Twin sisters spend a rare 3 hours apart

Apart for Three Hours

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Categories Parenting Twins

One evening last week, the girls from my daughters’ Girl Scout troop were going to be selling cookies at three different locations. My daughters, J and M, specifically asked if they could go separately.

Being a single mom, it’s challenging to find opportunities for my children to do things apart from one another. Even though I have wonderful friends who think nothing of helping me out by watching one or both kids, I don’t want to take advantage of their generosity too often. This was the perfect opportunity for the girls to do something away from Sissy where the other parents would be out there doing them anyway.

Twin sisters spend a rare 3 hours apart

M and J’s troop leader, a good friend of mine, picked M up from after school care and took her to her cookie booth. I picked up J an hour later, since our booth started an hour later.

Sadly, the mother of the girl who was supposed to join me and J was sick, so it was just the two of us at our cookie booth. We had a great time together, though, just Mommy and Daughter. We danced to stay warm and discussed every subject under the sun. We had a relatively successful sales day, and everyone we came across, whether or not they were buying cookies, had a smile to spare for J. One man burst out laughing at the sight of J’s face hidden in my hat and scarf, which delighted her.

When one buyer complimented J on her math skills as she tallied up the total and made change, her response surprised me: “My sister is much better at math.”

“Is she older?” was the gentleman’s predictable response.

I explained that they were twins and we completed the sale, but I felt that this was something I needed to explore further. Why, I asked my very smart daughter, did she think her sister was better at math?

“She gets better grades,” was her response.
“Like you get 98%s and she gets 100%s and higher?” I prompted.
“You are very good at math, sweetie,” I insisted. “Yes, your sister gets more excited about math than you do, but you’re still very good at it, as good as she is.”

I could tell by the look on J’s face that she was unconvinced.

“Do you know,” I continued, “that when you guys learned how to read, M thought she wasn’t a good reader? Just because she thought you were better?”

I could see the compassion J had for her sister begin to turn in on herself. I dropped the subject, but I’ll have to return to it over the next several months as I had to with M and her confidence with reading. The situation was almost exactly the same. M had identified herself as a poor reader because she considered J to be a good one. It took a lot of convincing—and being separated for the first months of kindergarten—for M to become confident in her own abilities.

After our two hours were up, we headed to my friends house for dinner and to retrieve M. J and I chatted for a while, then danced along to the radio together.

“M,” she said, then stopped.
Again, “M….”
“What about M?” I asked J.
“Oh, I was going to tell her something. I forgot.”

My daughters live together, go to class together, sleep together and bathe together. J forgot that her sister wasn’t right there by her side in the car. Thankfully, they got to see each other again a few minutes later.

I am reminded, though, how important it is for twins to spend time apart, even if they don’t always want to.

Do your multiples spend much (or any) time apart?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at and Multicultural Mothering.

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

6 thoughts on “Apart for Three Hours”

  1. We relish one-on-one time, as we call it, though it is rarely (maybe 30 minutes weekly to run an errand, or if one wakes up early from a nap). At this age (17 months), the boys love being able to do things they can’t do when there are two, such as walk to the market and help put produce in the bag (I know I could do that with both, but seriously, self-preservation!). Even going to the same playground and not having to stay together because each parent can follow one kid feels like alone time. They enjoy the freedom. But they do look for each other a little after a while. I hope we can continue to do special time with each kid. I don’t know how single parents are doing it. Hats off to you!!!

  2. Our fraternal twin boys are only 25 months old, but my husband and I have recently discussed starting to do more things with them one-on-one. We have one it on occasion lately, just due to happenstance, and each of them has seemed to really enjoy it and actually not miss his brother much, if at all!

  3. My triplets are all three in activities both together and separately. All are in the same Scout den and in the church choir, but one is into sports, one in karate, and one in piano. They LOVE being “the best” at something in our family and having something they can teacher their brothers. They are otherwise so compared and so “together” all the time that these activities are really important to DH and me that they not be able to explore their own interests. (Oh how much easier it would be for US if they were all on the same team/activity with ONE practice a week instead of 3-5!!)

    1. Oops – obviously should say “…they be able to explore their own interests” and not “…they NOT be able to explore their own interests”

    2. I completely agree! At the beginning of this year, J was torn between soccer and dance lessons. I strongly encouraged her pursuit of soccer especially because M would be taking dance, but ultimately, J didn’t want to be without Sissy. She spent the whole summer deciding. It wasn’t a decision that came easily.

  4. After my kids started school (separately) one of the first times one was in the car and the other wasn’t and he freaked out that, “We forgot brother!” as though I had haphazardly left his brother behind at home, not that he was in school. I’d like to say they relish their alone time but they ask constantly “is brother home from school soon.” the entire time they are apart. And it is less than 3 hours.

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