Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
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The age gap between my singleton and my triplets is about the same as in your family. It is definitely a challenge. I have all my kids in school, so I don't have the schooling to deal with to the extent that you do. I just have homework and enrichment activities. But, it is definitely the case that big brother is often the favorite plaything at my house, too.
You may find that a few days without their big brother is really good for the twins in terms of getting them to look for other activities. Also, I found that at about that age, my triplets really started turning to each other for entertainment and not me. I still find it very strange after the amount of time I had to spend entertaining DS1 that the trio are often happier when playing with each other than when I try to do anything specific with them. I have to work quite hard to get the whole group to do anything structured, though I can often get a few minutes with one at a time if I choose a good time to suggest an activity.
I would not necessarily recommend my general play set-up to anyone. I have too many toys out and things don't get tidied up often enough. I have basically put art supplies in one area, big toys in one room, small toys and books in a third room, and I have just stopped closing the gates in the room where all of the big kid games are in the past few months - the trio are almost 3.5 now.
The one thing that has been a big success with the whole crowd is the big box of costume pieces.
I found that from about 18 months until 3, I couldn't impose much in the way of structure on the little ones and still get anything done around the house, so I just let things be loud and chaotic. One they hit 3, I started being able to get them to wait for long enough for me to actually teach one of them something at a time, without them all needing to be the prime student.
My SIL had much better luck getting her MZ twins to participate in joint activities as toddlers than I had with the TZ triplets. I think that the fact that they had so many interests in common really helped. My guys are all over the map and are off in all different directions all the time.
Sorry this is rambling. I'm over tired. But, I didn't want to leave you without a response. I hope something in there is useful.
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)