3 under 3: 2 of a kind

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  • Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us
    right. She writes about all the challenges she faces, the fun
    times and general ups and downs of having 3 young children.

    ‘When you find out you’re having twins, you get a lot of advice. Some of it interesting – it’s true that they can sleep in the same cot without disturbing each other at all. Some invaluable – when one wakes to feed, wake the other too, or you will be a constant breastmilk tap. And some of it well-meaning but useless. The worse tip I got was to buy two of everything. It wouldn’t matter if I had ten of everything, the twins always have, and always will, want the same one.

    I was enjoying a rare quiet moment yesterday, with M asleep and the twins playing in the playroom. Usually, as soon as M goes to sleep, G and T sense they can have me all to themselves, and refuse to let me out of their sight. But this time, they’d quietly got out their Mega Bloks and were each constructing a ‘birthday cake’. Breathing a deep sigh of relief, I flicked on the kettle… and all hell broke loose.

    ‘Mmmmmuuuuummmmmmmmyyyyyyy, I neeeeeeeed that green one!’ came the cry.
    ‘Nnnnooooooooo! It’s mine!’ was the response.
    The screeching reaching a crescendo, I gave up on my dream of a hot cup of coffee and went in to referee. T was inconsolable, standing arms outstretched, sobs wracking her body. G was curled over, hugging her blocks to her body as though protecting a child from an axe murderer. I waded in…
    ‘I need that one!’ ‘No, I need it!’ ‘I don’t have any green blocks!’ ‘I need this one!’ ‘I can’t play with these ones, I need that one!’
    In order to complete her construction, T apparently required the green block that G had used as a base for hers. On the floor next to them was an identical block, only in purple.
    ‘Oooh, look at this one,’ I cooed. ‘It’s purple. That’s my favourite colour.’
    Nope. ‘Purple’s not my favourite,’ wept T. ‘Green is.’
    ‘I neeeeeed that green one,’ wailed G.
    Then I remembered that there was another green block in the living room. I rushed through and fished about under the sofa, then returned, triumphant. ‘Look! Another green one!’
    T eyed me suspiciously. She turned her look to her blocks, then G’s, then back to me. The bottom lip quivered…
    ‘Nooooooo!’ she sobbed; ‘I need that one!’

    Over the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve learned that in times like these, I just can’t win. I could produce ten identical blocks, each attached to a new toy and smeared with chocolate, but it wouldn’t matter. What matters is winning.

    As far as I’m concerned, children should always come in pairs. Twins have a constant playmate, a best friend for life. But they also have a rival from day one. Well, long before day one actually. During my 20-week scan, one twin could be seen punching the other in the head, and they’ve been fighting for space ever since.

    It’s a fight they’ve been learning from, though. Block disagreements aside, they’re actually very good at sharing and taking turns. There’s a little bit of me that will always be sad that M isn’t a twin. There’s even a nagging little voice in the back of my head telling me I should have another baby. Just one, to even up the numbers. It’d be so little and cute. It’d snuggle into me and love me… Then the girls all start screaming, and the nagging little voice is drowned out as pure survival instinct tells it to shut up and go away. Instead, I hope M’s so close in age that, in time, she’ll become a member of the twins’ little gang too. I love picturing them all sitting in a circle, M with her own little birthday cake, happily building away. I just hope her favourite colour isn’t green.’

    Amy’s other blog posts…

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