further adventures in twindergarten

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Categories Other people, Parenting Twins, School-AgeTags , 6 Comments

Do you like what I did up there? Twindergarten? When I thought of that this afternoon, I dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back.

Okay. I must preface this post by saying I love the boys’ kindergarten teacher. Love her! She’s the perfect teacher for them, and I hope my youngest will also have her in two years.

That being said, I have some serious concerns over whether their teacher might have gotten their testing mixed up.

When I got the boys’ report cards, I was surprised by two things:

  1. They were drastically different, and
  2. P had a ton of “I” for “insufficient progress” marks, while G had none. This was surprising because P reads and prints and spells a lot better for me at home than G does.

At my conference with their teacher, I broached the awkward topic of whether there was a chance she’d gotten the boys confused. Their teacher said she’d re-assess them to be certain, but that the boys’ test scores back up P being in the “intervention” reading group, and G being in a regular reading group.

Since then, I’ve compared everything they’ve brought home. And I’m pretty sure P is not the one who should be in the “intervention” group. I got a few more papers home today and was struck by the difference between the boys’ work…

I know both of them will be fine and they’re both smart kids, but I’m worried about G getting lost if he’s the one who needs extra help. P hates school, and I wonder if it could have anything to do with this — if he isn’t being challenged, or something.

This is one of the most awkward situations I’ve faced as a parent of twins, second only to the awkwardness of trying to breastfeed the twins discreetly in an unlocked room at my in-laws’ house.

Has anyone else dealt with anything like this? I’ve brought up my concerns (multiple times), and I feel like I have to trust that she has reassessed them… but I haven’t heard anything back from her and therefore I have to assume nothing has changed with their reading groups, etc.

Aside: While the boys look alike and are probably identical, they’ve had different haircuts since the beginning of the school year and are never dressed alike. So suggesting someone has mixed them up long-term is potentially insulting… and like I said, I love their teacher!

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 4 and 8. She also blogs at Minivan MacGyver, where she chronicles the many disasters narrowly averted using only her pluck and the assortment of household objects found in her 2001 Pontiac Montana.

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where my belief that the boys' speech issues will resolve themselves leads me to consider homeschooling once more

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Oh, Blogworld.

I’ve written before about my boys’ speech issues, and about their speech therapy “homework,” and about how well it fits into our evening routine.

They are trying really hard at speech. P has corrected a few of his significant errors and is a lot easier to understand now. G is working hard at it and has corrected one or two of his most prevalent errors. They have speech therapy on two consecutive days each week, and they usually bring home one worksheet each day.

That’s one worksheet each, of course… To all of you with higher order multiples, I have no idea how you do it, and you have my unflagging admiration.

Anyway. The boys’ speech homework looks like this:

Each boy has about 3 minutes of attention for these worksheets. I know it says they can draw a picture, but they want to write. After about 3 minutes, they get depressed and tired, and I have to give them a pep talk to get them motivated again. They work for about a minute, then get very excited and animated and jump on the furniture telling me stories. Then I try to get them to focus again, we work for another minute… and it repeats. And I do this with each boy separately, while the other boy fights with his sisters unsupervised, because it works better that way.

Today, G got halfway through his worksheet and confessed that last week in class, they’d been talking about words that start with “Y.” G raised his hand and said, “Yellow.” But because the boys had been saying their Ls as Ys [“yeh-yoh”] G now is easily confused about what “Y” sounds he should correct to “L.” He said it wrong, his teacher tried to correct him, he said it wrong again, she tried to correct him again… he told me he kept trying to say it right but he just couldn’t, and finally his teacher said, “No, no, NO!”

His eyes were teary and he was choked up telling me about this. I can’t imagine how embarrassing it was for him to be corrected like that in front of his whole class — I’m still impressed that he volunteered to participate in the first place. His teacher is fantastic, and I sure couldn’t do her job. I know this was just a moment of frustration at the end of a long week, but my heart broke for my little guy, who is trying really really hard.

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 4 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she whines a lot about being a de facto single parent during the brutal homework, dinner, and bedtime circles of hell.

