I am midway through the year of the threenager and have had some time now to reflect on both sexes at the age of three.
Having boy/girl twins is pretty special, and at times I am reminded that the terrible two's never visited our home, but hell hath no fury like TWO three-year-old children. Please sit back, enjoy your cold coffee and empty lunch plate. Enjoy realising you are not alone thus far with your toddlers, and then realise you now have the following to look forward to once the lovely age of three is upon you and threenagers enter the household.
1. I hinted there in my intro about cold tea and coffee, this does not change. Actually start saving for a new microwave quick, because the brand new microwave we bought when the twins were born has now been thrown out for a new model. I blame the short life cycle purely on the volume of tea and coffee reheats it has endured.
2. If your three-year-old is going through a phase of not eating, all you have to do is fill up your lunch plate with what you actually want them to eat. Serve their lunch as a decoy and sit back and clap yourself on the back, when your lunch is suddenly whipped from your plate and into your child's mouth.
3. Three-year-old twins can literally be best friends one minute and sworn enemies as quick as it takes you to run down the stairs, nearly killing yourself in the process to break up the latest battle.
4. In the same breath, do not underestimate the bond between the siblings who were re-enacting WWF moments earlier. As soon as Mammy becomes referee they will tag-team, reaffirming their closeness, leaving you somehow in the wrong for daring to restore peace.
5. The Wonder weeks app may be long gone but be prepared for a few stormy clouds that come the morning after their third birthday.
6. Toilet training has more than likely happened at this stage, however, be prepared to be caught out just when you are feeling smug that your kids have got this. Let's just say I was thankful the seats in a restaurant were plastic on one of our first days out sans nappies.
7. Reasoning is a word that is not in a threenagers vocabulary. Throw trying to reason with three-year-old twins into the mix, when they are insistent they are indeed right and the way home is the opposite direction to where you are going.
7. Did you think getting your baby into their car seat was hard? Did you then decide nothing could beat putting a ramrod straight two-year-old into their car seat? Think again, you obviously have not met your three-year-old yet. They like to climb into their seat themselves. Not only that but they will somehow end up in the driver's seat and attempt to lock Mammy out of the car whilst you lunge yourself at the ankles of the other twin who is trying to clamber across the back to their sibling's side.
8. Bedtime. Remember fondly how your little babies bedtime was set in stone and the routine was followed to perfection. Your three-year-old forgets the agenda every night. They are like a latecomer to a meeting! They struggle to get settled quickly into their seat aka bed, they need water and toast. Then they need another quick trip to the loo despite only going ten minutes earlier. They insist on one more story after the last one more story. I could go on here....
9. Hell hath no fury like a threenager who does not get to wear the outfit they decide they would like to wear. It does not matter that storm X is raging outside, sandals are of course the perfect shoe of choice accompanied by a Belle dress and Spiderman costume, both looks which cannot be layered with a jacket for fear people would not realise they are indeed a fantasy princess and superhero.
And whilst three-year-olds are not without their challenges, there really is nothing more special than engaging in chat and banter with them. They laugh at your jokes, they tell their own. Their little personalities are developing rapidly and it truly is a magical age to watch them find their own identities and voice opinions of their own making. They can make this age hard at times but as always there is lots of love and laughter and when they tell you they love you, you know they understand now what they are saying and that makes it all the more special.
Here's to the fabulous fours coming mid Summertime!