I feel the need to apologise for yesterday’s post. I was clearly having a bad day. I may have given you the impression that my children are out of control delinquents who kick, punch and throttle each other at every given opportunity. They are not. Sometimes, however, it feels like they are.
I can’t begin to comprehend the whole twin thing. I’m a singleton. Not in the Bridget Jones sense of the word, but as in the medical term for a single baby birth. You know, the normal, sensible way of doing it. I don’t have a sister and my nearest brother is eight years younger than me. Apparently this makes me a de facto only child as your formative years are to the age of seven. There’s no wonder I don’t understand my kids’ relationship.
It must be hard to make sense of things when you are a twin. From day one you have another screaming individual competing to be fed, changed, picked up, and cuddled at the same time as you. You have some people trying to lump you together as one when you are clearly two unique individuals. You are reaching the same development milestones at roughly the same time. This becomes tricky when you reach school. We all know that two (or more) siblings are not going to progress at exactly the same rate as each other. If you are in different school years this difference in progression is not easily apparent. It is, however, when you are in the same class at school. When your sister has picked up reading very quickly and can read a new reading book word perfect at the first read, it must really knock your confidence. It has and it would knock mine too.
I’m no twin expert, but what I have observed over the last four years is that it really is a relationship based on love and hate. I ranted yesterday about the hate side of it, so today I’m going to offer you an insight into the polar opposite: the love side.
I love the way that when they are unsure, apprehensive or a little frightened by something that they unconsciously huddle together and hold hands. That when they are hurt or feeling sad or upset, a hug and kiss from your sister is just as important as one from your mum. How, when one of them has pushed their luck too far and is on the Time Out Step, the other will ‘sneak’ their favourite teddy to them. That, sometimes, when I have put one of them on the Time Out Step for hurting the other; the injured party will rail at me that I’m not being nice to her best friend. Then, just to rub salt in the wound, she will put her small arms tenderly around her sister’s shoulders and give me a look that would kill at ten paces. How they can act as if they haven’t seen each other for five years, when it’s only been five minutes. I particularly love the way that when we are walking along they will just stop and give each other a great big hug for no reason other than they want to.
So you see, despite yesterday’s lament, it’s not all bad being a mum to twins. In fact, if I’m really honest, I’m a little bit jealous of what they have.