Siblings at Heart

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Categories Family, Fraternal

Dressed, undressed, sleeping or awake, there is no hiding the fact that my two babies are very different people. For starters, one is male, one female. My boy is much taller than my girl. My daughter is petite everywhere except her pudgy tummy. My son? He is shaped like a mini-shrek. They sleep differently, eat differently, have different tolerance levels. My son likes people indiscriminately, my daughter is a bit more reserved. I could type until my fingers were raw and red, listing and highlighting the ways in which they are different.

Honestly, in my mind, they aren’t twins. They are my son and daughter. Sure, I use the magic phrase “I have twins,” but mainly as an excuse. “Sorry my house is a mess,” or  “Sorry that I forgot your birthday, the twins are sapping all of my brain power!”

When out and about with both kiddos, I am often surprised that people ask me questions about them as if they are a unit. “Which one is the loud one?” or “Why is he bigger than her?” I often respond that they were simply womb-mates, and are just siblings to each-other, not 1/2 of a whole person.

Granted, they likely will have a close bond, as they have never been without a sibling. There is no such thing in my house as the first child. Delivered by cesarean, they are 1 minute apart. Hardly enough time to make one the “older” sibling.

I had a couple of opportunities this week to spend time with just my son, and then just my daughter. Mainly it was due to a fluke in the cherished nap schedule, but it sure was fun to focus all of my attention onto one child at a time. I believe that this is a very real stressor, especially early on, when parents of multiples wonder how in the world they will ever get to be with each of their children individually to cultivate their relationship. Lets face it, in the beginning it is about survival. When you are feeding 2 (or more) infants10-12 times a day, it makes sense to feed them both at the same time. Assembly line parenting can become a way of life. But in our home, the fog of newborns has passed, and we are enjoying a bit more flexibility. And I truly believe the kids enjoy having mama all to themselves.

For sanities sake (and time), I bathe the kids together. But occassionally I will sneak them into the bath without their sibling, and it must be so nice for them to not have to share the tub, or the toys, or have someone splashing water into their faces.  This one on one time is also great for cuddling. I can easily snuggle and read to one baby on the couch. But if I have both of them, it is a disaster waiting to happen to try and corral both of their wiggling bodies and keep the books intact.

This weekend, the hubster and I took the kids to the mall in two single strollers. It was the most peaceful outing I have had in a long time. Each kid had space, a new perspective on their surroundings and a parent all to themselves. It is so nice that we can split them up occasionally, and really enjoy them as individuals.

I was thinking about all of this “twin stuff,” and realized that it is a lot like marriage. When you get married, you are one of two. You are part of the whole unit. You function as a team, yet you are still an individual. I know I rebelled a bit when people started treating me just as a Mrs., when I was still Krissy.

It is my hope to raise my son and daughter as siblings with a special start to what hopefully will be a life-long friendship. And I want to be free to take my son someplace special while my daughter is with one of the grandmas. I want to buy my daughter pretty rain boots, without feeling compelled to buy a boy-pair for my son.

I think Valentine’s day might be a great day for my hubby and I to “date” our kids,  and have lunch out with just one of them. I can envision myself holding my son’s chubby hand, walking into a restaurant after dropping off my girl at her daddy’s workplace, and helping him order off of the big-kid menu, and taking time to listen to him and his heart.

Of course, we first need to master walking, eating without choking, keeping public scream-fests to a minimum, and sitting still for more than 30 seconds, but I have no doubt that one day in the future, I will proudly be out in restaurant with my son, and won’t feel compelled to tell the passers-by that he has a twin sister! 

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5 thoughts on “Siblings at Heart”

  1. While reading this, I also feel the same way about my faternal boy/girl twins. They are very different in most aspects. I love one-on-one time that allows for special bonding time. It helps you see what wonderful personalities they have when by themselves.

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart and putting onto paper (or computer) my thoughts exactly. I am always thinking that I have to do the same thing for both of them just b/c they are twins. I need to keep in mind more often that they are little people, a brother and sister and that they need their special time alone with one of us or just alone in the tub or whatever. My b/g twins are 2 in a couple weeks!

  3. your words echo so much of what is our life. we’ve never referred to our girls as “the twins”, yet we accept that many people do and will. we simply say they are sisters with the same birthday, something very special which they will always share. they have very different personalities and we hope always encourage their individuality, as well as their support of one another. i feel blessed to just be along for the ride, as they say.
    great post – lovely blog – my best to you all!

  4. I enjoyed your post, especially since it discusses a family dynamic so different from my own. Before my monozygotic girl twins were born, I planned all kinds of ways to incorporate one-on-one time into our lives. They’re now two, they have let us know in no uncertain terms that they want Sissy there, all the time. When we offer to let one of them have a special treat with each parent, they’d rather stick together. In fact, about half the time, when I attempt to take one twin to daycare because the other is home sick, I find myself having to pick the healthy child up early because they miss each other so much. They are capable of playing alone and of having independent relationships with they family members and friends, but they genuinely love getting splashed in the face at every bath, watching each other sleep, and just being twins.

  5. Thank you for bringing this topic into the open. Like the others above these are my thoughts too. I get the same comments – who is quieter ? why is he bigger ?
    My boys are similar in some ways and chalk and cheese in others.

    I am thinking that I have to do the same thing for both of them because they are boy/boy twins.

    I wonder how hard it always going to be to get different colours in toys/ bikes to keep things square and so the owner can claim identity –

    I do need to keep in mind more often that they are two different little guys they need their individual alone time with one of us or just alone in the bathtub or whatever. My sons twins will be 2 in July.

    My Little Drummer boys

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