his little tux!  I couldn’t get over how big he looked.  But then we went upstairs to the sanctuary and as the service was about to start…Tomcat didn’t want to walk down the aisle with the flower girl.  I think he would rather have been anywhere but standing next to that little girl.  In the end, he agreed to walk down the aisle on the condition that his dad walked with him and held his hand.

What really happened?  His dad half carried, half dragged him down the aisle.

The threes are trouble, I’m tellin’ ya.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

10 thoughts on “Troublesome Threes

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      He’s been a ring bearer three times since then and each time went off perfectly, but he’s a much different kid now than he was at three. He was the ring bearer when I remarried as well as when his dad remarried, and he served as ring bearer for my sister, too. Each time, he did a great job. But when I remarried (his second time as ring bearer), he was five, and those extra two years made a big difference in his personality. Plus, the flower girl was his step-sister, not a stranger. Maybe three is just too young to be ring bearer, but boy, was he cute! 🙂


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