More CAN Necessarily Mean Better

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Categories Development, Toddlers

Around the time my boy/girl twins were sitting up, we started looking for toys for them to play with. Nothing fancy, and nothing expensive. In fact, the majority of our acquisitions come from mothers of multiples garage sales, Craigslist, or the classified section of our neighborhood parent group forum.

A friend offered for me to have a preview of the items she’d be selling and what I noticed was several toys that had their own identical twin. What a waste, I thought! I asked if I could buy just one of them and she said that was fine, but that I might consider buying two of the same for some items, said with a knowing side glance, brow raised. Her twin girls were 19 months at the time.

Nonsense, I thought. Economies of scale, people. An opportunity to teach about taking turns and sharing. When mine are that age, they’ll be models of civility and be equitable in their play, calm music in the background, and happy birds frolicking in the trees. Chirp, chirp, chirp.

When the kids were 11 months, I indulged in the purchase of one of those cute little toddler cell phones (in an effort to keep my son away from my blackberry). Ten bucks, I thought. No biggie. But boy was it ever! BECAUSE I ONLY BOUGHT ONE. Of course, after we purchased a second one, our mistake was that they were different colors.
NOW the problem was that one was blue and the other was orange. Whoever had blue wanted orange, and whoever had orange wanted orange. Or the other way around.


We don’t have too much repetition, but they do have their own small ball, their own travel suitcase (a lunch tote with a handle) for their toys, their own cell phone, their own ride-on toy (birthday gifts from friends and family), sunglasses, and their own keys.

Hear me well: it is sometimes worth it to obtain two of the same item. Slight variations are acceptable, but good luck with that. And no need to double the item for every toy or object. When strategically selected, though, it can buy you an extra five or ten minutes of peace and maybe even a little quiet. To me? That’s worth the premium at this age.

What about you? Have you managed to refrain from owning duplicate toys/activities? Do you have two of anything? If so, what made you decide to get more than one?


Rachel is a mom of 15 month old boy/girl twins. You can read more about their adventures on her blog.

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11 thoughts on “More CAN Necessarily Mean Better”

  1. Oh no…. I am not looking forward to buying 2. I am just getting used to having 1 of all the funky plastic toys around let alone two! I understand buying two of somethings will probablly be necessary, but right now I am having the same day dreams of kind sharing all around. Who knows…. it could happen, right?!?
    .-= Vicky @ thecitycradle´s last blog ..Plastic-topia =-.

  2. It all depends on the toy. When I bought my girls play cell phones for their birthday I bought four because I had already witnessed them fight relentlessly over a friend’s “phone.” But we only have two Aquadoodle mats (4 pens of course) and 2 Magnadoodles. Do they all want to play at the same time… some times, but for bigger items I’m not willing to buy 4. Sometimes buying 4 (or 2 or however many you need) doesn’t even help. We have 4 matching Dora chairs and inevitably I hear this “Mommy, she’s sitting in my chair.”
    .-= Quadmama´s last blog ..Raising Multiples: A Pain in the…. =-.

  3. Haha. This is my life.

    Having learned something over the past 2+ years, we now buy two of something. Preferably exactly the same and in the same color (the fight over the one pink sippy cup is neverending. Seriously.). Of course, then one of them decides they want TWO [shopping carts, phones, cars etc…] and it all starts over again.

  4. My boys have done pretty well with the sharing. They are 27 months and we don’t have very many duplicates and those are mostly on smaller items. We have had to break up some fights, but mostly they do fine.
    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..Chatterbox =-.

  5. We make do with just one of most toys (my boys are 25 months) But we MUST have duplicate foods such as snacks. Twin A must have identical bag of pretzels to Twin B, or all heck breaks loose.
    They do both like a specific puzzle we have, and the only way to handle this is one plays with it IN HIS CRIB to protect from the other one grabbing pieces. So I do need to buy a duplicate of some favorite puzzles, for example, but my shopping time is zero so we are making do. I did buy TWO identical Go Go Diego balls and that has saved lots of fights.

  6. We don’t have two of anything more, at age 3. Turn-taking, sharing and playing together is working well for us. I think this is another area in which every child and every set of multiples is different.

    What my girls DO fight over is who gets to sit in the car seat on the passenger side. Why that’s better, I don’t know.
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Weekend observations =-.

  7. We have two of the exact-same-in-every-way Chicco ride on train toys (birthday gifts) and they still both fight over one of them. Go figure…

  8. This is the very reason my daughter’s baby doll stroller has been in the closet since the day we bought it. I will need to purchase another so my son can push the babies too, oh and a baby for him. :)
    .-= Staci ´s last blog ..Silent Sunday =-.

  9. My girls are 4. For a long time they didn’t care and were good about sharing and taking turns. While they still are good at that, and we practice it often, they also have VERY similar interests and like to play together most of the time. Therefore, in the last year or so, we started buying two of some things. It doesn’t always work. My parents bought two sit-n-spins and the girls never really cared for them. But we have to have two grocery carts and two cash registers (but only one kitchen set). We have enough blocks that two can play happily, one train set, etc. It usually depends on the size and how easy it is for two kids to play with it at the same time. Usually we get one, and if the girls both love it, we get another (and try for the exact same. Then we put their initials on it so they know whose is whose). This system has worked really well for us. It is a little bit more stuff than we would like, since we have two of several items, but it keeps things peaceful and I think it’s good for the girls to have things that are their own, that they don’t always have to share. Since they have one or two items that belong to them, they are much more willing to share everything else.

  10. oh yes. i remember going to a talk at my triplet mom group about discipline, when the boys were about 6 months old. the speaker said the best thing to do was to get three of everything. “nonsense!” i thought. “my boys will learn to share!”

    HA! yeah right. now i know it’s necessary for some toys. not all, but some. like elmo.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..20 months! And a ton of pictures. =-.

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