OK…don’t die of shock, but myself and my husband are seriously considering adding another Small to our brood. No one is more shocked than me at this decision but it’s something I’m genuinely excited about. In the meantime, we’ve had a trial run with my American best friend and her husband bringing their Small to London for two weeks.
Benjamin Franklin once famously said, ‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’ I would like to add to that one more certainty: if one Small is playing with a toy, the other immediately wants to play with it and will happily scratch eyeballs out to get it. Oh sure, the concepts of ‘share’ and ‘take turns’ leave them confused and befuddled but both of them (unsurprisingly) have ‘mine’ and ‘no’ down…this has made for some exhausting play times.
They both have a pretty mean right hook too.
At one point, the Smalls could barely move before one of us was jumping in to say, ‘No…you have to share that toy,’ or ‘If you can’t share it, no body plays with it,’ or the very direct, ‘Give the fucking toy back to the Small you stole it from you thieving brat.’ The last one was done mostly under our breath as we banged our heads against walls while flailing ourselves with leather straps.
Finally, we decided the best way to deal with this was to drink wine and leave them to it in a Hunger-Games-style fight to the death. Remarkably, they managed to work it out between them with little to no blood spilled and only one bruised cheek.
Parents 1 :: Smalls 1 (for the bruised cheek)
Both myself and my best friend are not good at sharing rooms with our Smalls. We spend all night awake either because they’ve made a noise that may or may not turn out to be a cry and then a wake up and then an hour of rocking and singing while trying not to fall asleep and drop them…or we’re awake because they snore and fart, cough and wriggle and, let’s face it, we’re already sleeping with our husbands who snore, fart, cough and wriggle and it doesn’t seem fair that we should have to sleep with two snoring, farting, coughing, wriggling people.
With this in mind, we decided that we would put our Smalls together in the same room. Mine is still in a cot and hers is in a big boy bed. So, armed with an extra cot-bed mattress we set up a big boy bed on the floor in the nursery and threw them in together.
We fully expected this not to work.
We bathed them together. We got them ready for bed. They were read a story together by Uncle Yeah-Yeah (I have no explanation for this name bestowed upon my best friend’s husband by my Small but, let’s face it, it’s better than Uncle No-No) and then we put them in their beds, turned the lights out and didn’t move a muscle.
We stayed outside the door convinced that we would have to move one of them out, or roofie one of them, or book a hotel room for one of them…but you know what? The little buggers went straight to sleep. Not a peep. Not a whinge. Not even a curious chat. Just sleep.
Parents 2 :: Smalls 1 (This is a running total).
Then came the morning. My Small generally has a little chat anytime between 6am and 6.30am. She might sing a song, practise her words and then she goes back to sleep until 7.30am or 8am. Unfortunately, her early morning chats were enough to get my best friend’s Small interested in a little pre-brekkie catch up which, inevitably, ended in tears. Mostly to do with sharing toys.
Parents 2 :: Smalls 2
3. OTHER STUFF
Despite the teeny-tiny problems to do with sharing and sleeping the general consensus is that throwing two Smalls together worked pretty well. They held hands more than they punched each other; they laughed and smiled more than they cried and wailed and they pretty much fell in love with each other when it came to bath time, TV time and reading.
It’s been exhausting and busy and a huge learning curve but they are both still alive, they are both still loved and they quite like each other.
Their arranged marriage is still on track.
Parents 3 :: Smalls 2