Mar 19, 2007
Interaction, Play, and Brotherly Love
According to our boys’ lifebook (prepared by Ethiopian care center staff), the triplets sometimes hold hands “to show their solidarity”. We have it on film. In Ethiopia the boys slept in the same crib for much of their 3.5 month stay.
These days they're too big to share cribs. Tsega's relatively larger and MUCH stronger and will grab and thrash about the nearest object (animate or inanimate) when he's tired and mad. Bereket and Sira can sometimes still share a bed but a stray hand is deemed highly offensive on top of a cranky baby's head.
The identical brothers, Bereket and Sira, seemed tuned-in to one another from the beginning. I’ve always put them on the floor facing each other with toys in between and they stay happy for long periods like this. I've heard one start to coo out of a nap while the other seems to answer back in the same coo at the other end of the room. People say babies only co-play, but I think there's more than mere side-by-side interaction with these triplets. They share laughs and smiles, pass "binkies" and toys back and forth (suffice it to say they share gobs of saliva), grab each other, and sometimes make the other cry.
When we first got home from Ethiopia, Tsega needed mom or dad to hold him what seemed like all the time; yes, perhaps at the expense of Bereket's and Sira's bonding time, but Tsega had higher needs back then than the other two. He was unhappy playing on the floor for long periods. He didn't seem to even notice his brothers existed.
After a couple of months home Tsega blossomed socially into a happy baby. Now and then he would stop his play on the floor and look over at his brothers with a big smile as if he was seeing them for the first time; as if he was thinking, who are these cute babies? Now he loves to observe his brothers and grab toys out of their hands and they don't seem to mind (but don't try this with Tsega especially if he is playing with a spoon or a bowl of baby food). The past week he has started leaning in towards one brother for a big hug while open mouth kissing the top of his head. Ahhhhhh. . .
Tsega loves posing for mama and her camera. He looks up and smiles everytime I call "Tsega!".
Now I face all the boys together for play with several toys in the center and around each baby as they entertain and play together. This is the greatest part of rearing multiples by the way, and gives mama and papa much needed breathing time. Of course the babies don't stay in one place for long.
Maybe you are wondering if one triplet cries, do they all follow. Happily, the answer in our case is no. In fact, one rarely wakes the other with crying. But if they see me preparing bottles, cover your ears!