Three child families are often advised against on the grounds that one will always be left out as children will pair up to play. I have even heard people say that if you have a third child then you must go on to have a 4th, as an odd number of children just doesn't work.
I have noticed that the whole playing in pairs thing does happen but that it doesn't really seem to matter that much. Even as a twosome, we had days when my children played together, days they played apart and days that one wanted to play and the other didn't.
Now I find that the pairs mine play in change and the one who is not playing tends to be busy doing something else. I have not yet had it that the 'extra' child, whoever it is, is being purposefully excluded, more that they want to do something on their own. I do now think that had my third been a girl, we may have ended up with Theo being excluded, which would have been hard as it is nearly always him who wants someone to play with, while the other two are more content doing their own thing.
When Freyja and Noah play, she reads to him, shows him things or tries to make him laugh. Theo and Noah play more active, chasing games. Freyja
and Theo play crazy imaginative play games which I barely understand
but can occupy them for hours (and create huge amounts of mess, with toys deposited across the house). This
is where I see problems occurring as Noah gets older and wants to join
in but can't yet understand the rules. At the moment, he will come and
potter round with me if they are involved in a game, or he will just
They do also play altogether as a trio, though as Noah is still so young, it tends to be more when they are in the garden as he can't really play the types of games the other two play inside. Though I do remember at Christmas them all playing a game in which Freyja was Mary, Theo was Joseph and Noah was the Baby Jesus.
I do of course know that there will be times when one gets excluded or, what I see being the issue here, will be two happily playing and one being 'pesty'. And I know exactly which children it will be! I have one child who is especially good at the role of 'pesty' sibling...
I can come up with all sorts of reasons as to why is would be far more practical and sensible to stick with two children. But I don't think worrying about one being excluded should rank so high in the reasons not to have three - and I certainly don't think it should be the basis of having a fourth child. Personality, age gaps, gender and a whole load of other things have as much impact on the dynamics of your family as the number of children you choose to have.