A Time of Failure

There are times when you think you are doing good and then learn you have failed completely. That is how our twins second birthday went. It was our first major failure and miscalculation as parents of multiples.

We know there are two of them. We are well aware of this fact. They are twins and they are always around. The problem is we can’t possibly buy two of every toy all the time, but for birthdays and special toys we should.

What we did was give them a wooden train set and tracks for their birthday and along with that we got one special train, Thomas the Tank Engine. We got one Thomas and almost instantly this turned into a nightmare. They both wanted Thomas and didn’t want the other to have him. They have argued and fought over toys before but this was the first one to cause this much anger and despair.

Whichever one had Thomas made it their main goal to keep it from the other and whichever didn’t have him only wanted him. There were brief moments when one or the other would cease the fight but it was only a moment. They would too redouble their efforts or try and trick the other with a feint or a trick. In some ways it is good they are playing with each other but in most ways it is bad that it has taken the form of an all out war for Thomas.

Almost immediately after presents were opened I was on my way to Target to see if I could find a second Thomas and while I found a few Thomases I did not find one that matched and that would have been a problem as we already have a larger Thomas that now held no interest for either son.

They wanted that Thomas and only that Thomas. I hope the new Thomas that will arrive tomorrow isn’t seen as an imposter and rejected. The rejection of the new Thomas would cause disaster beyond disaster. They each need a Thomas and soon they will have one and we have a valuable lesson to always buy two of the special toys.

The real question now is what happens down the line when those toys are bicycles or video game or cars. Are we going to have to buy two of every special toy and make certain they are exactly the same down to the smallest detail? Or are we going to have to focus much more on teaching them to share and be kind to each other and take turns? I do not have the answer and hope it reveals itself without much more violence.

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