Drawing the Battle Lines

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Categories Behavior, FamilyTags

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.

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7 thoughts on “Drawing the Battle Lines”

  1. Oh goodness, you are describing my house the last year! The boys are into everything. I gave up on “no” and toddler-proofed the heck out of everything!

  2. This must be a boy thing. My 13 month old twins are into EVERYTHING. They recently got a hold of the bottom slat of some wood blinds which are hardware installed on a door (so I can’t roll them up out of reach) and snapped off part of one slat. Gleefully moving on to the only cords in the room which I’ve blocked with pillows & boxes only to have them figure out where and how to dig through to the forbidden items. They are always moving, always working as a team. My husband won’t admit that we need more toddler-proofing, he is on another planet.

  3. LOL. This is too funny. Neither of my kids are particularly responsive to the word no–maybe it’s a twin thing? We have babyproofed fairly well in the kitchen and playroom, but it means I usually don’t use the oven when we’re in there and only have the dishwasher open when they’re in their highchairs. And, cat food has been ingested on at least two occasions. Danny won’t eat string cheese, but cat food…..yum.

  4. LOL definitely a twin thing. My b/g twins didn’t really respond to “no” either…(and sometimes still give us that SMILE before doing it anyway now at age 3.5).

    We have gates everywhere. Instead of gating off an area FOR them, we gate areas they’re not supposed to get to (superyard pieces around the TVs, the fish tank, and the A/C in their room). There are gates to the kitchen that are only open when we’re in the kitchen and not using the stove.

    Rebecca – Logan (10 months) goes after the cat food too. He makes a face at milk, but not at the cat food – what’s up with that? 😛

  5. my two boys do exactly the same thing. the grin, the determination to do it, the lust for the steak knives and sharp adult forks. it has to be a boy thing. our latest is the hurling themselves off of sofas, and the desire to walk off the sidewalk into the street. arg.

  6. Oh my goodness – memories of last year ! And I don’t think it’s just a boy thing – I have fraternal boy/girl and that was our house. I’m pretty sure my daughter was the instigator in most things as Cody was taller and bigger and stronger so she would give him some kind of signal. I know they had a total tag team system going on !

    The clincher was when Cody actually managed to open the spring loaded oven door and crawl in !!!!!!! I almost had a heart attack and called hubby to bring home 2 more baby gates. We had baby gates up on each end of the kitchen for over a year – it just had to be a no-twin zone. They got into everything , cans thrown on the floor, every pot dragged out, opened the sugar and sat on the floor happily eating it out of the bag, you name it !

    It was at this stage too where Cody would climb out of his crib at naptime and proceed to empty every single item of clothing from every drawer and throw them into Amy’s crib. Poor kid would be sitting there buried in clothes on a daily basis. I pretty much gave up on putting away laundry until that stage was over.

    Thank goodness that each stage is exactly that – a stage – and then they move on to greater challenges !

    Keep your sense of humor!

  7. It is not just a boy thing. I could have written this exact post myself about my two girls. The dog bowls, the kitchen drawers, dishwasher, oven. They are too fast and as one is being redirected the other is into the same trouble. And for the word “NO” I get big grins and laughter. My niece (same age) cries when you tell her “no” and moves on. So not fair.

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