Monday, February 22, 2010

Three's Company? I don't think so..

I always thought having twins would be a really wonderful, exciting experience. Even before seeing their two little heartbeats on the monitor, I somehow "knew" that I would have twins. Of course, I didn't share this knowledge with Ruanita. I am guessing that would not have gone over well. I, however, thought twins would be a complete and absolute joy. In many ways, they HAVE been a joy. Aside from the mind-numbing sleep deprivation, double diaper duty, the outrageously expensive preemie formula, and the fun of hearing toddler tantrums in stereo...they have been great! I cannot imagine my life if I had only one of them. I wouldn't want to live in a world without Nicky's sweet (peculiar) little quirks or Sophie's sass and attitude.

One thing I did not bargain for, however, is what I call the "third child phenomenon." I was always told that twins are great because they have a built-in playmate for life. I imagine that would be true if a person only had twins. I have a third child though, which totally destroys all chances at harmonious play. I third child introduces conflict to the utopian twin camaraderie. Two children play wonderfully together. Three children do not. Children naturally pair up. One child always gets left out. In my house, the left out child is often Nicholas, but it does rotate occasionally. Though I hate to see little Nicky being left out, he can usually entertain himself by coloring or doing puzzles. He excels at independent play. However, I cringe at the thought of Lucas or Sophie being the left out child. They seem to be incapable of independent play. No, they follow me from room to room begging me to play with them...or even worse, loudly lamenting the utter unfairness of the situation. They do not hesitate to loudly voice their outrage about being left out. I've tried getting involved and forcing the other children to play with the "reject" child. This just causes additional tension and turmoil. The reject child then becomes a target of his or her siblings' anger at mommy. It is better to let them work it out themselves. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, I end up having to play with the dejected child. Oh, how I hate playing Bionicles! And princess tea parties are only moderately more bearable.

For those of you still in the midst of creating your families, I have a word of advice...have your children in even numbers. Odd numbers only create conflict. And absolutely avoid prime numbers at all costs! I think the only way to resolve my own dilemma is to have a fourth child. However, Ruanita is strangely opposed to having a fourth child for this purpose. As a matter of fact, any time I have even hinted at a maternal longing for a fourth child, she has responded with a firm and resounding "Hell no!" Considering she was planning on two and got three, I can see where she is coming from. So I am left with three bickering babes...three jostling juveniles...three combative cubs...three dueling darlings (alliteration is fun, huh?). Two's company. Three's definitely a crowd.


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