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.