With baby 3 due any day, I'm anxious to spend some time capturing who Sam and Rachel are right now as they turn 3.
Now, before the big change in their lives. Now, at the 3rd year mark that seemed so important and so far away when they were little. (Yeah, ok, I'm 3 weeks late but better late than never!)
I was told by other twin parents that 3 was kind of a magic age for twins. An age where it became easier to have two than to have a singleton.
I'm happy to say I think we are experiencing this although it isn't an overnight thing but rather something we've seen significant strides in over the past 6 - 9 months.
They play together for extended periods now, especially if they aren't supposed to! Naps have disappeared and I'm trying to enforce a quite time where they are both in their rooms playing quietly (or napping if need be) and I can nap! Instead they sneak out into each others rooms and play so incredibly well together for AN HOUR that I can't help but allow it and be grateful that we have achieved this stage.
Sam at 3 years old is pretty much the definition of a happy boy. His mood is pretty consistent and it is one that brings to mind sunny, blue-sky days, warm grass, picnic lunches and nothing to do but roll down the hills in the grass. He is a very connected, communicative guy who is deeply in tune with the people around him. Loving him is about communicating with him and he is so good at saying what he needs.
His ability to show empathy for others (including Rachel) surprises me every week. Example: Rachel was having a meltdown in the car on the way to daycare this week, a 15 minute trip that is usually filled with Sam talking non-stop about everything he sees and thinks. True 3 year old stream of consciousness - it's the Sam show. But this morning with Rachel crying beside him, he was silent, intermittently looking out the window and looking over at her, gaging how she was doing as she slowly calmed down over the course of about 10 minutes. After she had been quiet for a minute he asked, 'You happy now, Rae?' It was such a sweet question, so sincere, after a display of such patience and compassion. He made space in that time for her to have her big feelings. I was so touched.... Rachel wasn't... her sour reply of 'No' did not phase him though. I followed up his question with my own, 'Are you happy Sam?' 'Yeah I happy!' he quickly replied. I asked Rachel, 'How do you feel Rachel?' She replied, 'I still grumpy.' Fair enough.
His ability to talk non-stop about everything and anything continues to amaze me as well. Generally, if he is awake he is making noise. However, it isn't crazy noise (although he does do a lot of sound effects), it's usually talking with the intent of communicating with someone, which touches my heart like nothing else. Granted, sometimes him asking the same question 3 times drives me a little nuts but he's getting better about moving on to the next point or taking a cue as to how to move the conversation along.
We have a new rule of staying in the bedroom after the bedtime routine even if they aren't tired yet. They can play by themselves in their individual rooms. Sam pushes the physical boundary of his room and almost every single night falls asleep in the middle of his bedroom doorway with his Lovey tucked under his arm. I take a picture almost every night because I find it hilarious.
This is not to say he is perfect. We still have 3 year old meltdowns over 'no more TV' especially when he's hungry or tired but they are short lived and he hasn't had what I consider a tantrum for months now. He's showing an ability to modulate his emotions that I would not expect at this age. He is a true delight to be around and I adore him.