That "playmate for life" thing

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We’ve all heard it. It’s right up there with “are they identical?” and “you’ve got your hands full.”  People simply love to see a set of twins and say, “ah, they’ve got a playmate for life!”  Of course, depending on the day I’ve had, sometimes I simply want to respond, “yeah, or a live-in punching bag!”

And yet… there might be something to all of that.

Believe me, my kids fight as much as the next set of twins, or really any brother-sister pair. They steal things from each other, they scream, they steal, they bite, they freak out at each other over almost nothing.  But having the constant company of someone roughly the same size and exactly the same age as you has got to have its perks. And one of those perks, for sure, is social development.

Siblings

I remember when we had the Early Intervention folks came to evaluate my son (on a very random issue that turned out to be nothing) at 19 months. They were asking me about his interactions with other children, and I was already noticing that he was playing with his sister a fair amount, not just parallel to her as they say kids that age do. With barely a word, they would start rollicking games of chase with each other and make each other laugh before falling asleep.

Siblings

Now, at two, they seem to make up even more games with their other twin-friends. They help each other climb up the slide (the wrong way, of course), they push each other on the swings. They bring each other toys, sometimes even without prompting (“here [you] go, Daniel!”), and generally entertain each other to no end. And yet, if a same-aged singleton friend is also there to play, he or she just doesn’t seem to join in as much, doesn’t seem to understand whatever game they’re trying to play.  That reaction, of course, is normal and age-appropriate! But noticeably different from the kids who have always had a 24/7 playmate.

So, for all the times that we worry about being behind the curve, whether physical development woes for preemies or the more-common-in-twins language delays… know that there’s at least one aspect of development where that twin thing really works in your favor.  Your kids will know how to play together, share, and take turns before just about any same-aged singleton!

In what way have your kids amazed you with their play?

Summer in the Midwest

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Social Shorthand

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They’ll speak their own language. They’ll feel each other’s pain. They’ll always have a special bond. They’ll always have a best friend.

Ask any twin parent, and they’ll testify; as soon as a multiples pregnancy is announced, those legendary lifelong predictions are made. The fascination with children that arrive in pairs is undeniable (seen any news on Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt lately?); subsequently, as a byproduct of all the associated assignations, parents expect, and often, project.

Last week, we spent the afternoon at The Playroom, a destination requested close-to-daily by our duo (and one conceived of and owned by a fellow twin-blessed family). As I strategically sat on the perimeter of the play area, I could observe a la Jane Goodall how my little monkeys behave in the wild. When one falls off the bounce house platform, does the other wince in pain across the room? Do they gravitate to the same structures and sensations? Are they a mini-herd unto themselves? After close to two hours of scrutiny, here are the results of my research:

They will pursue their individual interests…

(If they don’t offer a “zookeeper” option on future career days, I’m unsure what Darren will do…)

(Surrounded by bouncy castles and playhouses, God love her, Sarah still gravitates to the art supplies.)

They will dip toes into the gen pop pool and explore different opportunities with other members of the group…


(Or in Sarah’s case, at least share the art supplies with others…)

They’ll re-venture out for some solo time…


But at the end of the day, their lack of twin-language and synchronously experienced pain aside, they do share a special bond. They are each other’s best friend.

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Cross-posted from Twinfatuation

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