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on wholeness

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Categories Behavior, Family, Parenting Twins, SingletonsTags , , , , 11 Comments

In my last post, I wrote about how my oldest daughter is angry and acting out, jealous over the attention her twin brothers get from us, each other, their extended family, and from the public at large.

When the boys were little, we tried to make sure our daughter got special attention from us. She stayed up later, and she and I had tea parties together in the evenings. We went on little outings most weekends, to run errands or swing by the park.

Our boys were almost two before either of them got one-on-one time with a parent, out of the house and away from potential interruption by the other children. And those times were few and far between – mostly involving ER and urgent care visits. We poured most of our extra time into our daughter, who seemed to need us more. After all, our boys have each other.

That, right there, is the myth. Even when it benefits my singleton by securing her more individual attention from her parents and grandparents, we’re perpetuating a myth that hurts her: that she is incomplete, and would be – what? – more confident, less lonely, less needy, more whole – if only she had a twin. To treat her as though she needs more and her brothers need less, is to reinforce the lie she believes – that she is missing something that would complete her.

Our boys are 6 now, and even though they miss each other when they’re apart, they want one-on-one time with us. And they deserve it, as much as their sisters do. They might deserve it more, because they’ve certainly received less individual attention over their lifetimes than either of their singleton sisters has.

I struggle with meeting each of their needs for my undivided attention, like any busy parent does. Clearly the strategy we employed for the first 5 or so years of the boys’ lives – giving their older sister more time because she seemed to need it more – did not work. And as the boys have gotten older we’ve run into more situations where their being twins is not a boon, but a burden for them. Our new strategy is to treat them equally. Our twins are no more special than our singletons, nor any less deserving of our time and attention.

Because our kids are so close in age – and because our oldest needs to be in bed by 7:30 to keep her temper in check – they have the same bedtime. Our individual time comes on weekends. We rotate; each child gets one “date” with Mom and one with Dad before the next round begins. We started this over the summer and are still working through round 2.

I have no idea whether the “equality” approach to parenting is the right one, but I’m hoping that by consciously treating each child the same way, rather than according to what I perceive to be his or her need, I’ll be able to soothe my daughter’s fears that she’s missing something important and drive home to my boys that they are complete as separate individuals, as well.

(One of you asked about my youngest and how she feels – she’s not yet 4 and seems well adjusted so far. Most of her strong feelings hinge on things like Cheetos and her princess nightgown and when she watches “Dora,” so it’s hard to tell how badly I’ve screwed her up at this point.)

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.

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a double-edged sword

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Categories Behavior, Mommy Issues, Relationships, SingletonsTags , 15 Comments

For the first time in a long time, I have a lot of twin-related things to say. My boys are two months into their kindergarten year, and they are growing up before my eyes. But this is a post about my older singleton daughter.

She was not yet 2 when we dragged her to our ultrasound appointment and discovered we were expecting twins. Over the next three months our daughter went from having an active mother who played with her and didn’t allow TV, to a mother who lay exhausted on the sofa all day and expected her to entertain herself watching Caillou.

When the babies were born it got worse. We couldn’t afford for me to quit my job, but we also couldn’t afford daycare. My employer allowed me to work from home most of the time, so we all huddled in my office: boys in their bouncy seats, Miss A in front of Caillou, and me on my laptop, working. They cried a lot – we all cried a lot. And if all three kids were crying, the one who was fed last and whose diaper was changed last was the oldest one.

This summer Miss A started acting out quite a bit. She has just turned 8. She began to lose her temper and physically go after her siblings. She would claw at her own thighs or chest, and scream, “You’re lucky I’m not doing this to you!” She’d hit herself, kick the walls, stomp on the floor, slam doors, break things… She’d lose her temper over requests that she wear sunscreen, or a reminder that it was almost bedtime – and she could scream for hours. One night she carried on until well after midnight, screaming and drumming her heels against the wall.

The other kids told us they were afraid of her. We were afraid to leave them alone with her.

We took her to see a family counselor, and she’s also meeting with her school counselor. In both settings, all she wants to talk about is twins. She wishes we’d never had them. She wishes she was one of them. She worries about them. She hates them. She loves them.

