3 under 3: Words, words, words

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Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! She writes about all the challenges she faces, the fun times and general ups and downs of having 3 young children. This week, she tells us all about her little ones learning to talk...


'Little M has been teasing us with a word. The other day, she picked up a book, looked at me, and said, ‘Boo'. OK so it's not quite a word, but she's repeated the feat several times, and I'm pretty sure she means it. She's going to be a journalist, I tell you, like her mum. Or an author. Or a playwright. Oh how I love a good milestone.


When the twins were little, I was addicted to the childrearing bible, What To Expect: The First Year. Not because I had any particular worries and questions. I just loved checking the ‘Your baby might even be able to...' section each month, so I could feel all smug about how clever they were. I always managed to resist the twin trap of comparing your children to each other. G and T were so different, with T hitting most of the physical milestones first, while G was more vocal, so I never saw them as competitors. But I couldn't help myself willing them to beat all their little friends! Of course, I know that walking a few weeks earlier or having an incredible vocabulary by the age of two isn't going to matter much when it comes to getting a degree or a job, but I'm becoming obsessed again. If anything, M is hitting her milestones even earlier than the twins, and it gives me a little tingle every time. Which is pretty foolish for someone who knows where it leads.


My days now are full-on. The twins no longer tend to nap, so it's relentless. The ‘incredible vocabulary' of which I was once so proud has now come back to bite me. They just never shut up. G, while drinking a cup of milk, for example, informed me, ‘Mummy, I've drunk the big bit, but I still have this little bit, I've not drank the little bit yet, but I had that big bit, I'm going to drink the little bit, then it'll be all gone and finished, but I've only drank the big bit, so I still have the little bit, but...' At that point, my brain shut down as a self-defence mechanism. She's always felt the need to narrate her life. I used to find it adorable. I still do when I'm thinking about it after they've gone to bed. But when both twins are both bombarding me with facts and questions and disagreements and soliloquies on milk, it's exhausting. And now M's on her way to joining in. When I imagine what I'm in for, with three of them talking at me every waking minute, it makes me want to curl up in a ball in a corner somewhere. Of course, if I did, they'd only find me and tell me about it. In great detail. Over and over again...'


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