We have been blessed to have our children close together. It’s not something I can recommend or not recommend because everyone’s personality is different. But for us, it’s been a blast…a blast AND a challenge. My hands are always full, my ears are often ringing, and it’s a gaurantee that my floors are strewn with dinosaurs. (Yep, just checked.) When you have children close in age it can be hard to tell from their behavior who’s actually older. Our middle child likes to think he’s the oldest. For example…
..he likes to supplement my discipline. I heard William screaming on time out the other day, only to find George beating him with a plastic hammer. Apparently he thought my choice of punishement was insufficient. I guess “Don’t kick a man when he’s down” hasn’t worked it’s way into our training yet. Often from the other room I hear:
George: Sit down, William!
William: No. I will not obey you, George.
William: Ouch! Mommy, my hair!!!
But William is not quick to give up his big brother role. While George (2) is more of a dictator, William (3) is a teacher and a comfortor.
William: There’s nothing we can do about it, George. Take a vitamin.
A benefit of having three babies close together is that sometimes they can interpret for each other.
George: Baby sad.
William: He’s scared. He thinks Mommy’s head looks like a wolf.
But sometimes I’m the only one around to interpret and I’m not quite prepared for what I hear. Like when William was making up silly words and landed on a real swear word by mistake.
William: Peter, you little b******.
(Yes, I promise that one was an accident. So if you ever hear him say it again…it’s NOT an accident.)
Our kids have had to become independent more quickly since there’s always a baby to take their place. We are enjoying the benefits of this. They are learning patience and sharing from an early age. They also have to share Mommy’s time. Sometimes when my hands are full George takes it upon himself to answer his own questions.
George: I jump on the bed, Mommy?
Me: Well –
George: Sure, George!
I honestly can’t keep up with all the questions, requests, stories, etc. they throw at me all day long. Everyone says to soak up this time, which is what I try to do, but sometimes it’s more like drinking from a fire hose. At times all I can do is stand quietly in one place while toddler antics swirl around me.
William: Messiah just called. He’s coming to fix the light bulbs.
George: Mommy! Mommy! Elmo POOPED!
It doesn’t matter how much they make my head spin every day. When they’re in bed at night I can’t wait to hear what’s on thier minds when they wake up the next day.
Me: Did you have a good night’s sleep, William?
William: Yep. I slept for three hours. I dreamed about donkeys. They were sisters.
William: But I’m feeling really pregnant today…
Parenting little ones close in age definitely requires teamwork. Dave jumps in when he can…or whenever I let him. Sometimes you just know when the “help” will create more work for you in the end.
Dave: Would it help if I made dinner tonight?
Me: Oh, honey…no.
Dave: Yeah, I guess me making dinner is like you giving directions – painful for the other person to watch.
They are just getting old enough for us to start reaping the biggest benefit of having kids close together – they are best friends. I just heard William, from sitting on the toilet, call to George to come give him a hug. (I intervened when I realized he was also trying to help George up onto his lap.) They look out for each other and they miss each other when they are apart. They are thick as thieves, in the good and the bad. “A strand of three cords is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)