THANK HEAVEN. The brains are coming along nicely. By age three, kid brains have double the “synaptic density” (connections between brain cells) than they will as adult brains. This means one thing people…THINKING! Hooray for thinking! Lots of things happen around this age in the brain, but the best one is a developing understanding of cause and effect! Allow me to elaborate.
Twin 1 has a regular habit. Upon yelling for his dinner for many torturous minutes, Mr Almost 3 will be presented with said dinner. Upon making the stupefying discovery that dinner is not of the favoured kind, Mr Almost 3 will fling said dinner across the room, or tip said dinner onto the table. The result of this insubordinate action will either be a seething but silent mother, or a ranting like a mad thing mother, depending on the day. Either way, Mummy is mad. Twin 2, in concordant twin cunning, will also raise objection to the lovingly thawed and warmed dinner presented by pushing it away and stroppily shouting NO DINNER. Mummy is getting madder.
I have tried in the past to simply accept that some days they won’t eat. This is a position I find hard to hold without some level of feeling like a crap mum. Sending my kids to bed without dinner was never on my list of things to do when I accidentally had twins. In recent weeks though, I have seen emerging evidence of this brain development upon which I have waited with abated breath. My genius Mr 5 has hit upon a fool proof plan to get them to do what I want. Just pretend like I’m going to eat it Mummy. He said one day. The child is a wizard. Once the twins saw the offending dinner heading to their big brother they’d be all like I WANT MY DINNER!! OK, fine by me, here you go. PSYCH.
The other awesome tool of manipulation that has come under my power is jelly. Wonderful jelly. One month ago, if I tried the old if you don’t eat your dinner then you can’t have your jelly and forthwith made them watch their brother eat jelly while they missed out, it would result in an epic tanty. My theory is that the cause and effect bit of the brain wasn’t quite there yet. There was no ‘then’ and ‘now’, no well this or that happened last time so I better…..No. There was just now. And right now, I see jelly and I can’t have it. Utter. Catastrophe. What has happened in the past couple of weeks though is encouraging to say the least. Not only can I psych them out by using their big brother, I can now also successfully withhold the magic of jelly! In pretend don’t care flippancy, I calmly state after dinner refusal, oh well, no jelly for you. And then guess what? They eat. Mummy 1, Twins 0.