Our family isn’t very twintastic. We have rarely done matching outfits, and because they are the same gender our twins are verbally grouped as “the boys,” rather than “the twins.” We don’t belong to twins’ clubs. This summer’s trip to Twinsburg was the most twinnish thing we’ve done. At first I thought that might have sparked Miss A’s rage, but then I traced her outbursts to a month or so before the Twins’ Days Festival. I love my little boys – each one of them, individually – as I love my little girls. She doesn’t understand that for all of the emphasis society places on twins, our family had been hoping for a singleton. She believes it’s the opposite – that everyone is secretly hoping for twins, and secretly disappointed to get just one baby at a time. She believes a parent’s love grows exponentially with each additional baby, like the work does.

When she is older I can tell her how we felt at that ultrasound; how overwhelmed and terrified we were, and how terribly hard it was for the next couple years. But for now, she’s hurting and longing for the other half she never had.

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.

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why having twins is different from having two kids

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Categories Other people, Parenting Twins, School-AgeTags , 13 Comments

My boys are in all-day kindergarten. When my daughter started all-day kindergarten two years ago, I was shocked to discover that there is a substantial amount of homework for all-day kindergarteners.

Now I’m even more overwhelmed, because:

  • I have a 2nd grader and TWO kindergarteners
  • My husband works 2nd shift and isn’t around to help with homework/dinner/bedtime
  • My kindergarteners have regular homework, remedial letter recognition homework (parenting FAIL) and speech therapy homework
  • I also have a 3-year-old bopping around

You can find an example of how this works out for me here.

In my real life I’m getting this “totally baffled” vibe from people who are puzzled by my difficulties in helping my three older kids with their homework. Because they have three kids, but their kids manage to do their homework and know their letters, etc. So what’s the difference?

I’m probably preaching to the choir here.

When the boys were babies, their twinniness was a liability. Then for a while it was an asset — they entertained each other and didn’t fight much. They were wild, but I have a great appreciation for the built-in playmate factor. Where school is concerned, we’re moving back into the “liability” area.

They are in the same class because they feel more secure and confident when they’re within eye shot of one another, but I thought this would also make it easier for me to help with homework. WRONG. We can’t do homework at the same time because they shout out their answers, so the one who is slower to answer doesn’t have to think about it. Also, one of our boys (G) is insecure about his knowledge and performance compared with his brother’s, so he’ll often get upset and cry, insisting he doesn’t know how to do the work. I’m not sure where this dynamic has come from, although it’s not the first time we’ve seen it — but G requires careful handling to keep his confidence up. P is quick to answer, and enthusiastic about schoolwork. G knows just as much, but has some warped view where he doesn’t know anything, and P and their other classmates know everything already.

So, each boy’s assignments — reading, letter recognition, and speech — have to be completed at different times, and mostly out of the sight and hearing of the other. And my 2nd grader requires quite a bit of hand-holding for her work, as well. My dreams of the children all quietly ensconced at the table, with me working on dinner and coming in to help here or there, have been dashed for now. This is one way in which having twins continues to be a little more complicated than having two kids of different ages, and I really hadn’t anticipated this one.

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.

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my twins adjust to all-day kindergarten

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My boys started kindergarten this fall. It’s an all-day program in our district, so from the time they get on the bus in the morning until they’re returned to me in the afternoon, they’re gone 7 hours. This is a big step from last year’s preschool program of 2 hours a day, 3 days a week.

I asked to have them placed in the same classroom this year, and the school accommodated us. I’ll refer you to this post about their adjustment to preschool, so you have some frame of reference for their progress. Go ahead, click. We’ll wait for you.

Okay, everyone back?

We’ve made immense progress from last year’s desperate screaming and clawing as though they were being abducted. This year they happily hop onto the bus with their sister and neighborhood friends. Each boy cried the first day – G because he got separated from his class, and P because he was too scared to get his snack from his lunch bag because the classroom aide was yelling at people who got out their lunch bags at snack time. So he skipped snack. Poor baby. (The aide really is mean – I witnessed it firsthand and want to mention it to the teacher, but I think I’m skating on thin ice with her already because my boys don’t know any letters of the alphabet by their real names. They’re rocking a twin-language thing when it comes to the alphabet.)

