Three’s a Crowd

It’s twenty to twelve, I’m in kitchen making an after lunch cupa…. Lunch was early today… Partly because the children were up at 6am singing twinkle twinkle, partly because they were getting grumpy and food is a go to parenting tool, and thirdly, because when I was at work this morning my husband went Tesco and brought back doughnuts …. I grabbed one while at the laptop and then another for a mid morning snack… Then I figured if anyone else was to get a look in I would need to dish them up pronto…. So lunch was served at exactly 11.15… Followed by doughnuts.

I escape to the kitchen a couple of times a day, we have a stairgate to protect me… Oh I mean the children… And, from my vantage point of the granite worktop I can drink my tea in peace while keeping an eye on proceedings. The boys seem to be playing happily together, (H is at school) I assure you this will not last, when I say playing, I mean Roo is doing a puzzle and nerg is chewing it… Which is fine (I’ve Googled long term effects of cardboard consumption) until the piece in question is needed……

It’s got my thinking about raising boys… With two only 21 months apart the ‘idea’ was that they would. Be best friends… I’m not sure how it’s working out. Roo did not a knowledge Nergs existence for a good six months… Except if there was a boob/play clash in his schedule. In fact his first full sentence was ‘no Nerg, boob gone’ which was significant enough to birth Ernest’s nickname… Over the last three months however, the two seem to be acting more like brothers, sometimes a team, sometimes a ninja and his smaller shadow and, more often than not, a rough and tumble pairing… The justification? Nerg is a train… Which he seems to enjoy for the first few mins… Until the train hits rougher tracks. If the train is headed towards the tunnel I know it’s time to step in…. I wasn’t prepared for this? I knew boys played rough and tumble games, but I kinda thought I would be raising two gentle sensitive boys…. without testosterone surges (someone told me there is one at the age of three) and no competitive streak of any kind… I’m not sure what to do?? I’ve suddenly hit that point in motherhood where I’m questioning gender neutral parenting… Nature Venus nurture etc etc… A whole new game… How much do I manage or control? how much to accept as normal?… I just didn’t ask myself these questions with big girl H.

 The older two children get on better than I would have thought, despite the 7 year age gap. In general H leads the escapades unless reminded by either parent to allow her brother an opportunity to be less subservient. Sometimes I wonder if Roo will develop a stutter with all the attempts to contribute… But then his struggle pales slightly in comparison to Nerg’s, who, when allowed to join in rather than follow aimlessly, is afforded a more important role….. such as the fire in fireman Sam.

But big girl’s love for her brothers is so patient and kind. She sacrifices a lot to keep them happy, she returned from a book exchange yesterday only to present her brothers with a book each, having handed in her own. She sometimes mothers them, but I suspect we are a little responsible for that, occasionally asking her to keep an eye…while nipping up stairs or to the loo… Or to eat a secret doughnut in the kitchen. Her and Roo love watching Topsy and Tim together, it might be about twins, but they like to hug and sing along to the opening credits… I’m very proud! They seem to share inside jokes and while the occasional niggle culminates in some under… er…foot battles,their relationship is beautiful… I can only hope Nerg finds his place soon, one beyond the train and the fire….

I noticed, over half term, that big girl H spent more time in her room having quiet time, I joined her for some Lego…we built a school! and she enjoys crafting at her desk, away from the boys grabby but well intended interference. I suspect the boys relationship will grow stronger as the years go on but perhaps this is just the normal struggle of having three children, will one always be left out?
My tea is cold, I broke up a puzzle fight…. Roo escaped into the kitchen and ran around singing in triumph before being manhandled (gently) towards the gate… Nerg has eaten another piece of jigsaw… He’ll be pooing a postman pat montage any day now!! We are off to play mums and dads, at Roos insistence… This will provide me some psychological insight into our parenting…. Nerg is dancing to the singing potty….

11 Responses to “Three’s a Crowd”

  1. We have very similar age gaps and my eldest also likes to retreat to her room for some ‘peace’, I do feel guilty sometimes as her younger brother is a bit of a handful and also likes to wreck her toys.

    Everything else sounds very similar too as we have a gate on the playroom door to keep them ‘safe’ while I have a coffee lol.

    Escape to the kitchen again and try have another cuppa 🙂

  2. Bahaha, that last paragraph cracked me up, it’s pretty much a glimpse into my life – though chuck a 13 month old very demanding baby (read demon spawn) into the mix and you have it right there. The boys have 19/20 months between them and I can tell you that at 5 and 3 they adore each other… most of the time. Sometimes they prefer to beat the crap out of each other but most of the time it’s all good. Edie and Toby (younger two) have 26 months between them and they too are close but Toby is much more jealous. H x

  3. I’m going to have 21 months between my two and I was so sure I’d have two boys so imagine my shock when we found out that bump 2 is a girl! I think there’s often an element of 1 being slightly less involved with the other two, although H sounds like the most fantastic big sister!xx

  4. Lovely post, there is 5yrs between my son and my twin girls and I feel sorry for him sometimes. He loves them to pieces and is very protective of them if something is wrong but he also loves winding them up! However they are getting older and now wind him up on purpose! Payback! He escapes to his room but that also gives him the space he needs at times too.

  5. I have three (1 son, 2 stepsons) all with 2 years between each of them and all boys. They are extremely physical when playing and we do have to watch that they don’t really hurt each other. Weirdly though, they don’t mean anything nasty by it, it’s just the way boys play, which takes some getting used to. We also find that when you have three, 90% of the time one of them gets left out or ganged up on and that one changes constantly. Three is a crowd as they say

    • This is interesting to hear, thank you for sharing. I guess I wondered to what extent the ‘play fighting’ was normal. How much to allow, how much to curb.. Mums of boys eh?! It funny how things turn out, I never saw myself this way… Always figured it would be a troop of girlies, x

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