The terrible twos, the tyrannical threes, the fearsome fours. Sound familiar? They're cutesy names given to phases in a child's life to illustrate how god damn awful they are when they reach that particular age. Each new phase is worse than the last.
"Oooh terrible twos is nothing! Wait until they reach the tyrannical threes!" Is the type of thing you'll hear when you become a parent. Much like when you're pregnant and mention that you can't sleep - "oooh wait until they're born! Then you'll know what tired REALLY means!"
But do you know a phase I've never heard of? The stage my child is going through now. The one I've had to name myself because it appears that no-one has ever dared to mention it, never mind name it.
The fucking-annoying fives.
I have never IN MY LIFE met a creature who can grind my gears more than my five year old at present.
Do you have a question that you've always pondered the answer to? Is there life after death perhaps! Ask my five year old. He's a little know it all with an answer for everything.
Only yesterday did I get screamed at, full frontal in the face because the number 6 that was in bold black print in front of me WAS NOT A SIXXXXXX! because in my 32 years of life and after gaining a bachelor of science degree, I have not yet grasped the shape of a number 6. Not like my five year old who is working within the early years foundation stage and should have been born with 666 on his head.
Do you ever get the feeling your child isn't listening to you? When they get to the FA Fives they'll make sure you're more than aware they couldn't give a shit about anything you say. They'll talk over you, give a pained expression when you do speak, and then ask you the same question again that you've just spent 30 minutes answering. OR they will do my favourite thing at the minute (NOT) and blatantly place their hands over their ears as you speak.
Maybe you're drinking your way through the terrible two's at present and think you know what it's like for a child to press all of your buttons. Perhaps you do. But a FA Five also knows how to press your buttons. And then some. And never fucking stops. Ever.
I'm pretty sure this is why they have to go to school. I can hardly survive a weekend of this back chatting, shit giving creature. Never mind a full week!
If you're a person who always blames yourself for things then you'll feel right at home when your child reaches five. Because you'll be blamed for EVERYTHING!
You'll be minding your own business in the kitchen when your child screams from the lounge because they tripped over a cushion on the floor that they "Told you to move!" And "You made them trip!"
Actually YOU told THEM to move it but they were too busy putting their hands over their ears and telling you it wasn't a cushion. It was a rock, and their only chance of survival in all this imaginary lava that was flooding the entire lounge.
So if the rumour is true, that each stage is worse than the last (and so far I'm kind of convinced), then who knows what the sixes will be like! And god help me when we reach the puberty stage. One can only imagine the grief.
So far, the only thing in common that each stage has, is that they continue to look like angels when they sleep. And you continue to feel guilty for your reactions to them through the day. And you continue to promise that tomorrow you will be more tolerant.