Tuesday, May 15, 2012

They're not really "double trouble"

I hear the term “double trouble” rather often when I’m out with the boys solo and occasionally when both Amanda and I are playing a game of herd the twins. I know it’s a well-meaning saying, but it’s actually quite inaccurate and not for the reasons one might think. I dislike the idea of associating a child with trouble (those “here comes trouble” shirts drive me batty), but that isn’t the issue at hand. No, what I’m talking about is the good twin/evil twin phenomenon.

I’m not setting up some evil twin trope here or anything, I’m just talking about the tendency of one twin to suddenly become downright angelic when the other becomes a screaming banshee. The twins switch roles, too; one does not seem to take on a particular role with significant frequency.* The truly shocking part comes when both are tantruming away and causing mommy and daddy to hyperventilate as the frazzled parents seek some way to stop the aural onslaught without capitulating to demands…and suddenly one of them stops and begins being super cute and loving. Sometimes the now-angel twin will go pat his furious brother on the back or give him a hug. This will often have the exact opposite effect on the evil twin. Although I do not even remotely believe this is actually the case, it almost seems like there is a finite amount of good shared between them and sometime one of them takes sole possession of that good.

Of course, the good twin in this scenario is only so much so; he will often use the tantrum as an opportunity to collect all the trains his brother was playing with so as to create a monster locomotive horde.

No, seriously, we flipping LOVE trains!!!
It is this action that makes me suspect that there is distinct intentionality in these interactions and it is one of those times that a parent must admit that even his/her infant child is far more capable of complex thought than they might suspect. It seems that from a very early age (somewhere around 3 months), they began to comprehend that “good” actions would garner immediate attention. At the same time, they also realized that “bad” actions will gain them immediate attention as well. They’ve ALSO realized that they are more likely to get attention if they act in the opposite manner of their sibling if one is angry.

I’m completely fascinated by this; I’m pretty sure there’s a rather complex deductive proof to be found in their actions. I’ll be damned, they’re already logically sound. I’m so proud!

* Footnote: A slight caveat is necessary here. Sometimes the boys’ actions will “cluster” and pull towards one side or the other for a couple weeks at a time. This has always been short-lived, however.

1 comment:

Always Home and Uncool said...

Sneaky little runts, how they conspire.