For my three children, the terrible twos were a nonevent. I was expecting the worst with my oldest, but never saw it. Now three is a different story.
At 2 years old a child can be subdued by moving them physically away from whatever it is that they are touching/hitting/messing with. Three year olds on the other hand are feisty and strong and cannot be moved as easily. My middle daughter would arch her back and cause me to bend over in an awkward way if I tried to move her at three. My youngest two were big and tall for their ages — I have more than once taken a head to my teeth from a flailing 3-year-old.
Three is the age when my children fought everything…bathtime, mealtime, timeout, going out to the car, getting buckled in to the carseat. Everything was a struggle. Phew! I was exhausted and grateful for the 2.5 hours each spent at preschool several days a week. Roll on Mommy MeTime.