But otherwise, no tears. The teacher let everyone choose where to sit the first few days, then she assigned seats and my boys are at different tables. They have no problem with this.

I’m so happy with how well they’ve adjusted. They’ve come so far in just a year, in terms of their ability to separate from us and from each other. This has given me greater confidence in the idea of letting them choose when to be separated, because I see the progress they’re making.

How’s the new school year treating the multiples in your lives?

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.

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We attend the Twins Days Festival, and I fail to adequately twin it up

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Categories Activities, Behavior, Celebrations, Fraternal, Identical, Mommy Issues, Multiple Types, Other people, Parenting Twins, Relationships, SingletonsTags , , , , 14 Comments

I’ve found that I mentally separate moms of twins into two categories. On one hand are the TWIN MOMS, who are really into having twins. They wear the t-shirts, have the bumper stickers, their kids always match, etc. On the other hand are the twin moms. Lower case. They are the ones who were always too strapped for time and/or money to order the t-shirts. Bumper stickers aren’t necessary, because any clever messages can be traced in the dirt on the back of the minivan. If their kids match, it’s because the last load out of the dryer was reds and everyone pulled clothes from the laundry basket.

The Twins Days Festival is really geared toward TWIN MOMS and their offspring. I’m more of a twin mom. Lower case.

We attended at our twins’ request. As we pulled into the parking lot, my boys were excited to see sets of twins in matching outfits. Attendees had decorated their cars as well. “What’s so special about being twins?” my 8-year-old singleton grumbled.

Oh, that’s a fun one to answer at Twins Days.

As we entered the high school where registrations were being taken, I was overcome by a wave of emotion at the throngs of identically dressed twosomes and threesomes. I was excited for my boys. In our quest to treat twins as individuals, I think we often go overboard and treat them as though being a twin is somehow a weakness that needs to be hammered out of them. We frown at sets of twins with rhyming or alliterative names. We tsk-tsk parents who dress their twins alike. We want them in separate classes, with separate friends. It felt good to be in a place where all the pressure to prove I’m fostering their individuality is removed, and their sameness is accepted for what it is.

The sameness is not just accepted, but celebrated. It seems a lot of effort is put into looking identical at the Twins’ Days Festival. These twins all matched completely – haircuts, clothing, shoes, glasses, hairstyles, purses, jewelry, etc.

I’d made a terrible mistake. Two terrible mistakes, actually. First, my boys were not dressed exactly alike. (This is because I am a twin mom [lower case] and just felt proud that I had the same shirt in two different colors clean at the same time.) Second, my boys have very different haircuts, due to a series of unfortunate attempts at saving money on haircuts. (Lesson learned.)

My hope that the boys would be recognized as twins was washed away by a river of candied apple slobber.

There weren’t many sets of twins or trips whose parents had made my mistake(s). Or if there were, they blended in with all the other non-twins. I was asked if my older three were triplets. I was asked if Miss A and P were twins, when G was standing right there next to them. The boys were not obviously twinnish enough, and I felt like I’d short-changed them.

This event highlighted how very lower case I am.

For most of the evening my kids’ social anxiety kept them very calm and well behaved. I received compliments. But as the kids got more comfortable with their surroundings, things escalated until they were having a four-way chasing/wrestling/punching fight that resulted in multiple minor injuries. As the violence progressed, I thought, “If there’s any public place where this probably won’t be unusual, this is it.” Based on conversations with the moms of multiples I know in real life, face-punching is sort of twinspeak shorthand for “hi, how’s it going?” But the whole evening, I only saw one other set of twins punching each other in the face. I have no explanation for this.

So, Twins’ Days made me feel inadequate. It made my daughter feel jealous. But it made my boys feel fantastic. Don’t mock me, but I’ve shed tears over how much they liked being there, and how they clearly identified so closely with all of these other people who sprang to the earth paired with another. It was such a powerful experience that it made me want to convert to TWIN MOM. Whether we subject the whole family to the festival in the future, we’ll definitely take the boys back each year, for as long as they want to go.

