I first heard someone refer to my twins as “double trouble” when I was still pregnant with Tiny and Buba. And it seemed that every time I pushed my sweet, little babies in the double stroller through the grocery store (yes, pulling the cart behind me) I’d hear that comment, “You’ve got double trouble!” at least two or three times.
But even when I was getting up many, many times a night to attend to my newborns’ cries, I never thought that they were double trouble. They were just babies, after all. And when Buba and Tiny started crawling and walking and getting into anything and everything they could, they still weren’t double trouble in my mind. Just curious little babies reminding me of the areas that I still needed to babyproof. At age two, the tantrums began, but my kids were kind enough to take turns tantruming, so I only ever dealt with one temper tantrum at a time. Frustrating and annoying? Yes. But still not quite double trouble.
Age three, however, has been a whole different ballgame. When Buba and Tiny are playing together, there is a lot of calculated toy snatching going on- often resulting in pushing and hitting from both sides and lots and lots of screaming and crying. We were once at a point where Tiny or Buba would do something naughty, but would stop the behavior when told to do so (A “That’s one” from 1-2-3 Magic was pretty much all it took). Now, not only does the offender often not stop, but the other one usually joins in using the excuse, “But s/he’s doing it!” as they both laugh their heads off (making my blood boil). And when I hear Buba call out, “Hey, Tiny! Want to go be naughty?” I know that nothing good is about to happen.
This time last year, my kids were tough as nails. But now, every little fall, every little scraped brings on major tears and dramatic crying. And to make matters worse, the kid who didn’t get a scrape, pretends to fall and get one so s/he can cry and get kisses for his/her pretend owie too. And then there’s the whining. Oh, the whining! It’s just non-stop!
From talking with other moms, I know that this is just what age three seems to be all about. Hubby and I are firm and consistent with our disciple approach (meaning some days there are lots, and lots of time outs and double time outs), and that seems to be just about all we can do until this not-so-fun stage passes. And don’t get me wrong, we do have some good days moments that remind me what sweet, funny, and caring children we have. But there are now plenty of moments where I look at my kids and think, “Uh-oh. I’ve got double trouble.”