Three Going On Thirteen… Dealing with Toddler Attitude


“I can do it myself!” That quote pretty much sums up nanny life when your child turns three. The attitude reaches new levels of rage and pitch. Let me tell you, the shriek of a toddler is eardrum shattering. My God, the sound! I am honestly shocked that windows haven’t shattered due to the high frequency. Because she couldn’t put her Cinderella dress on correctly the first time, she is screaming like someone ripped off her left arm. Then once the dress is on, she is a completely pleasant little human. Jekyll and Hyde- the toddler version. It is terrifying.

            Little Miss Sass Pants is a persona I do not much enjoy. The hands on the hips and the simple eye glare are enough to make my skin crawl. I always tell them, “Use your powers for good, not evil”. They are so bright and know just what to say. This equates to raising two lawyers and/or politicians. The arguments over what I said or how I said it. They sight precedent for goodness sakes! “No, Miss Marie…. You let us play in the water at the Children’s Museum before!” That may be true, but sometimes I don’t feel like lugging extra clothes, towels, water shoes just so they can play in the water for 5 minutes until they come running to me complaining the are “Freeeeeeeeezinggggg”.

            Playing with others is like The Hunger Games. Toys are a precious commodity. It is as if kids have this sixth sense when someone else is trying to play with their favorite toy. An alarm goes off in their heads and they lose control. Their arms flail about, they scream, they run so fast I think they’ll Kool Aid Man through a wall. No one is allowed to enjoy said toy without permission. Therefore, a fight ensues and the toy is either used as a weapon or it’s thrown across the room. If it survives, the fight continues. If it breaks, well it can go one of two ways… they forget about it and call a truce. Or they scream, cry and use the blame game.

Oh well…. I love these kids. If that means I have to deal with extreme emotions every once in a while, it’s worth it. I won’t be in charge when they’re actually teenagers. That’s all you, parents!


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Marie, a native of Pittsburgh, is a career Nanny with over a decade of experience. She been with her current nanny family for nearly 8 years in Fox Chapel. She is also a Pre-K teacher at a local preschool. Her podcast, sheNANNYgans is heard in 40 countries! She is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Writing. She is 36 and currently resides in Shaler. Marie spends her days creating various activities for her nanny kids and students. Activities range from messy crafts to educational games. She feels very passionately that children learn best through play. She loves being silly with her nanny kids and students! She appreciates every day knowing she has the greatest job(s) in the world! She makes a point to explore the city of Pittsburgh with her nanny kids and utilize its wonderful resources. Throughout the year, she will travel to museums, landmarks, playgrounds, and tourist attractions. She feels the kids should know and appreciate where they live. Plus, Pittsburgh is an amazing city with a complex history and continual metamorphosis. Marie is Dog Mom to her corgi, Butters. She loves coffee, The Simpsons, and jamming to early 2000s pop music. She is a proud auntie to her adorable 5 year old niece and 2 year old nephew. She may not have any children of her own, however, she has many “nieces and nephews” now that her friends are having children.