My kids, before G shunned his older sister for having failed to split after fertilization.

Aside: I had the pleasure of meeting up with Kim Schmidt, a HDYDI reader and mother to an 8-year-old singleton and 3-year-old twins, all daughters. She’s writing about the Twinsburg festival for American Way magazine, and I hope she’ll let us link it here when the piece is published. She blogged a bit about the festival here.

Next year, HDYDI meet-up in Twinsburg, Ohio!

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 5-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.

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Oh yeah, they're a riot.

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Categories Family, Mommy Issues, Singletons, WorkingTags , , 8 Comments

‎”Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind don’t you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot. And there ain’t any real difference between triplets and an insurrection.” – Mark Twain

This week I stumbled upon the above quote, thanks to twin mom Lisa Mazzio. I’d never heard it before, and immediately shared it with a triplet mom I know.

Like many little girls, I dreamed of having twins. What’s cuter than a matched set of babies? Even more, I wanted to be twins. I wanted a built-in soul mate.

When our second baby was discovered at our 20-week ultrasound, people told me about how they’d always wanted twins. Once the babies were born, a coworker with three children close in age told me he and his wife were considering fertility treatment because she really wanted twins. He asked what I thought.

My twins are nearly 6 and there have been very few times I’ve been out looking cute with a matched set of babies. I’ve always gotten a lot less “Awwww!” and a lot more “Oh my!” I know this has a lot to do with my twins being bookended by sisters only 26 months older and younger, and I appreciate that my crew is as visually overwhelming to bystanders as they are mentally overwhelming to me. It sets the bar low, and I like it that way.

The reality of my precious matched set of babies is a little different than what I envisioned as a kid. The reality of my first year with the twins was that someone was always crying. My 2-year-old was neglected. She watched more “Caillou” that year than anyone should endure in a lifetime. The babies took turns crying in my lap and in their bouncy seats. The guilt of being unable to comfort both of them and unable to do anything at all for my toddler was crushing.

No, I wouldn’t advise anyone to seek this out. I wouldn’t pray to be given twins. Don’t get me wrong – I feel lucky. I feel like, for whatever reason, God shone His face upon me and sent this curveball my way. “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” (Luke 12:48) I’ve been given a lot, and a lot is required of me. And I feel guilty that so much has been required of my oldest, by me and just by life. She’s a really intense kid – she always has been, but my mother guilt nags at me, suggesting she might be better able to cope if she’d gotten just one sibling at a time, or if she’d been a little older when they were born, or if I’d been better equipped to handle three under 3, or if I had been a stay-at-home mom instead of a work-at-home mom.

And while my boys have their built-in soul mates and I no longer feel as though I’m neglecting them, they must overcome challenges related to looking alike and each being perceived as only half a person among extended family, neighbors, teachers and classmates. My boys love being twins but I think it’s a disadvantage for them, socially.

I don’t know how to wrap this up. It’s been an intense 24 hours in my household and my boys start kindergarten in three weeks, and I’m a little blue. Aside: The boys have requested (demanded, actually) that I take them to the Twinsburg festival this Friday. Should make for an interesting post in a couple weeks!

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 5-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.

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more on separation

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As I wrote in my last post, we are gently working with our boys on separation from each other. Our boys will be 6 in August, and will start kindergarten. They’ll be in the same class, and we have no interest in forcing the two of them apart. Their bond is tight and they’re far more outgoing when they’re in a room together, than when they’re out of eye- and earshot from one another.

G, my “baby A,” wants to be a baseball player when he grows up. P, his twin, wants to be a chef. This caused them some stress for a while, until they worked out an arrangement where P would locate his restaurant next to the stadium, and G would eat there before his games each day. P is also willing to work as a food vendor in the stadium while G is playing.

Anyway, G wanted to play T-ball this spring, and P did not. This was the first thing they’ve done separately, without any coaxing from us, so we were anxious and interested to see how it would go.

