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Robert Italia
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Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy

Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy - Louise Bates Ames, Frances L. Ilg, Carol C. Haber If you’re reading this book, it’s clearly because you have a 3.5-year-old. A parent of a 3-year-old would not need such a book because 3-year-olds are perfect angels. Add on another 6 months, and you’ve got a monster child on your hands. Never fear. This book is here to help.

The first thing you must realize, dear mother, is that you are the problem. The child only acts like a monster around you because you actually care about your child and they can sense this. Thus, the first step is to remove yourself from the picture as much as possible. Your best bet is to pour yourself another margarita and hire a babysitter for the next six months. The best sort of babysitter is a young teenager that the child can sense doesn’t give a damn about whether the child lives or dies. You’ll certainly not want to take your little terror to the grocery store with you. Lacking a babysitter, it’s best to come to an agreement with other neighborhood mothers of monster 3.5-year-old children to alternate going to the store with looking after a house full of neighborhood hooligan preschoolers.

During the day, distraction is your best friend. You’ll need to plan to either sit them down with a box of cookies or sit them down in front of the television for as many hours as they can tolerate.

Some mothers are foolish enough to think it’s possible to sit down to eat a meal with their monster child. This is a bad idea, as it may incur the wrath of an angry father who demands a side of silence and civility with his meat and potatoes. Thus, preschoolers should be served their meals earlier than and separate from the rest of the family. You should sit the child down, plop the plate in front of the child monster, say “there it is,” and run far away from the child and the dining area just as you would from a wild animal devouring fresh prey.

Potty training may also be approached from the viewpoint of the child as an animal. You should put down fresh newspaper in your bathroom and have the unpottytrained monster child poop and pee in the corner of the bathroom because, at this stage in their development, it’s hopeless to think you could get them to use a toilet.

There’s a nice little song that you can you can teach your 3.5-year-old. It goes something like this:
I can’t wait until I’m four.
Then I won’t be a monster any more.
No more tantrums on the floor.
No more putting mommy through the door.
But while I’m 3.5
And we're living in 1985
You’re lucky you’re still alive.
So don't give me no more jive.

The end.