Apr 28, 2008
More than Triple the Trouble
As Nature intended, most siblings fight and rival with each other. Space isn't something easily shared between human beings. Not that other animal species always aggregate lovingly, except herd animals; but even herd animals can erode and degrade their habitats to death when contained in restricted spaces for too long with too many numbers. I mean, it's not exactly like us adults share a common bed without a good fight (or more of a good nagging in our house).
In a two-sibling household, each sib has only one bi-directional interaction (give and take) in terms of sibling dynamics. Older and younger siblings wrestle with, among a million other issues, hierarchy. Since one is older, the younger usually accepts his lower status willingly. Not that I'm saying a two non-twinned sibling unit is a sure thing to a breezy sort of family life.
Twins perhaps deal more with direct competition of everything in their worlds, from toys to milestones to womb space, and do so without clear roles or status delimited by age. In other words, they intersect on a more or less equal playing field. They enter and exit each life stage together so that one doesn't have the advantage of knowledge gained and knowledge bestowed to guide or conquer the younger sibling. So while people often speak of Twinship and a bond that borders on psychic ability energized by power from the moon and stars (especially between identicals, I would argue), this can come at a cost for more quiet natured and baby faced multiples. Bereket, for example, would make a great singleton. I fear his brothers overwhelm him at times when he needs more quiet loving from me or Jerry or a little solitude.
Now take higher order multiples, triplets for example. Somebody once told me that it's not just twins plus one, it's more like having 30 babies. Guffaw! And yet I have to admit, especially after a rare occasion when only two of my three are in my care, it's tough at times, at least during these toddler days. Although I still don't think it's as hard as people tell me it is. I still can't believe we have triplets, pretty cool. Anyway, triplets, let's see . . . each child has two bi-directional interactions that may be occurring at the same time which would be, technically, a multi-directional interaction, times 3 children . . . you get it. It's complicating and sometimes overwhelming for a baby/toddler. Maybe it's the same with three kids not of the same age or close in age, but then again, there's a little more complexity to it, I think, at least for the parents. For example, toddler hood has brought with it insecurity and clinginess. How can I help one child through it when all three demand my arms?
We are often asked, Who's oldest? Which makes me double take until I remember, oh, they mean who was born first. (Is this relevant? We don't know who was conceived first or who became a blastocyst first or who implanted first. . . although how does it work with identicals? Who came first--Sira or Bereket--before the embryo split?). I just tell them I don't know, because I don't want people to present them with artificial roles. I'll tell the boys someday, it's a great piece of birth history, but I will not emphasize rank. I don't want to hear brother A telling Brother C, I'm older than you, I was born first, I get the bigger piece. I'll give you a hint though, if you were to take a guess at so-called birth order (and if you sort of know my kids by now), you'd probably guess right.
Most of the time life in Tripletland is high. After dinner is usually the best. The boys play together nice and rowdy. My fragile soul easily crushes, however, when anyone of my boys is not happy. I just want them to be happy all the time. I want them to grow up and regard each brother as their friend. A United Front. One Love. A mother can dream . . .
Now for the lows. Hair pulling, biting, tugging. All it's glory caught on the video below. Mr Bear-uh-keh-tuh (as we like to call him complete with exaggerated accent and tongue roll) may be small, but he's tough, even against Tsega-Mega. Oh, and Sira decided to dive in just for kicks; the fight had nothing to do with him. Do your little wee ones fight like this or am I just the worst mother you know??? Oh, about song choice on the video, these are the lyrics that play in my head during such trying times. It's a good thing I have a great sense of humor. :) Now I just need to work on my disciplining. . . One Love boys, One Love, just like it is written on Bereket's shirt.
One Love! One Heart!
Let's get together and feel all right.
Hear the children cryin' (One Love!);
Hear the children cryin' (One Heart!),
Sayin': give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Sayin': let's get together and feel all right. Wo wo-wo wo-wo!