I am lucky enough to be going through the experience of a raising a singleton and the experience of raising multiples. (And the experience of raising another singleton…)
Although I know I shouldn’t, I often find myself making comparisons between the development of the older singleton and her younger multiple brothers. More often than not she comes out “ahead” in these comparisons – she walked first, she talked first, her gross and fine motor skills were slightly ahead. That could be because she was a first-born, a singleton, a girl. Who knows? It could just be her.
Regardless, the boys have come out light-years ahead in one area: playing nicely with others. Sure, they like to bicker amongst themselves. But when it comes to their siblings, their cousins, random strangers at Story Hour, these boys are outgoing and always willing to interact with other children.
If they are playing with a toy and another child takes it, as long as that other child isn’t their twin brother, they simply move on. If another child has a toy that they want, they will stand, smiling, and watch that kid play until it is their turn to have it. They experience true joy when they watch someone else having a good time. And if they see another child crying, they will pat that child’s back.
I’d like to think we taught them this, but, really, we didn’t. They are just comfortable being around other little people. More so than their big sister ever was. They have an innate sensitivity that I’d like to bottle and sell to the other parents at the local Children’s Museum…and a few relatives as well!
So if we didn’t “teach” them, how did they get that way? Is it a function of being a multiple? I don’t know. It could be. Whatever it is, it’s simply amazing. I hope it stays with them as they grow into teenagers and adulthood.