Mother of four reflects on the relationship between twins and other siblings.

Toddler Thursday: Relating to Other Siblings

Posted on
Categories Birth Order, Identical, Individuality, Relationships, SiblingsTags , , , ,

I dreamed of my three girls playing together as I incubated my twins, conjuring images of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. They would join their big sister and embark on a lifetime of adventures in adorable rompers. I took notice of sisters at the park, studying their bonds and dreaming of how close-knit my girls would be. Shortly after the twins were born, I found myself pregnant again, and gave birth to another girl. A houseful of ladies. Feelings. Hormones. Hairbrushes.

Though we have four children, we have no middle child, and that has made a big difference in how they relate to one another. Hailey and Robin, our identical twin girls, have such a unique, close relationship with each other that they don’t fit the typical description of a neglected middle child. There isn’t (yet) much competition between the girls, and so their accomplishments are celebrated by their siblings as though they are all teammates. They also coalesce in relative harmony by fulfilling roles that have developed organically.

mamaread1

I could tell in the months after the twins were born that my oldest desperately needed a role, a more solid identity. Her family became a five-some and the twin babies were a novelty to every guest who visited. She quickly became the leader. As the twins grew, began talking and moving, big sister was there to guide the play, teach them new tricks and show them boundaries. She may have delighted in kicking them out of her bedroom a little too fervently, but she found her stride as the leader.

When the youngest girl was born, Hailey and Robin were still too young to grasp the concept, but our oldest found a comrade in arms. Her role as leader and the baby’s role as the ‘other singleton’ fused a bond that rivals the twins. Big sister and littlest sister have become two peas in a pod, leaving Hailey and Robin to happily continue forging their special twin connection.

mamaswim1

Our twin girls share a closeness far deeper than a sister connection. I’m sure as the girls grow, the singletons will experience feeling left out of that special closeness. Like every tribulation in parenting, we’ll tackle that when it arises using empathy and respect. Most of the time, our daily (mis)adventures are a scene of four girls, not divided into teams, but united as a foursome.

We have tried to let the oldest be the leader, because the younger ones delight in idolizing her, and falling into line under her command. We might let the baby get away with more (we’re exhausted after just going through it all with twins, for goodness’ sakes!), but her big sisters seem to enjoy doting on her as well. The twins continue to attract attention wherever we go, and their sisters are there to put them on display and chat to interested observers.

I’m not sure to what I should credit the closeness between these four girls, but I suppose that is part of the magic to sibling relationships, isn’t it?

SarahNSarah is the mother to four girls, two of whom are identical twins Hailey and Robin. They were born in the Yukon in a very small hospital at 35 weeks, and though they were small, they were mighty. She now lives in Ontario, where her high school sweetheart husband works very hard, and she stays home with the girls, freelance reporting on the side. In her past life, she was a journalist who covered everything from fast-paced federal politics to cats stuck in trees. Her writing has appeared in local newspapers and magazines, and in national publications like the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada Magazine. She is a yogi, a mediocre cook, an awesome Beyonce dance move imitator, and an avid blogger at Cure for Boredom.

Share this...Share on Facebook8Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest3Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Tumblr0Share on Reddit0Digg thisShare on LinkedIn0Email this to someone

Published by

SarahN

Sarah is the mother to four girls, two of whom are identical twins Hailey and Robin. They were born in the Yukon in a very small hospital at 35 weeks, and though they were small, they were mighty. She now lives in Ontario, where her high school sweetheart husband works very hard, and she stays home with the girls, freelance reporting on the side. In her past life, she was a journalist who covered everything from fast-paced federal politics to cats stuck in trees. Her writing has appeared in local newspapers and magazines, and in national publications like the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada Magazine. She is a yogi, a mediocre cook, an awesome Beyonce dance move imitator, and an avid blogger at Cure for Boredom.

11 thoughts on “Toddler Thursday: Relating to Other Siblings”

  1. I love your perspective. How interesting that your singletons would band together! I look forward to hearing how your girls’ relationship dynamic plays out as they grow older.

  2. I’m so happy my eldest and twins are super close too. And yes, even though I have three kids, we have no ‘middle child.’ I hope they grow up to continue being the best of friends.

  3. Lovely post. I adore seeing the bond that my sons have. They are usually the best of friends although not always. I can see that the relationship they have is like no other and can see that how as adults they will have a deep understanding of each other.
    You have really made me think about twins and how that impacts the family dynamic. Thank you for that. #twinklytuesday

  4. Wow you have a busy life! How wonderful having 4 daughters. It’s interesting seeing sibling bonds develop. I’m just seeing that now with my two, my boy is 5 and plays the protective and somewhat ‘in charge’ brother to his sister now 1. She completely dotes on him and follows him around, she is amazed by everything he does. So lovely x

  5. Wow 4 girls you must be superwoman, but I love how the twins are in the middle and how you feel because of this there is no middle child effect, thank you a great post #twinkletuesday

  6. How interesting to read about the dynamics of the four girls! I’m a twin (non-identcal, both girls!) and we are the middle siblings. I don’t think we ever had a special relationship that was different to our other siblings, or maybe we grew out of it quite young. We were always in separate classes at school and our younger brother is only 18 months younger than us though, so that might have had something to do with it! #twinklytuesday

    Carolyn
    http://stylishmemories.com

  7. What an absolutely gorgeous post and what gorgeous children. I love the picture of you all and your description of their relationship is beautiful. It must be absolutely wonderful to see them all develop their own roles and sisterly love to each other. Beautiful. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday and to Sadia for being a fab co-host :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge