Once, when my kids were under a year old, I had a complete stranger ask me “which is the good one?” I only wish I hadn’t been so shocked by the question that I might have come up with a witty and biting response to such an inappropriate question.
Among all of the crazy-ass things that people feel compelled to say to me when they find out my kids are twins, one of the most surprising is some people’s fixation on the “good twin/evil twin” thing. Seriously? People, that’s just a bad soap opera plot device. It’s not real.
Or, is it?
Sometimes, it’s a teensy weensy bit real.
Because, of course, one of the things about having two kids who are exactly the same age is that they will still hit some of the developmental milestones at slightly different times. Some of those phases are less pleasant than others, and some kids will have a rougher time than others.
Right now, we are in that delightful two-year-old stage of constantly needing to assert independence and control. And while they are both dealing with it, it’s hitting my son especially hard. Today, the whining and demanding for [insert whatever item his sister is currently holding] started before we even made it out of their bedroom. It was a rough morning, and we’ve had a lot of days like that recently.
What might be making it even harder is the contrast with his sister’s behavior. She’s no angel (friends accurately described her over the weekend as a “wild card”), but where Daniel digs in his heels and throws a tantrum, she is more likely to realize that she is about to get in trouble and back off. And so, human nature kicks in, and I (temporarily) have a favorite child. Which only makes me feel worse. I struggle with simultaneously being enormously frustrated with my son, and then feeling bad that I harbor less happy feelings toward him than his sister.
Thankfully, if I’ve learned anything over the last two years, it’s that they will soon switch places. While some of these characteristics are consistent and very true to their personalities, I also know that the title of “more difficult child” is passed around with great frequency. But in the meantime, I still have some internal conflict.
What about you? Do your kids trade off on the “good/bad twin” role? Do you find yourself temporarily favoring one twin over the other? How do you cope with favoritism, even if it is fleeting?