Mum of triplets, Brigid O'Hora reflects on how her children's sheep-like mentality and how she deals with it.
Our triplets are a set of monoamniotic twin boys (meaning they share the same amniotic sac in the womb), and a fraternal twin, their beautiful little sister. A rare occurrence in the triplet world, but as they say ‘what's rare is wonderful’, eh?
So with different sexes occurring, you would think their sprightly and infantile mentality would differ greatly. This is not the case. I am the mother of three gorgeous little sheep, that deeply resemble cute little blonde toddlers.
I first started to notice this phenomenon when they became mobile. My three little wobblies would subtlety follow each other around the cordoned-off room we had for them. It was hilarious.
First, you would see my little lady toddling off to the kitchen, which was adjoined to the cordoned off room. Soon after, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum would wobble in behind her. It was like there was an imaginary elastic band, bounding the three of them to together.
Nowadays the herd mentality creeps in around the dinner table, or the back of the car, or the bath or later on the evening when they have settled in together. One will staunchly proclaim they don't like carrots. This is quickly re-iterated by the second, and promptly followed by the third child, with venomous disdain. But funnily enough, all three were scoffing carrots the evening before.
‘I don't like orange juice’ ‘I don't like baths’ ‘ I don't like toast’ ... the list is endless. One will suddenly pipe up with their requests or dislikes or opinions, and the other two completely agree, blindly so. There’s no denying the charm of this triplet mentality but its drawbacks are evident. We’ve been stumped on the bath so often, because one spoke up, so all three end up on a protest.
To combat their ingrained loyalty I now try and avoid asking them important questions like dinner, or bath, or school in front of each other. I have become a covert spy in effect. Operating like a CIA agent, I now ask them their little preferences in separate rooms.
If one of the little cuties pipes up about their apparent dislike for a random well-loved ingredient, I completely ignore them. The less air time of the statement in question, the less effect it will have on the other two. It is the long game for sure. Separating them in school (I’m hoping!) will help alleviate the herd-like tendencies. But for now, my CIA skills will have to be in full flow.