So this is what they mean!

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Categories Behavior, Development, Preschoolers

When the boys were newborns, one of the things I hated to hear from twin moms with older twins was how much things get easier when they start playing together. I would ask when that was and they would say, “Oh, close to 3.” Peoples, if you come upon a mom of newborn twins, NEVER tell them things get so much easier THREE YEARS in the future.

But seriously, they were right. It’s as if some switch has been flipped in our house. Nate and Alex, who turn 3 next month, spend countless hours playing together with minimal interference. They talk and laugh and play. They also fight, but they’re getting better about working it out themselves. And they’re old enough now to know if they choose to solve their problems with physical violence, they go to timeout.

It really hit home this weekend when Nate helped Alex. My husband and I had gone out for a date, and the boys were completely fine with us leaving. When they went to bed, Alex started crying for us. The sitter said she walked upstairs to comfort Alex but by the time she got there, Nate had already comforted Alex and calmed him down just by talking to him.

Lightbulb moment: instead of two kids making each other crazy, I’m starting to see glimpses of two kids being brothers to each other. And they’re not even three.

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14 thoughts on “So this is what they mean!”

  1. Too funny… I’ve been complaining about the “terrible three’s” lately. But you’re right… at three they start becoming “people” and have more awareness of how their actions affect others. My favorite part of this age is watching their imaginary play. My girls do such a good job of “changing” their babies and feeding them, etc. They comfort one another when they’re sick or hurt, too. I think my only frustration at this age has been the independence they want to have and they way they go about trying to assert it.

  2. Such a great little story! Isn’t it great to see them take care of each other? My favorite is when mine comfort each other…after smacking each other around!

  3. Hip Hip, Hooray!

    Though, I agree. Don’t tell someone it gets better several YEARS into the future. I was in the grocery store with my 20-month-olds (who were behaving just fine, I might add) and a woman with school-age twins assured me that it gets better at age SIX. SIX?!?! Are you friggin kidding me, lady?

  4. This is an encouragement! Mine are almost 10 months so we have a LOOOONG way to go. Though I’m looking forward to the far future, it seems like every few weeks SOMETHING gets easier about having twins.

  5. I’m so touched to hear this; I think their companionship is probably the thing I will enjoy most with my boys. I know there will be fighting (and biting! O.O), but even at 8.5 months, Nate and Jack will look at each other and smile and LAUGH hysterically! So sweet and very gratifying!

  6. I hate when people tell me “it gets better” at all! Do I look like death warmed over? I am doing fine! My babies are great! Do you mean better like gumdrops will fall from the sky and I will win the lottery? ‘Cause that would be awesome.

  7. Mine didn’t start to really be siblings to each other and get along until closer to 4 years old. I’ve noticed moments when they interact with each other as play mates now, instead of rivals. The moments may be far between but especially with the nice weather we’ve been having my kids are playing together outside AND *hurray!* they’re starting to actually entertain each other!

  8. What a great story and a good reminder that having 2 will have it’s advantages!

    Being a mom of newborn twins, I thoroughly agree with the advice to not encourage us by saying it will get easier in 3 years. Although, the other day I meet a twin mom of toddlers who said, “this (having newborns) is the easy part… it only gets harder from here”. Her toddlers were fighting, screaming and VERY hard. That really wasn’t very encouraging to me either. I think I would have rather heard it gets easier in 3 years!

  9. I was having the kind of day where this post was very much needed—glad to hear they do eventually play together! Enjoy the time….

  10. funny, just yesterday i had a moment of realization like this.

    the boys have been obsessed with their sand box and have been playing for hours outside. i keep trying to rationalize/realize that their play time together is such a good thing, but i also feel a little sad that they do not need me as much.

    they grow and so do we, all the time.

  11. I think I’ve shared this before but it’s worth sharing again to push your point home:

    Hubby and I were walking out of the pedi’s office fresh from our first visit out of the hospital. The girls were 11 days old. We hadn’t slept AT ALL since getting home from the hospital 7 days earlier. It was just beginning to dawn on us that perhaps we were in for weeks – or maybe even months – of sleepless nights. We had our first glimpse of newborn twin hell and we weren’t liking it one bit. I had daily conversations with my Mom begging her to take the kids for a few months – that I didn’t think I could handle it.

    We were almost at the car – toting two car seats – when a big SUV pulled up and a very happy woman yelled from the driver’s seat:
    “Are they twins???? How old???”
    I replied “Yes. Twin girls. 11 days old.”

    I must have looked like I was ready to kill myself because she gave me this sympathetic smile and said:

    “Don’t worry sweetie, it gets really great when they’re three!” And then she drove away. I just stood there with my jaw dropped, looked at my hubby and burst into tears. THREE YEARS????? At that point I wasn’t even sure I would make it through THREE WEEEKS!

    So -I second Laura’s advice. If you are a more seasoned Mother of Twins and come across a poor, sleep deprived parent of newborn twins do NOT tell them that their lives will be better in THREE YEARS!!!! LOL!

    That being said….I agree with Laura. She was totally right. The girls will be three in October and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. They play fairly well together and I am starting to look at them as being sisters that really love each other. It’s amazing and a blessing to watch.

    Thanks Laura! Great post!!!!

  12. I think that one of the things to remember is that multiples are definitely difficult but having a single child can be too. I see that my friends who have one child spend a lot more time trying to entertain him/her. One of the big things I appreciate about having twins is that I think they socialized sooner than the other kids in their preschool. They share and take turns much better and I think they’re a lot more independent. I don’t think they’ve really realized they can use each other for comfort but my daughter is very self sustaining neither really ever cried/cries when they get dropped off at school.

    It’s the little things that I try to remember when I’m totally frazzled!

  13. just the thought of this being a possibility in the somewhat near future has brought tears to my eyes. tears of joy and hope. of which we have little these days. anyone heard of the terrible 1-and-a-halfs?!

  14. I met a MOT last night with 8-week-olds, and she seemed pretty frazzled. She asked me when it got better. I said at 3-4 months, and even that almost made her cry. I definitely wasn’t going to get into how hard 20-month-olds are. :-)

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