Well with my twins, Pip and Bug. Identical twin girls. I’d hazard a guess things might a bit of a different story with with a different set of dynamics.
And three better not be a crowd for them given that Pip & Bug sit alongside their big brother Boo. And whilst there’s no doubting that twins + 1 can have its own unique challenges (see the article that I wrote several years ago for TAMBA Twins Plus One), the dynamic of three, when twins are part of the trio, is often fab. We’ve noticed this extends to trios where the plus one is a friend rather than their brother too. Three would appear, in this instance at least, to not be a crowd.
But this bucks the cliché ‘three’s a crowd’, so why?
Pip & Bug are very much their own people. Pip is a ‘water off a duck’s back’ type whereas Bug sees a slightly more serious side of life. Bug is diligent and hard-working, Pip, well, she’s a bit more laissez-faire. Pip can swim like a little dolphin, Bug can run like a lightening streak. But they are cut from the same cloth. Whilst we celebrate their differences and individual identities, part of their identity comes from their inherent twin-status. They both have the same impish sense of mischief and sense of humour. They are both thoughtful and caring, and incredibly empathetic. They both are the same age, the same gender, in the same class: they have commonality in their every day in a way few others do.
Whilst being thick as thieves, they are each others absolute best friend. They play, sleep, learn together. They have each others back. They get the other in ways the rest of the world doesn’t, and won’t. But somehow, despite that, they open up their duo with complete ease to the acceptance of a plus one whether that be a brother or a friend. The triangular relationship just works when Pip and Bug are two of the three. Pip and Bug don’t feel threatened in their twinhood, and this allows the third party to simply be with them equally in a way that wouldn’t happen with three singleton children.
The only times we’ve noticed a problem with a trio is when the plus one has tried to isolate one of the girls from the other, to play with them more, and leave the other out. Pip and Bug’s loyalty to each other at this time, their simple bemusement of ‘why would you leave my sister out?’ , means that these moments are short-lived. Relationships that try to divide them simply don’t get off the ground.
So whereas I’d be reluctant to organise a play with three separate singletons for fear that one would end up being Billy, when my twins are involved three simply works. The noise levels might be a cacophony of giggles and squeals, but they are happy sounds emanating from equal footings.
Let’s hope they stay that way as they grow up.