During the first practice, P stayed home with me and grew increasingly agitated over his brother’s absence. He eventually laid down in his bed and cried a little, just before G arrived home. When G came in he asked me, “Was P crying because he missed me?” before he’d even seen his brother.

We all attended G’s games, and P wanted to get a foam #1 finger he could wave to cheer G on. G participated fully and cheerfully, which was interesting because he was the more dependent twin during this past year of preschool.

This weekend G’s T-ball league was invited to march in our town’s Independence Day parade, so he and my husband left early and headed for the fairgrounds while the other kids and I staked out a spot downtown. P was quiet during the parade, although he happily scurried to collect candy thrown from the floats with the other kids. A few times he asked how much longer it would be until he’d see his brother…

By the end of the evening, he was getting agitated and upset. He was very anxious to get home, and spent the whole car ride wondering aloud whether G would be home yet when we got there. Fortunately they’d beat us home, and the boys hugged for a long time when they saw each other.

Their relationship is so far beyond my understanding that I’m hesitant to do much to manipulate it. The only punishment that affects them at all is separation. One in the basement, one in their bedroom… and that is 10-15 minutes of the two of them calling to each other through the HVAC vents. Absolutely nothing else gets through to them, because they have each other and what more do they need?

I love their closeness. I love that they are making these small decisions to be apart, even though it’s a little uncomfortable for them. Mostly, I love that they are making these decisions, because the guilt of it would drive me nuts if I’d been the one to separate them. Watching them take responsibility for pursuing their own interests is fascinating.

Jen is a work-from-home mom of 5-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.

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separating multiples in the classroom

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Categories Classroom Placement, Development, Other people, Parenting Twins, Preschoolers, Relationships, School-AgeTags , , , 17 Comments

We’re officially on summer break, here. Unfortunately, summer is fraught with challenges for me and my twins. Things like swimming lessons and bike rides and water and parades and fireworks… Sigh.

Today the boys begin Safety Town, a pre-kindergarten program designed to teach safety basics like crossing the street, learning one’s address and phone number, calling 911, etc. I harangued the school into telling me the boys’ classroom assignment for kindergarten, and we went by and met their teacher. They liked her, liked their classroom. I’m overjoyed that they’ll be together, and so are they. For kindergarten, in our district, parents can note on the registration form whether they’d like their children placed with or separated from any other child. For multiples, the school makes certain the request is honored.

My boys are very close, and struggled in preschool when they were placed in separate groups, especially in the beginning of the year. By the end of the year they still disliked being separated, but were able to participate and keep from crying. We have all-day kindergarten here, so the full days 5x/week will be a big adjustment from three 2-hour days at preschool. I knew I didn’t want them to tackle that adjustment separately.

But I’m already worrying about first grade. I’d planned on separating them after kindergarten, but then my daughter had such a wonderful first grade teacher that I’d really like all my other children to have him, too. I started researching keeping multiples together after kindergarten, and found some interesting information supporting keeping multiples together until they request to be separated.

This sentence, in particular, caught my attention:

Many people view the bond between multiples as unhealthy — a dependency, a limitation that excludes outside relationships, a suffocation of individuality, a font of jealousy and rivalry.”

I absolutely find this to be the case. People comment on my boys’ relationship the way they commented on the kids having pacifiers beyond an acceptable age. It’s as though it’s an unhealthy crutch that society will tolerate, to a point, but just barely.

Meanwhile, I’ve spoken with several twins in real life (as opposed to online) who have related how painful the school separation was for them and their co-twin. These people are healthy, normal adults with separate lives now, so I can only assume the school separation happened before they were ready, and eventually they were ready and made that separation, internally, on their own.

Maybe my boys will be ready for separate classrooms in first grade, (and then I’ll just have to feel sorry for the one who doesn’t get the awesome teacher) but if they aren’t, I feel empowered to request they be placed together.

What have your experiences been with separating your kids in daycare or school, or even placing them in separate bedrooms? How has it gone?

Jen is a work-from-home mom of  5-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 7. She also blogs at http://www.diagnosisurine.com/.

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