My triplet toddlers (oh its so funny calling them toddlers by the way) have sudden improved cognition. They understand what I am saying and can carry out simple instructions. Its so darn cute to also see them play together. Lately, they have been busy cooking up a storm in the play kitchen, pretending to stir the pot and pan, and every once in a while offering me a taste from their spoon. Their speech isn’t very clear, but I get a lot of mumbling that sounds like “What’s this?” followed by pointing to an object. None of this is extraordinarily new because I’ve gone through it already with Livia, but it is very new to see three toddlers hit developmental stages at the very same time.
So early on they have to learn how to share and be social because there is three of them and a limited amount of toys available, and an older toddler, in the form of their bigger sister, to contend with. I’m never much into intervening and disrupting their play-time together, and there has been a few scuffles over toys, but overall, they seemed to have worked out their own system of sharing and playing together. So for example, right now everybody loves the stacking toy. When one toddler is playing with it, the other two will actually look for something else to play. The cooperative spirit also extends to food, they offer food from their plate to each other, or if someone were to grab food from someone else’s plate, they do not cry foul. Although they have specific water-bottles that they drink from, they are always alternating them among each other. Usually someone cannot finish their milk, and passes their milk bottle to someone else. I find this all extremely intriguing whereby in my absence, they know how to co-exist peacefully. They are like a well-balanced eco-system on their own.
Sometimes the eco-system can be get shaken. If I introduce a new toy abruptly, everyone will want to play with it first. So the thing I learnt was to allow each child some time with the toy separately rather than bringing it out to the group all at once. Once they are familiar with the toy and its lost its novelty, they are able to share again. Our fraternal triplet is actually the “grabber”. She likes to grab things from her sisters and interrupts them mid-play. It seems rude to do that, but while they protest her grabbing sometime which I think is a good entry way to teach her she should wait for her turn, most of the time, they are fine with it. If there are no major tears or unhappiness, I pretty much leave them to play on their own.
I actually find that my presence is the biggest disruption. The moment I enter their circle, everyone gravitates to me and wants a piece of mum. I realise maybe I need to spend more one-on-one time with each of them but they get so jealous when I take one away. I haven’t fully figured out what to do about it so these days, I have four kids sitting on me and hugging me all at the same time. I like that they don’t mind that I am holding two in one lap, and one in another. As long as they get to sit on me, they don’t care who else is on board.
I absolutely enjoy watching them work out their own social rules, cooperating, and sometimes even helping each other. Its really quite remarkable how babies can work with each other, and babies and toddlers can cooperate and play together. Granted Livia is only two years older, but first thing every morning, she can’t wait to open the triplets’ bedroom door and start playing with them, and in the same way, they can’t wait for their big sister to burst through their bedroom door and yell, “Let’s go!”
Theirs is a companionship that will hopefully endure through the ages.