Four Toddlers on Fridays

On Fridays, I have four toddlers in the house. It’s delightful and exhausting.

When my daughter had twins, I was eager to help watch them. James looks like Dad and Kinsley looks like Mom. My daughter went back to work part time after six months. I started watching them on Fridays. It had been a long time since I had a baby in the house, and I was excited and terrified. My husband assured me he would help.

Two days before the twins were born, my husband and I got a new puppy. Davey is a border collie, a herding breed. We also have a beagle mix named Harley.

We wondered how our dogs would deal with having two babies in the house.

At first, the dogs were fascinated by the squirming, screaming bundles in the baby seats. Davey would place his toys beside them before stealing their pacifiers. At first, Harley hid away from them, but eventually she came out and licked their tiny hands. The dogs would sit and stare at them all day.

Almost two years later, the twins and our dogs are best friends and co-conspirators. Davey loves to roll his tennis ball down the twins’ Hot Wheels ramp. James throws a ball for Davey. I often find dog toys mixed into the twins’ toy box. Both dogs love to sit under the twins’ highchairs to catch tidbits Kinsley tosses on purpose.

Outside on the back porch, Davey shows his herding instincts by directing the twins away from the side gate. He thinks they might try to escape. When Kinsley takes a tumble, Harley is right there with a friendly lick on the face, making her giggle.

Wherever the twins go, our dogs must be there. At first, I was worried James or Kinsley might pull one of the dogs’ tails or hit them. I was quick to supervise all kid-dog interactions. The twins learned to respect the dogs, and the dogs know when to find a spot on the couch or behind a chair to take time out from the twins’ high energy.

I have read somewhere certain dog breeds, like border collies and beagles, have the intelligence of two-year-old children. As the twins advance on their second year, I definitely see it.

Every Friday, I chase around four toddlers. Two of them are human.

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