Three being the proverbial crowd, one might expect that in houses (like mine) containing three children, one might often be left out of the play shared by the other two. This is in fact the case at my house, but the identity of the odd child out might surprise you. Despite the fact that I have two boys and one girl, in that order and all precisely 25 months apart, the two that have bonded most closely are my two youngest (Thing Two and Petunia) not my two sons. Thing One does his own thing, while Petunia almost single-handedly dragged Thing Two out of the self-isolation that resulted from his social and language difficulties by effectively forcing him to play with her! He legitimately enjoys it now, and they spend a lot of time together...over an hour just this afternoon in an imaginary world they've jointly created in my living room that somehow involves both Minecraft blocks and Angry Birds figurines who have different jobs and operate factories. I've said it before, but we might not have had a third child if we'd had any idea how severe the second child's language deficits were at the time, and that third child turned out to be the second child's saving grace in many ways. The universe is a funny place.
At any rate, Himself has always wished that the boys interacted more. Not that they had issues with each other or anything; their orbits just didn't overlap much. I was more of the opinion that as long as we were continuing to see social and imaginative improvement in Thing Two as a consequence of interactions with a sibling, I could care less which one it was as long as the boys didn't actively hate each other. Either way, Himself got his wish. About six weeks ago, for whatever reason, the boys started getting on each other's nerves. Blame is pretty much 49/51 you pick 'em most of the time, as far as I can tell. Who started the shoving, who's standing too close to whom, who is blocking whose view of the television or taking up more than his fair share of the sofa...it is never ending and all I want for Mother's Day is a good set of noise-canceling headphones! I'm sure they will eventually work through whatever is currently ailing them, but in the meantime I am doing a lot of refereeing. I actually had to break up fisticuffs in the family room today, which was a new one...the fight is relatively fair at least, but there is a lot of glass in that room. Next time I send them outside in their padded taekwondo sparring gear! BOYS.