Having two three-year-olds is kind of like living with capuchins; or at least I assume it is. There is a lot of noise, constant chatter, leaping off furniture, shrill shrieking, banana peels all over the place, and once in a while a little poop flinging.
But between the hugs and the tantrums, the cuddles and the meltdowns, these littles have taught me a thing or two.
1. No matter how “unbreakable” the claims on the toy or dishware are, everything is breakable. And they can prove it.
2. “Child-proof” just means it might take them a little longer to figure it out. It should instead say, “child-puzzle.” Slap on a label that says it “encourages hand-eye coordination, motor dexterity and reinforces visual-recognition skills” and you’ll have the latest best seller.
3. “The Grass Is Always Greener” also applies to identical things. Have two matching cups? One of them is “better,” and both want it. What about a scooter? Nope, they want that one and refuse to ride the identical one. And no, you’ll never figure out why.
4. Memory is selective, even at three. They might not remember to put their clothes in the hamper every day, but they can remember who got to push the elevator button eleven days ago.
5. Having the “wrong” shirt is absolutely worthy of a tantrum. And offering one of the other seven Mickey shirts is just insulting. Don’t do it.
6. No matter how tired they are, there will be no sleeping until they drag the current favorite toys into bed. The fact that it’s a three-foot-long plastic fire engine or a huge stuffed pony is no matter.
7. Going first is more important than air. Whether it’s getting to pour the cereal first, brushing teeth first, or turning the doorknob first, it all matters. Greatly.
8. Being together is exhausting, but being apart is unbearable. They will never grow tired of each other; until they do. And then they need their time apart; until they don’t. Then they need each other again. You caught up yet?
9. They have their favorites and everyone knows it. This is his favorite book and this is hers. This is her favorite toy, and this is his. And depending on their moods, they can use this knowledge for good or evil; their choice.
10. They fight and defend. They can fight like lions, but if someone else attacks they will defend with vigor. “She’s only mine to fight with!” All’s fair in love and war, especially with three-year-olds.