Hi there! Maureen, I can't believe Joey's in kindergarten! I wish I lived in Minnesota so I could come to your parenting center!
I will agree that age 3 really sucks. My little one will be 4 next month, and for the last few months has been in a really moody, stubborn, instigating mood. Also, she's been having existential crises. Not long ago she was weeping about not knowing where she was before she was born. The other day it was weeping about "I'm scared of dying." I mean, why can't my kids ask things I can answer (or at least find an answer to) like "why is the sky blue?"
My oldest, my challenging kiddo, is still struggling but doing better. We're no longer (knock on wood) dealing with the hour-long rages. She's still got the tic potpourri going on, she's still struggling with anxiety and aggression, and of course the sensory stuff. But it all seems to be getting better, slowly but surely. She's reading like a maniac now in 2nd grade. She's on book 5 of the Harry Potter series, plus she's got other books started too. A real bookworm! Takes after her old mom.
My son started kindergarten, is starting to read, and just lost his first tooth last night!! He's so excited about that! He's working through his existential dying stuff too (talks about it frequently and casually), seems pretty comfortable (at this moment) with death as (a sad) part of life. He loves learning, and I am having a wonderful time learning about things like space/the cosmos with him.
Oooooh, and I am taking a major personal risk too. I'm so shy and socially anxious, and rarely volunteer for any school stuff (fund raising, parent association, etc.) because of it. The school is starting up a Destination Imagination program, and I really wanted the kids to have an opportunity to participate but early on there weren't enough parents volunteering to manage teams for all the kids to participate. So I volunteered, which is really uncomfortable and scary. But so far it's going pretty well! I'm proud of myself, I have to say.
eta that I'm still struggling with my anger too but getting much better overall. I do agree that when it comes to parenting, so much is about us parents learning to deal with our own issues. Which is tough.