Lately, we have had to approach childproofing like a military special-ops team. We spend a lot of time trying to outsmart the “enemy”. But this is not an enemy we are familiar with.
No, our old foe was one single little girl who was shockingly responsive to the word “no” right from day one. Even during my twin pregnancy when I was on bed rest, I could be alone in the house with her and keep her out of harm’s way. How? I just said “no” and she would simply move on to something else.
Now we are up against something totally new: twin boys. Small, quick, determined, and with their own secret language. When left alone in the house with them, you are out-numbered. And they know that. They see the word “no” as a challenge. An invitation to do the forbidden activity faster and from two different directions.
Our first taste came with the flat-screen TV. Even when it is not on – which most of the time if they are in the room – they were drawn to it like moths to a flame. And it went something like this:
Aaron: [beelines to TV. Stands up]
Me: Aaron, no.
Aaron: [turns to me, SMILES, and turns back to the TV]
Me: Aaron, no, no, no.
Aaron: [hysterical laughter, palm raised to smack the TV]
Me: [sprinting. Scoop up child] No, Aaron. No TV
Meanwhile, Brady: [full speed ahead to TV and is now beating on it like a drum
The kitchen is another battleground. My favorite is the race to the dog bowls. We only put the dog bowls down when the boys are confined (i.e. at dinner time when they are in their highchairs or during naps). Occasionally we forget to scoop the bowls back up once the boys are set free again. The boys seem to have a sixth sense about the presence of the bowls. They will go around the dining room table – in opposite directions – to get to them. Ditto that for the open dishwasher. The snack drawer. The OVEN door.
Is it intuition or is there some twin-talk happening that we don’t understand? How do they just know how to conspire with each other to drive their parents to madness? Surely we couldn’t have taught them this lesson. But yet, they’ve managed to figure it out in their short 12 months on this Earth.
I can’t wait until their new little brother arrives. It will be a battle to see who can recruit him first – will the twins get him to be part of their little troublemaking gang? Or can big sister convince him to play on the “sit quietly and read nicely” team. I’m guessing, he’ll be off doing the twins dirty-work just as soon as he is mobile.