My children are outgrowing me!

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3 under 3

Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age in her mummy blog. This week Amy talks abouther her twin girls who are already maturing at rapid speed...

'I think I may have accidentally let my children outgrow me. Somehow, over the past 3-and-a-half years, the twins seem to have gained more maturity and control than I can muster these days.

My husband recently brought home a CD he picked up for £2.50 in a sale. Possibly the best £2.50 he's ever spent. I swear that CD has actual magic powers. The girls are addicted to it. If I want to get them upstairs to get ready for baths, or downstairs to get ready to go out, I simply invoke Old MacDonald and his pals, and they come running. They call delightedly for Farmer Brown, or Oink Oink I'm a Little Pig, and dance and sing with an enthusiasm that would make the average cheerleader blush. They can't get enough.

Which is the downside. Getting them to accept the CD has to go off and we have to go and live our actual lives is not easy. After a week or so of cajoling and threatening and tears and tantrums, I've finally found the only thing that works. Negotiation. I have to clearly state when the girls have one choice of song each. Give them fair warning, and they tend to accept their farmyard free future. Only I've lost control or the process. G, my little organiser, has taught herself how to use the CD player, and now I'm not allowed near it.

‘Right. We only have time for one song each,' she informs her sisters. ‘What would you like?'
Then, she'll carefully push the forward and back buttons until she finds the correct song (yes, she has all 28 songs memorised), explaining her every action along the way, whether anyone is listening or not.

I left them to it in our bedroom the other morning, while I sorted out their wardrobe next door.

‘Mummy said we can have one more song each,' I heard G announce.
‘T, which one do you want?'

T considered this momentous question. She takes the one-song announcement seriously. You don't want to blow your one chance, after all. But she pondered too long.

‘Right, M wants Smelly Smelly, number 22,' G declared, as M started singing along. T wasn't happy.

‘But I wanted Goosey Goosey Gander,' she fumed.

‘No T,' G sighed, using my words, but sounding uncannily like an old-fashioned school ma'am. ‘We are only allowed one more song, then it is time to go downstairs and get ready for nursery.'

She paused the music, so everyone was paying attention.

‘We can't have the whole CD,' she lectured. ‘Today is Wednesday. We go to nursery on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.'

I couldn't see her, but I can guarantee she was pointed officiously at her sisters to emphasise her point. She's a stickler for rules, that one. Well, rules she's in charge of anyway. And she's not the only one who seems to have decided the adults need a little help.

My dad turned up for a visit a few weeks ago with an enormous blister on his lip. The girls were utterly fascinated.

‘What's that, Grandad?' they cooed in awe, immediately beginning to reach up and poke at it, tact not being in their vocabulary quite yet.

Grandad was busted. He had to admit that he'd seen his friend make him a coffee with freshly boiled water, but was too impatient to wait had burned his lip by drinking it straight away.

T frowned.
‘You can't drink hot coffee, Grandad,' she sighed. ‘If there's steam coming up from something, you have to wait.' G nodded in agreement.

‘If it's a bit hot, you can blow it,' added T, looking at her grandfather with a mix of pity and disgust. Every time he's been over since, and I offer him a cuppa, she watches him like a hawk.

‘Be patient Grandad!'

The whole debacle has put Grandad firmly on T's ‘Silly Team' list. Out of the blue, she informed me that our family has some clever people and some silly ones.

‘You are silly,' she explained. ‘And so are Daddy, Grandad, M, and especially Aunty S.'

They love Aunty S because she plays rowdy games with them, but they have therefore labelled her as crazy!

‘The clever team are me and G,' T went on. ‘Granny and Aunty R.'

I'm not sure what Granny and Aunty R did to deserve their slots, but it seems T, and her sisters, already feel many of the adults in their life can't be trusted with responsibility. Once, in the whole time the twins have been at nursery, just once, I forgot their rucksacks and they had to play in their outdoor shoes. Now, every day, the girls eye me suspiciously as we get ready to leave.

‘Do you have the bags, Mummy? Don't forget our bags, Mummy!'

I don't think I'm getting promoted to that clever team anytime soon. And it's going to be a long time before Grandad is trusted to enjoy his coffee in peace. But neither of us really mind.

‘Don't worry, I'll look after you!' T smiled the other day as we approached a steep set of steps on the way back from our nursery bus. She grabbed one hand, while G grabbed the other. ‘We'll make sure you don't fall.'

After 3-and-a-half years of feeds and naps and nappies changes and never-ending demands, it's nice to be the one getting taken care of once in a while. The twins even help me to look after their sister.

‘M has bogies!' G shouted, running in from the garden the other day. She grabbed a tissue, ran back out, and gently wiped away the snot, before running back to throw the tissue in the bin.

Your job as a parent is to instil your children with the skills and confidence to take care of themselves. In effect, the goal is to render yourself redundant. I wasn't quite expecting it to happen so soon, but I'm not going to complain!'

Are your little ones maturing quickly? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below.

Continued below...

Amy's other blog posts...

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