The Dynamic of the Third

Since my daughter’s potty training problems are keeping her home from school, my son goes by himself two mornings a week.

I expected fits and tantrums from my daughter about not being able to go to school. She hasn’t had any. I think it’s a big stress relief for her. One less pressure to connect with using the potty.

I also expected having two kids home would be much like having three. Loud and crazy and always a little off balance.

Instead the girls play quietly with their dolls and stuffed animals. (When my son is home, they play similar games with cars and dinosaurs.) And it’s possible to do things that require a moderate amount of concentration.

A third child that talks a lot changes the whole dynamic. Someone is always the odd one out. The little one isn’t one of the twins. My son isn’t one of the girls. My daughter wants to dance instead of camp.

I’ve often wondered how some moms were able to go shopping or do things with their kids that I haven’t dared. Maybe this is part of the answer. Their children are all the same gender or there are two.

Or maybe they are infinitely more adventurous than I am.



  1. That's how my two girls were (less so now that one is hitting pre-teen). Enjoy your girl time!


  2. I have two girls, but one is a tomboy and one is a princess. Sometimes they clashed, and sometimes they were best friends. There was no way to predict how they would interact. Enjoy the peace and relative quiet.


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