Friday, July 8, 2011

Expecting the Worst, Hoping for the Best

It is no secret that the twins have been a bit difficult. Heck, after a full two years in our family, we have still been having nearly nightly battles with them over going to bed.

So it shouldn't be surprising that I had some trepidation over adding another child into the mix. I envisioned Paula making multiple meals every night to satisfy their finicky tastes, a higher level of bickering and conflict among three kids, and the nightly bed war extending from one hour to two or more. I'd steeled myself to the greater demands and time commitment. Essentially, I'd been expecting the worst.

But the worst case scenario hasn't played out -- far from it, in fact. Thomas has been mild mannered, happy most of the time, and generally accepting of his place in the family. We thought we'd glimpsed those characteristics when we'd first met him back in March, but it's hard to feel confident in such a judgment based on a few hours together in a manufactured encounter. Now, after ten days together, the early impression appears to be holding.

What has really surprised me, however, is the way his presence has impacted the twins. Their bickering with each other is down by at least fifty percent, and they appear to be taking great pride in showing Thomas how to be good -- including cooperating during the recently altered bedtime ritual. While I'm not optimistic enough to believe all these changes will stick one hundred percent, I'm definitely excited about the direction.

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