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.


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.


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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12 thoughts on “That "playmate for life" thing”

  1. I totally agree with the social development aspect of twins! Especially when compared with singletons. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to find great playmates for the 2 year old age bracket. I continuously go to playdates that are scheduled for the singleton groups that I am in, but have so far been less than pleased. I love that the girls have each other though. I have turned a corner with the love/hate relationship of having twins now!

  2. At 16 months in, I’ve been noticing the beginnings of this “playmate” thing, too! Before bed tonight, Sarah was “making some soup” in her toy pots and pans and she gave Matty a “taste”! So effing cute. And, of course, we have lots of the punching bag deal, too. We are also at a very monkey-see-monkey-do phase. What does this last, the next 10-12 years? Every single thing one does, the other has to do NOW. It’s occasionally frustrating, but at least it’s gotten so consistent that I can anticipate the 2nd kid’s desire even before they do.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Flipped out =-.

  3. Mine pair are still a bit young but have started to “entertain” each other. They laugh at one another, look for the other one and of course steal toys from each other. Its so cute, even when they make each otehr cry!

    One funny comment I used to gte ALL the time was, “do they like each other?” People would ask me this when they were as young as 3 months old. I mean, how could they like or dislike each otehr at 3 months? They weren’t even mobile! Now at 9 months I can say that, for the most part, they do like each other. I think. :)
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..I know, I’m a bad blogger… =-.

  4. 3.25 is SO GOOD for playing together. Yesterday we barely interacted with the kids all day (both happy and sad about this) bc they just played with each other with very little fighting.

    People always talk about how hard 3 is and while we do have those days, it is SO MUCH EASIER than any other age so far. They get their own snacks, go to the bathroom on their own, and make up elaborate games, reading each other books and playing together.
    .-= LauraC´s last blog ..Four years =-.

  5. My twins are much like others- the best of friends, as well as the worst of enemies at times. But I do think, at 18 months, they play pretty well together most of the time. They love to play chase and tag, and my daughter will often bring toys to my son (though not the other way around, yet). They’re learning to take turns, and try to soothe the other when he/she is upset. I grew up an only child, so I don’t even know what it’s like to have a sibling. Theyir growing relationship and bond with each other amazes me to no end.

  6. At 12 months old we are in the stage where the more mobile twin knocks the other down, crawls right on top of her, steals toys. The nanny does a lot of refereeing and I hope Penny soon catches up and they can start to play together. They do sit quietly together and flip through books which is adorable.
    .-= Mommy, Esq.´s last blog ..Stats and Schedules =-.

  7. My kids do their fair share of fighting and toy stealing too, but they also love playing together. They don’t do too much playing together with toys at this point, but love to play chase and to wrestle with each other. It is really quite entertaining.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Where are the Irish? =-.

  8. Our little ones are only 7 months old, but if you put a large toy between them they will each play with one end. They pull the toy back and forth so it seems to move by itself – way better than an expensive battery-operated toy!

  9. Sometimes it seems being a multiple has to make play time much more fun. There is more “character” play and it’s hilarious to watch. My daughters are currently into a game they made up called “robot.” They use a magnet as a “remote,” point it at one of their sisters (the robot) and give her commands. The robot can only move when the “remote” is being used. It’s hilarious. On another note, my daughters have bitten each other numerous times but have never bitten another child. I guess that’s a good thing… right?
    .-= Quadmama´s last blog ..Mr. Mom =-.

  10. Ah, the playmate for life. While the comment does always annoy me, it is true that their social development in regards to play seems to be ahead of their age. They are just starting preschool with a group of kids about their age—it will be interesting to see how they do and what the other kids are like.

    Laura-I cannot say thank you enough for a positive comment about threes. All I hear these days is “just wait! Three is worse! Three is awful! Three is so much harder!”
    .-= rebecca´s last blog ..Threadless Tshirt Giveaway at =-.

  11. Mine have been interacting for a couple of months now. They get excited to see each other, and fight over toys. It’s fun to watch. The thing that makes me laugh is ‘twins learn to be patient and take turns’. My girl will fake cough to get attention, yells if we pick up her brother first, and gets mad if she has to wait too long for her next bite. I guess I should be thankful her brother is more easy going.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..9 month check up =-.

  12. Great post and quite true. I used to hate when the boys were babies and people would say “Oh you are so lucky because they will entertain one another”. It is a bit more true now but don’t tell that to a Mom who is wrestling with a stroller AND shopping cart. The playing together thing is definitely a bonus.
    .-= becky@oursweetpeas´s last blog ..This Summer we …. =-.

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