Choices, choices…

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. This week Amy talks about the funny decisions her girls make, like wanting to wear summer dresses in freezing conditions…

‘Don’t you just hate having to choose? Coffee or tea? Toast or cereal? Orange juice or apple? Before breakfast is even done, we’re all in need of a decision-making break, aren’t we? Well most of us are, but it seems when decisions are rather a new venture, some people just can’t get enough.

I was asking the twins what they wanted to drink with breakfast the other day when we were rather enthusiastically interrupted.
‘Would you like apple or orange juice, honey?’ I asked T. Before she could open her mouth, the shout came from across the table.

‘Orange juice! Orange juice!’

Until then, M had just been handed whatever I’d been pouring out. She’s 17 months old. I hadn’t even considered asking for a preference. As she grinned at me, I just assumed she’d repeated the last thing she’d heard and forgot all about it. Until teatime.

‘Right, what kind of fruit would you like?’ I asked the twins. ‘Melon, grapes or apple?’ As G and T ummed and ahhed, that little voice piped up again.

‘Grapes! Grapes! Grapes me! Grapes!’

I turned to look at my baby. My little bundle of joy was bouncing around in her seat, clapping her hands.

‘Grapes! Grapes!’

Needless to say, that night’s fruit was grapes, and from then on, I had to accept it. M is no longer my obedient little ally, happy with whatever’s on offer. She’s a whole little person with a mind all of her own. Since then, I’ve been asking her opinion on whatever I can. When I look her right in the eye and ask if she’d prefer pasta or rice, the joy is palpable. She wiggles around, mimicking T’s habit of mumbling: ‘Emm, emmm…’ a few times before she decides, then erupts with her choice.

‘Pasta! Pasta me, Mummy!’

I’ve stopped treating her like a baby in so many ways now. The twins have been choosing their own clothes for months. OK, so sometimes I send them to nursery in rather, erm, eclectic get-ups, but I love seeing their personalities shine through. T invariably chooses a dress, often having to be steered towards at least swerving the summer strappy numbers while there’s snow outside, while G tends to grab whatever cute animal top she sees first, before diving into the trouser drawer to search for her favourite stripey pair. M has already grown to have favourite toys and games and books. It suddenly felt foolish to exclude her from the decision-making process. She might be my baby, but she isn’t actually a baby anymore. Turns out she’s actually a T clone.

‘What would you like to wear baby,’ I asked the other morning, after I’d finally got the twins to concentrate long enough to get dressed. (Oh they love to make decisions, those 2, just in their own time.)
She did an actual little jig on the spot, before rushing over and pawing at the wardrobe contents. Not quite ready to give up all control, I manoeuvred a couple of cute little top-and-trouser combos into her path. She was having none of it.

‘Pretty dress! Pretty dress!’ she insisted, pulling one off its hanger.

Now, every morning, I have 2 children to persuade out of summer dresses. But as time-consuming dressing time can now be, and as much as I sigh and complain and hold myself back from jumping out the window, deep down I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. All 3 of my babies are blossoming. They’re strong-willed, temperamental, feisty little bundles of opinion after opinion. They’re high-maintenance, stubborn, exhausting young girls who I just know will grow into strong, sassy, confident young ladies, and I wouldn’t change them for the world. Would be nice if they wore coordinated outfits just once or twice mind…’

Do your kids make funny decisions? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below or on Facebook.

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